So, what exactly am I taking? We'll, I'm glad I asked! Four are classified under the engineering department, and those four are as different from each other as can be. Materials science, project management, AutoCAD, and the science of measurement...yeah, not really any interrelation whatsoever. Besides that, I'm also learning about introductory accounting, human relations and organizations, and...a philosophy course about technology and human values, which is not so much my cup of tea. I'm pretty sure I've heard the word "paradigmatically" more than in my entire life prior to this semester. They all interest me in various degrees. That said, even if one were particularly boring, I would remind myself that even Hofstra's most boring and pedantic class would be better than whatever I'd be doing in the Navy, were I still enlisted. Speaking of the Navy, at least three or four of them have reminded me of various aspects of my tenure there. One example comes from project management, where we've been discussing scheduling and the critical path method. These concepts caused me to vividly recall the time USS Memphis spent in Portsmouth Naval Shipyard. Also, in materials class yesterday, the professor mentioned impact testing - and specifically, wanting to obtain a Charpy tester. Of course, I learned of the V-notch test during my time in Charleston.
This semester has introduced me to something that I was able to evade during my first year at Hofstra - the morning rush hour. On three of the five weekdays, my first class starts at 9:35 or earlier. This adds, on average, twenty minutes to my morning commute. The normal forty minute drive in becomes an hour, and the empirical evidence shows this to be nearly invariable regardless of the route I use to get there. For about the first two and a half weeks, I raged at the circumstances laid before me. I simply could not fathom how, in the absence of any major event like an accident, traffic could grind to a halt like this on a daily basis. But then I remembered the age of Long Island's highway infrastructure, and all that comes with that - like the lack of shoulders, the insufficient merge lanes, and curves designed for speeds far lower than we are accustomed to today. Now I'm much calmer in the car on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday mornings. I may not like this particular grind, but at least I've accepted it.
I want to pass along one more thing that happened just this past week. On Wednesday afternoon, I arrived to the main classroom on the second floor of Weed Hall, where Hofstra's engineering department is housed. The back of the room has four large windows. One was completely covered over with a large piece of paper. It looked pretty ghetto, but a couple of students decided to have a little fun with it. They signed the paper, much like a one would a cast on a broken bone. One wrote "get well soon," and the other signed "Happy Anniversary." If the paper is still there on Monday, I'll grab a picture, and add a message of my own.