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Checking Boxes

Posted by on Sunday, December 16, 2012 in Academics, Admissions Links, College Life, Engineering, General Information, Studying, Winter Break.

As you may or may not have heard, Vanderbilt is in finals mode, the campus a seething mass of caffeinated 20-somethings attempting to re-learn (or simply learn) content from wildly disparate courses. As this drama unfolds around me, threatening to engulf countless students, I will be acting as Inside ‘Dores’ Jim Cantore, reporting live from within only the most severe weather…tests…? My analogy has broken down. Next paragraph!

My finals week began early, with a massive machine analysis design project due (last) Thursday. I mentioned some of the project work in one of my Catch-Up posts, so I won’t delve deeply into a description of the parameters. Instead, I’ll focus on 5:30 Thursday morning, when I found myself still in the CAD lab I had occupied the night before. Arthur Golden once said:

“Adversity is like a strong wind. It tears away from us all but the things that can not be torn, so that we see ourselves as we really are.”

Admittedly, this adversity was partially a product of my own procrastination, having allowed the project to go undone for far too long, but there’s no minute like the last minute. Here’s my favorite picture of my final CAD design for the AED-bearing Search and Rescue robot:

With exterior removed for optimal drive-system visibility!

So, that’s the “Machine Analysis” box checked. What else did I have to do this week? A System Dynamics final and a Fluid Mechanics final? After some extreme studying (in libraries, class buildings, dorms, coffee shops, coffee shops, and my room) and a near-disastrous oversleeping experience, those boxes have been checked, which means… fall semester of junior year: check.

Studying away with bloggy friends.

Also, as a heads-up to attentive or faithful readers: I actually made it home this break without any car troubles. Wish me luck on the way back!

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