Essay PreviewMore ↓
"The Refrigeration cycle begins with refrigerant R-134a proceeding to ..."
Most pencils are hard at work, taking diligent notes. Some students stare into the board, attempting to imprint the entire schematic of the Refrigeration cycle into their memories. Others take a shot of Mountain Dew to clear the mental passages, or wake up from the previous evening. Concentration levels run high, as we all endeavor to excel at what we have been doing for the last several years -- pursuing an engineering degree.
Each student in that Thermodynamics classroom had by this point in his or her undergraduate engineering career settled comfortably into the American engineering lifestyle. We had all gone through Statics as freshman, struggled with Dynamics as sophomores, and went on to tackle the curriculum that lay ahead. Gradually many of us became involved in campus organizations or committees. We bought organizer calendars, and watched the days fill up with meetings and activities that quenched our thirst for involvement and drove us to achieve in and out of the classroom. We dove into the crazy, driven and exciting pace of life at a very reputable Big Ten University, ready to reap all of the benefits that an undergraduate degree has to offer.
As one of the thirty students in that very classroom, I had come to know this lifestyle well. To me it was the best and most intense of all worlds that I had seen up to that point in life, and it was the most satisfying. Yet being comfortable in the realm of undergraduate engineering arose in me a curiosity about other worlds. The curiosity developed into an urge to deviate from the well-founded path, and risk stepping into a complete unknown.
The wheels began to turn, the plans formed, and several semesters later I was sitting in a somewhat different classroom.
The students numbered around 60. They sat at long desks, ten seats in a row, elbow to elbow. Their style of dress was similar to what I knew, though there was not a baseball cap to be found on top of anyone's brow. They sat attentively, pens in hand, paper ready for taking serious notes. The professor stood before the room, waiting as stragglers walked in. No bell rang to signify the start of class. When enough stragglers had made it in, the professor walked over to the door and shut it.
How to Cite this Page
"A Glimpse of Culture From the Eyes of an Engineer." 123HelpMe.com. 20 Feb 2020
Need Writing Help?
Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.Check your paper »
- It seems that every era from ancient times to modern times has engineers playing a strong role in the development of society; they build many structures that identify that culture and time period. Engineers create something out of an idea; they fill a need and fulfill a dream such as a skyscraper that no one thought would ever be possible. “Scientists investigate that which already is; engineers create that which has never been” (Albert Einstein). Civil engineering is the professional engineering discipline that deals with the design, and construction, and built something like rods, bridge, dam and building.... [tags: Civil engineering, Engineering, Engineer]
1293 words (3.7 pages)
- A Glimpse into Aristotelian moral theory When it comes to philosophy and philosophers there are many great thinkers that seem to originate in one’s mind. One philosopher that many had heard in some form is the ancient Greek philosopher Aristotle. Aristotle is one the most recognized philosopher, dating all the way back to over 350 B.C. Aristotle has thought up great theories that have affected almost every aspect of human knowledge. His wide range of wisdom has shaped history forever. Aristotle’s ethics has been described teleological, meaning that all things are for the interests of humans.... [tags: Ethics, Morality, Aristotle, Happiness]
1033 words (3 pages)
- Someday in life everyone has to get a job either related to their career or to make their living. Most of the people who get job is related to one’s career. One of the booming career these days in engineering, and among them aerospace engineering is one of the highly paid career and really interesting to work in. In the career of aerospace engineering, engineers usually have to work really hard. In this field, one mostly work on building or designing aircrafts based on the requirement. To be a successful aerospace engineer one needs to gain a lot of education and should be able to work in any environment.... [tags: Aerospace Engineer, Career]
1297 words (3.7 pages)
- During my work experience at , I was fortunate enough to have experienced firsthand and learned, many different sides of what goes into a project, the general process of how a project is initially planned, developed and completed; as well as how much work and detail goes into every stage. Another valuable lesson I have learned during these 12 weeks, were the many different types of work an Engineer has to perform, which in turn, have provided me with more insight into the different types of roles and responsibilities that I could perform, as a Civil Engineer.... [tags: Civil engineering, Civil engineer, Engineering]
