If great responsibility comes with great power, what are you supposed to do with a great sense of humor?
If my calculations are correct (and I really hope they are today), when this posts, I'll be sitting in a small room at Bismarck State College with around 30 other professionals taking an exam to earn my Structural Engineer license.
I earned my Professional Engineer license back in 2004 while I still worked in Kansas. I spent more than 200 hours studying that time, starting about over 2 months before the test and covering all the areas of Civil Engineering: environmental, transportation, geotechnical, water resources, and structures. I was earning my master's degree at the time, and I counted my time in class as study time. I had also taught half of my company's PE structures review for 3 years by then. The NCEES doesn't give a score for the test, just pass/fail, so I don't know how well I did, but the 8 hour, 80 question test took me roughly 5 hours. I felt good going in, and better coming out, but the test only had a 65% pass rate at the time, so I didn't do too much premature celebrating. I was pleasantly but mildly surprised when I got the results saying I passed, just in time for Christmas.
4 years later...
I had always planned on taking the SE exam within a year or two of earning my master's degree, so when my boss told me I should take it this fall (earned my MCE from KU in 2006), I didn't have to be signed up kicking and screaming. But then the late summer/early fall got away from me. We were involved in 3 weddings since the end of August, and we've both been busy with work and parent stuff. I tried studying at home. Didn't work. I tried studying at work. Didn't work. I finally got desperate and crashed the MSUM library to study, and wow, what a difference that made. I got maybe 40 hours of studying done there versus 30 at home. I could get more done in a 3 hour session than I could in a weekend at home. But I still didn't get to cover all the topics I needed to for this exam.
Last week I blogged a little about my professional life. This week, I'd like to share some pictures and words about the new I-35W bridge in Minneapolis, MN. I was able to visit the construction site while in the Cities for a class, and I followed on the Saturday morning sidewalk tour. I have Carl Something (not his real last name) from New York to thank for the shutterbuggery.
Also, if you're bored, the Minneapolis Star Tribune has a really awesome webcam. It's not "live", but it is real-time, so you can update it every few seconds and watch the little worker bees change position. For your own health and safety, don't call them "little worker bees" to their face. You can find the cam here: http://www.startribune.com/local/18346174.html?location_refer=Special%20Projects
Hey all, since I can't seem to organize the comic book related blog entries I've got floating in my head, I thought I'd give you a brief glimpse into what I do, which is bridge engineering. In my last job, I was kind of specialized in design for 4 years, then construction inspection for 3. In my new job, I've done everything but forensic engineering (think: why did that bridge fall down?), and I enjoy all of it. Yesterday, I got to get up at 3am to inspect a deck pour.
The bridge is about 130' long and 60' wide, including a 14' wide pedestrian walkway. Here are some pics.
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