There wasn’t a final boss battle, or ultimate mission aboard a pirated space freighter to recover The Degree, or arena deathmatch with all 190-odd students in Mechanical Engineering, or anything like that. It was more like Pokemon – a long and winding, nonlinear but directed adventure game of collecting all the requirements, training them, and then… nevermind, that didn’t work. Though a deathmatch would have been really hardcore and awesome.
How on earth did I pull that off? In recent history, I’ve been a total academic slacker, mostly to concentrate on building everything ever. I really let myself go this term, pretty much emerging with the bare minimum grades possible, and I’m sure there were several opportunities where I could have been DENIED. Kind of scary to think about.
Anyways… what do I mean when I say I technically got the degree?
I’ve never been a celebratory person, so instead of walking at Commencement, I chose instead to pick up my degree later. In lieu of participating in the ceremony, I hauled a bunch of my stuff over to the Mechanical Engineering open house tent and set up a display for the reception afterwards. Every year, the MechE department (with our joyous kindergarten-esque banner) displays a bunch of projects from students, teams, research groups, and the like. So naturally, I took the opportunity to turn this into another demo event.
After all, my life isn’t complete without convincing someone every day that all we do here is build dumb shit, right?
The scene, before the Commencement ceremonies ended and everybody swarmed the tent for free food. Other mechanical contraptions in attendance include the FSAE race cars (shown), the solar car team, and a few international development projects.
And afterwards. Much merry was made, goodbyes were exchanged, and I definitely got an average amount of “what does THIS do?!” questions. Unfortunately, I didn’t really have conclusive answers for many of them, because not even I know what the hell my stuff does half the time. Usually it blows up or becomes Internet-famous.
And there you have it.