1061 words (3 pages)
- In addition, this is hopefully not too bold and for the most part very true: as one walks into a building or construction of any sort (subtract those of course which are dilapidated and old) does one stop to think that perhaps one should not enter because the roof may cave in owing to either poor design or build. Of course, not. This is so because there is a certain trust the general public and other professionals place in an engineer. A trust, that through centuries of designing and building has been established and henceforth, wishes to be protected, maintained, and to some extent, even improved upon.... [tags: Engineering, Engineer, Civil engineering]
898 words (2.6 pages)
- Mechanical Engineer: Inventor of The New World In the midst of the darken night, hearing the roars of thunder filling the sky, a young man is studying to become an inventor to generate a new world. Trying to create a world without hearing sirens running down the street every five minutes or hearing gun shots that sound like firecrackers is challenging. He became numb to these, trying to find a way out to make his home better and become an engineer that can make his dreams happen. Truly, the creators of technology is the builder of the new world that advances technology to benefit and connect everyone to each other.... [tags: Engineering, Professional Engineer]
2062 words (5.9 pages)
- Career as a Chemical Engineer If you were to never look up the definition of chemical engineering you would still have a slightly basic idea of what they deal with: chemistry and engineering. This is one of the main reasons why I want a career in chemical engineering. I have been fascinated with studying in a field of science for as long as I can remember. At first I only planned on majoring in chemistry, but as I grew older and learned more about math and science I decided that chemical engineering is what I actually want to major in and work with until I retire.... [tags: Chemical engineering, Professional Engineer]
1596 words (4.6 pages)
- We aspire to be good professionals. As engineering students, we spend four years, sometimes more, learning how to optimize productions, reduce costs, and apply the scientific knowledge to the design and production of devices we expect will have some impact on the world. We learn how to deal with the most cutting edge technology, and how to adapt our thoughts to it. We learn to be competitive and meet the needs of employers. That, among other characteristics, makes an engineer a good professional.... [tags: Engineering, Engineer, Mechanical engineering]
1590 words (4.5 pages)
- An engineer has a minimum of 11-12hrs working in the engine room before they shift to other engineers, in 12hrs of working inside the engine room; they were exposed in different kinds of chemicals and in a very high temperature under the engine room, Engine rooms are commonly hot that is why we can’t prevent this accidents, and a very hot temperature can cause a severe damage to the person if it will not be cured instantly. Chemicals also are harmful to engineers; a wrong move can cost your life in danger.... [tags: engine heat, engine room, marine engineer ]
1046 words (3 pages)
- Immigrants Breath, Eyes, Memory Having to move to another country is not an east task because you are leaving behind everyone that you know since you are a little kid. Sophie was experiencing this because now she must drop everything and jump in a plane to reunited with her mother which she only have heard her voice. Haiti and Tante Atie was all Sophie knew, the freedom that she had to run around or just play with kids from across the street while the hot sun is kicking in. Tante Atie for Sophie was the mother that she always wanted; a mother that would wait for her outside when she returned from school or a mother that would tell her stories when she couldn't fall asleep.... [tags: Their Eyes Were Watching God Essays]
948 words (2.7 pages)
"La ganga se forma en el escorial del horno alto..."
The class was Metallurgy, the setting was La Escuela Superior de Ingenieros Industriales (The Superior School of Engineering) of Madrid, Spain. From being one of the thousands at University of Wisconsin-Madison, I went to being one of two Americans in a top Spanish engineering university. I was embarking upon an adventure that would make significant waves in my conservative view of life.
When I arrived in Madrid as an exchange student, I expected to perfect my grasp of the Spanish language, to try new food, to meet people, and to bring home many souvenirs. What I brought home instead was an array of ideas that challenged my priorities and attitude. By stepping through the doorway of a completely different culture, I met a nation which sees life as a balance between work and play, with an emphasis on the play. As I gradually learned the faces of the Spanish society, I saw the many wonderful results of this approach to life, as well as some aspects that leave much to be desired. Through the city streets of Madrid and the people who fill them, the lessons of Spanish life unfolded before me.
