Monday, November 1, 2010

Another month!

Wow, it's November already! Taking Thanksgiving break into account, we have about a month of classes left in this quarter. I just took a midterm this morning and it's such a big relief to get that over with. I wonder how well I did... I swear I was making up some laws of physics on that test. I think I'm going to put on the final in big bold letters, "Not a structural engineer." That should help when they're trying to decipher why I did things the way I did.

I went to a talk about Burma today. It was centered around the elections that the country is having on Nov 7th. There is a lot of dissatisfaction with the current regime and talks of how this coming election is a sham, that there is no democracy at all. The rest of the talk was highly political and reasons why the nearby countries are all secretly (or openly) supporting the regime in order to get natural resources. It's not really stuff that I want to get involved in. Politics are not for me. But it was really interesting nevertheless. I've gotten a lot more interested in SE Asia lately and Burma is a country that I don't know very much about. I just finished browsing wikipedia about the country. It seems like there are many opportunities there for people like me to do work in. I think it's a plus that I can fit in and not attract a ton of unnecessary attention. Hm... something else to think about for the future.

I went to the EWB West Coast Workshop on Saturday. It was very interesting. People are working on some really great projects out there. But such being a part of such a big organization has its drawbacks, for example, the amount of paperwork and bureaucratic stuff they have to deal with. I mean, it makes sense for the national organization to keep track of their chapters and make sure that their brand doesn't get used inappropriately.

Anyhow, the workshops were interesting and I really enjoyed chatting with the people there. Again, I wish organizers of these events would get the hint that people want to talk to people who are working on the same topics. I went to a water related workshop and they had three 20 minute presentations (Q&A included). People were asking questions during the presentations and the presenters had to ask that they keep the questions until the end. And at the end of every presentation, 10+ hands immediately shot up. They were all very relevant and interesting questions. You can tell that people are asking questions because they have run into similar problems and want to know what other people have done. I think it would have made a whole lot more sense to have just one very short presentation and then do a more extensive Q&A session. It doesn't have to be project related either. There could be a breakout session on water that consists of one short presentation about a project and then discussion of technologies used, best practices, etc. And if there are more specific interests, people can break into smaller groups to talk to each other about solutions. Much easier to facilitate networking and sharing of ideas this way than to try to make it happen during the breaks.

I've got a couple more blog entries in mind that are more thought provoking. I just thought I should write about some current events in my life before launching into other topics. Stay tuned for more "Lucy's views of the world" posts!


Yalu said...

I have a subscription to the economist and now I understand why my economics professor doesn't read it - there are a ton of articles on world politics and they far outnumber the ones on the economy. And hardly any economics papers or research...

Duncan D. Horne said...

NOBODY knows much about Burma (or Myanmar as it is more popularly known). Not sure if you'd want to go and work there though..

Check out my life in Malaysia, South-east Asia at: