Saturday, April 25, 2009

FE exam

That test was soooo terrible. 8 hours is a long time.... I managed to finish both sections before time was up but it still seemed like it went on forever. There were so many questions. And since it was multiple choice, I'm sure we don't get any partial credit either...

I woke up at 6am and took a cab with some other Course 1 people over. It was definitely a good choice since it was too early for me to think properly. Anyhow, now I can say I've been to UMass Boston, for what it's worth. It's a pretty nice campus. They're right on the water. Their campus center, which is where the test was, is this hugemous building that looks out onto the water. It's such a nice building with big rooms. Unfortunately, I was stuck in this small little room that was dark and had no windows. It was sad. I think a lot of people signed up to take the test this year. Probably more than all the previous years combined. haha. We're a cool class.

The morning section wasn't too bad. I think I did pretty well on most of it. Except for electrical stuff. Seriously, when neither the question nor the answers make any sense, it's just hopeless. I was feeling pretty burnt out by the end of it. We took a lunch break and then went back for the second half. The second half was such a disaster. I feel like I didn't know anything. I guessed on most of it. And the thing is, I'm not sure how much studying would have helped. It was just so much material and some of it we never covered. I hear the passing rate is very high for this test though. I hope this is true. Hopefully, I did well enough on the morning bit to buffer this afternoon section. I guess I'll find out in 12 weeks. No clue why it needs to take that long. It's a scantron!


All this studying for the FE exam got me thinking about how soon I would be taking the PE exam. I didn't realize California's two year full time requirement was an exception rather than the rule. And after I go to graduate school, I would only have to work one year before I can take the exam. This studying for exam thing never seems to end. It was tough studying for the FE this time around. I can see a lot of panic studying for the PE. The topics are just so much more in depth... Anyway, need to pass the FE first!

Monday, April 20, 2009


Quick updates on what I've been up to:

  • Officially accepted Stanford's offer of admissions. Beavers chop down trees... haha.
  • Massive studying/cramming for the FE exam. The test is on the 25th. I hope I can pass...
  • CPW just happened. Yalu hosted a prefrosh. I managed not to participate in a single CPW madness event.
  • Volunteered for the Boston Marathon today. It was freezing out, again. We were working at the hydration station before the start line so not a whole lot of people wanted water. So we ended up wasting a lot of water. So sad. Bad management. You'd think that if there are people who volunteer for this year after year, they would learn??
  • I think I will start working in NYC right after graduation. Need to find some temporary housing before moving in with Yalu.
  • I will miss Patriots day weekend.
  • After this week, all my classes will have a ton of stuff due so I will be even more hosed...
  • Can't believe I am finishing up my undergraduate education already.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

The semester so far

Warning: This post is a bit on the boring side... Just writing down my thoughts about the semester so far.

Can't believe I was in California again this past weekend. I'm so glad I don't have any plans this weekend. It's good to be able to catch up with work again. I'm really worried about all these projects that I have to do. All of my classes have some form of group projects and I feel like we haven't made much progress at all. Anyway, hopefully things won't get too hectic at the end of the semester.

This semester has been very fuzzy. I guess part of it is that we spent all of IAP somewhere else and didn't really get any time to adjust back to MIT life when school started. And all of my classes have long term projects instead of regular psets, so they seem to drag out forever. Spring break was another blur since I travelled to several states in the course of a week. I actually left before spring break actually started so it was just one continuous thing.

Let's see, let me write about my classes this term since I haven't talked about them much.

First, anthropology. I'm doing quite well in this class. I finished all the reading over spring break. Actually, I liked having some readings to between other pset. But whatever, very relaxing now that I've finished the readings. I just need to write 2 more reader responses, 2 more essays, and I'm done. Well, there's a final but that shouldn't be too bad. The class has been pretty interesting. Like linguistics, it's more scientific than I had expected. It's pretty cool to learn about cultures and trying to figure out people and their activities. I wish I had discovered this sooner. I think I would have enjoyed taking more history and anthropology classes. They're subjects that I didn't know much about in high school and therefore didn't explore them (or didn't know they existed) in college. Had I known how interesting they are, I probably would have done them instead of some other HASS classes I have taken. Maybe I'll have the chance to listen in on some classes in grad school? Would I have time?

Senior project design. This class is so much work! Way more than 12 units. They should either scale it back or make it 18 units. We have 3 projects. We're done with one of them but they're all so much work. Right now we're designing a vertical farm and building a bridge. A vertical farm is a building where you grow food in. So instead of growing stuff in the ground, you can grow it indoors. We're basically seeing how feasible it is to adopt such a food producing method and then making a design for one. The other project is building a 2'x10' footbridge that can carry 1 ton (2000 lb). We're in the process of finalizing our design - drawing and calculating stresses. We went to Home Depot today to look at some building materials.

Project Evaluation. They should just call this engineering economics. This class is all about money. I'm actually not too sure what's happening in this class. I always zone out in class... I really don't like looking at money and financing things. We're supposed to pick a major project and analyze financial stuff. Not too sure what's happening here.

Engineering Systems. We're supposed to be planning out a high speed rail system for Portugal. This is actually something that the country is interested in doing. Sounds interesting but we still haven't done anything concrete or analytical. Still on the writing about stakeholders stage. I think we're just going to end up making a lot of assumptions and our end product is going to turn out to be something fuzzy instead of something usable.

Steel. I'm taking a class on steel construction. The instructor is very interesting. He's an actual structural engineer and he brings in stories from work. The homeworks are a little hard since it's a grad class. But I don't mind. I actually learn a lot from this 2 hr a week class. It's making me rethink whether I only want to be a geotechnical engineer or possibly do something more structural related.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Summer Plans

It's unbelievable how popular it is to shower at midnight. Seriously, I've been waiting for the shower for quite a while now. Okay, I've been avoiding blogging because there is simply too much to write about.

I'm leaving for Stanford again tomorrow. Can you believe it? Well, this time, I'm going for to help out with ESP over there. It's also very likely that I'll be involved with their ESP next year... Ahem, this might be another post. Anyway, I'm using this chance to bring some stuff home. I have accumulated sooo much stuff over these 4 years, it's amazing.

My summer plans always seem to work out over Spring Break. I got a call from Arup while on the bus from Ithaca to Philadelphia last week saying that they would like me as an intern. I had a good feeling about this place. It didn't seem like they were even interviewing any other candidates. I guess there's not a whole lot of people out there also who are interested in geotech, want to get a Masters in geotech, and have had experience already. So, I'm going to be working in New York City this summer. Yay. I've always wanted to live in NYC. Ever since I visited back in high school, I've thought that it would be a cool place to live. It seems fun. There's so many places to visit, things to do, and so many different people. I really like big cities. Anyway, this also means that I will be living with Yalu. I'm sure we can find time to hang out in the city together. It'll be fun.

I think I kind of like working. It's cool to meet new people and learn stuff. And internships are so cool because you're not really responsible for a whole lot but you have the chance to explore the company, the careeer, the discipline, etc. I think learning from people who are already in industry is very important. I met a few cool young professionals last summer and it was really cool talking to them about work, school, and life in general.

Anyway, I probably won't end up making a whole lot of money this summer. Last summer I lived at home. But this summer, I'll be paying rent, buying food, going out to museums, going out to eat, and doing other things. So much for saving for grad school. Oh wells...