The University Life
The first lesson was to be found in the university system. Coming from the very intense pace of the University of Wisconsin-Madison College of Engineering, some basic aspects of engineering school in Madrid shocked me. Before I had time to learn the fundamentals of the system, the most obvious contrast jumped out at me -- no homework and no mid-term exams. All grades depend on final exams. To an exchange student struggling to grasp the language, this was a pleasant surprise. Gradually, friends and professors explained to me the many details of the system, and soon I had the whole picture.
An engineering undergraduate degree in Spain takes six years, in theory. In practice, seven or eight are more common. The emphasis of the engineering education is theory. Practical application of engineering concepts holds little space in the curriculum. Lack of time often prevents professors from teaching practical problem solving in class. And the idea of homework does not fit into the mind set of a Spanish university. Professors do not want to take the time to correct homework problems, and students do not want to take the time to solve them. Exam material, however, is usually split evenly between theory and practical problems. Consequently, students tend to fail at least half of their finals.
To offset complete failure, students receive up to three opportunities to retake the exams. If that does not help, the class must be taken again. Repeating failed classes accounts for the extra years of their undergraduate experience.
This academic structure creates a fairly relaxed student life. A typical school morning begins with breakfast in the cafeteria with friends. Mid-day brings everyone together again for a long lunch followed by conversation over coffee. Some then return to class or labs, while others head home. Going out on weeknights is common among the students; going out on weekends is unquestioned second nature. This routine lasts for the four exam-free months of each semester. During exam time the stress levels do rise, but a month of studying allows ample time to pace oneself.
The university served as a perfect model of what I would discover in most facets of Spanish society. On one hand, its design provides an education that I as an American student found less effective than our own. Since their education is based on a less intense work ethic than Americans are accustomed to, Spanish students spend seven to eight years earning a degree that may be not be better than our four-year diploma. The Spanish university does not provide nearly as many extra curricular activities as an American university offers. Also, professors do not put forth the same long hours of research as do American professors. As a result, Spanish universities are not able to fund vast resources such as computer facilities or cutting-edge laboratories.
On the other hand, there is a unique aspect of the student atmosphere that results from their educational system. The years Spanish students spend in engineering school contain less stress and more enjoyment than most American engineering students could fathom. Competition is scarce. The Spanish take their academic successes with great excitement, and their failures with calm acceptance. Through it all they form close bonds with one another that supersede academic pursuits.
The lesson of school was a reflection of a much larger lesson that I was to learn about the drastic underlying differences between the Spanish lifestyle and the American one. They are subtle differences which may not jump out at a visitor walking down the streets of Madrid. At first glance, the basic elements of life seem fairly similar to the American scene. Certainly the cars are smaller, the streets are more crowded, and the air of the Spanish has its own style. But in a large city like Madrid, everyone appears to follow a routine much as we do. The Spanish go to work in massive office buildings, attend school in large universities, dress very well, and even slip an occasional McDonald's and Pizza Hut into their streets. It takes some time and interaction to realize that it is neither the small cars nor the delicious Spanish cuisine that make their society innately different from ours. It is the attitude, the philosophy of life that separates us.
The people I met worked, yet really put a great importance on enjoying life. The long conversations during school days, and the weekend nights of music and dancing (that often ended with breakfast at sunrise) reflect the love of life that transcends every part of Spanish society.
The subtle details of the city atmosphere echo the same message. There is not a street in Madrid that does not have a sidewalk on each side. Most are lined with cafes, shops, restaurants and bars. At any hour of the day one can find customers in any cafe, sipping a soda and chatting, or simply enjoying a good book. Crowds of strolling pedestrians fill the sidewalks at all hours.
The structure of the Spanish day embodies the agreeable lifestyle. The day begins anytime from 8:00 am to 10:00 am. Everyone floods the public transportation system at about 9:00 am to head to work. All are hard at work until 1:00 p.m., when the mid-day meal takes places. At this point all stores, banks, and offices shut down for two to four hours. This gives everyone a chance to eat a large meal, and take the customary mid day nap known as the "siesta". After the siesta normal activity resumes for several more hours. Families eat supper at about 10:00 p.m., and often end the day with a leisurely activity before retiring to bed.
