grad school and why I’m loving it

I’m doing research in a design lab in which we BUILD THINGS.

How cool is that?

A good portion of my days are spent reliving my childhood love of playing legos.  except way cooler, and also much more frustrating.

Kinda like this, you know when you got the really big lego sets, where it was like build the space station or the castle.  You’d open all the little bags of legos, look at all the new pieces, and start paging through the instruction booklet and putting them together step by step until all those little pieces became the castle.

That’s what I get to do.  Except I have to write the directions myself first.  And then I have to order all those little pieces individually, and make sure they are exactly the right size and I have the right amount.  And sometimes when the right piece doesn’t exist, I have to make it myself.  And then when I have all the individual pieces I get to put it all together and make something really cool.

Although, usually what happens is I think I have all those little individual pieces ordered, and then they arrive and I realize I forget to include one more measurement, and now I have a bunch of solid three pegged legos, when what I really needed where the three pegged legos with the holes in them.  And now I have to assess if the design can be modified to make these pieces work, do we have some extras laying around that will do the job? or do I need to order new ones? or can I fix it myself with a drill/mill/saw/lathe/etc.

And at the end of the day I’m covered in machine grease and metal shavings and have boxes of all sorts of different parts sitting around me, and I’m happy because I can point to something and say, I added that today, or I made that part.

Pretty soon I’ll have the whole pirate ship.  And the little lego dude with the peg leg and the parrot too.

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2 Comments on “grad school and why I’m loving it”

  1. Mac Says:

    I’m envious.

    But the little dude with the peg leg and the parrot, I pocketed them when you weren’t looking. ‘Cause its always cool to show up at the last moment and put the final touch on somebody else’s pirate ship.

  2. Patti Klucas Says:

    So do you want Legos for Christmas?


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