Government policy also favors the Spanish way of life. It is mandated, for example, by government law that all enterprises give their employees a month of vacation during the year. That applies to employees of every age and experience level. So during the month of August many cities become ghost towns as their inhabitants travel off to other parts of the world.
This wonderful lifestyle has two direct impacts on Spanish society: a warmer people and a poorer economy. Enjoying life certainly has its economic consequences. Spain as a whole is substantially poorer than the rest of Europe. The lagging economy makes jobs a highly sought but less than ample commodity. Many young people are forced to postpone marriage until their late twenties or early thirties because they cannot find a job.
The ins and outs of everyday life also show signs of economic stagnation. The technology available to the general public is scant in comparison to most of the Western world. Computers are slowly creeping into the everyday scene. Streets are lined with pay phones because not everyone can afford a personal phone. Dorms will often have one general phone for all residents. Since efficiency is not a virtue, one can often come to a bank and wait an hour in a line that consists of two people. Life is neither as convenient as we are used to in the United States, nor is it as materialistic. People have fewer possessions, smaller closets and cheaper cars than an average American.
Though the society is poorer, interaction and friendships with the Spanish showed me that the lifestyle they embrace creates people whose lives and characters are rich indeed. As one of the first Americans to have ever studied at the Escuela Superior de Ingenieros Industriales, I found myself in a sink or swim situation. No precedents had been set, no guidelines given. Initially I felt lost in a sea of people who knew what they were doing. But the Spanish character would not let that last long. By the third day of class I had met classmates who offered their notes in lecture and invitations to join them out on the weekends. They were full of questions about our world and explanations about theirs. No one ever minded taking the time to explain things, to rephrase chunks of conversations that I could not grasp, or to simplify their speech to my level.
It was the many small encounters with people that to me emphasized their disposition as a whole. Since students in a major spent all of their time together, they formed very strong friendships and close knit groups. Yet when foreigners came along into their world, they opened their arms to welcome us. Many would make a special effort to strike up conversation with us, to make certain that foreign students did not feel alone. I was truly amazed at how freely the people I encountered gave their time to others. There were no planning calendars involved, only people.
The sum of all the lessons learned from my time in Spain was a better understanding of two very different philosophies of life. Each holds its own beauties and pitfalls. The American system of values rests mainly on hard work. Our role models allow work to become a priority to which they devote much of their lives. As a result we live in a relatively affluent society, in comparison to most. Yet the opportunities for prosperity that our society offers often become an end in themselves. Many of us tend to measure our success and happiness by the size of the paycheck, the house or the car. These things become the rewards of our long hours of labor.
The Spanish measure happiness on a different scale. Value is placed on living life to the fullest extent, and it is the people that make it full. Young and old alike can be found drinking and dancing until dawn. It may not make the next daily highly productive, but it makes the evening extremely satisfying. They are quite aware of the economic implications of their way of life. Often they become frustrated with the lagging state of the economy,.but in the end they realize that it is a result of the lifestyle that they choose as a society. Generally it is a choice which they make with pride. A Spanish friend put it in simple terms by saying to me, "We work to live, you live to work."
The different ways of life are reflected in the characters of the two societies. In America we focus our lives on hard work coupled with rugged individualism. We strive to be a nation full of individuals who embrace independence and achievement.
The Spanish culture creates a people full of warmth and cheer. The race they run is a calmer one. They reap a great deal of joy from life. Their joy is the kind that cannot be boxed, but can most certainly be felt in their demeanor and seen in their eyes.
Knowing that there is value to each way of life, I find myself searching for a way to reconcile the two ideologies into something applicable to our lives here. Certainly we will never have two-hour lunches, nor should we. The American work ethic is a unique characteristic that makes our country flourish. Yet there is much that we can learn from the Spanish in finding a balance that brings economical and personal fulfillment. Where the balance lies is a subjective question that holds a different answer for every individual. More knowledge always brings that answer one step closer.