Monday, March 7, 2011

The Life of a Contract Engineer: Week 6

Six weeks! Nearly a month and a half! That is about 10% as many weeks working as I was unemployed. It is a good start. I am still in the honeymoon phase with work though, I am so excited to go to work every morning that I sometimes wake up before my alarm. That being said, I sit at my desk just about all day long and I get antsy to move around a little bit and when 4 PM rolls around I want to go running. It's not that I want to leave work, it's that I want to run. I built up so much self-esteem and positive daily attitude around the simply act of running that even now it seems as important as ever. I'm addicted to running. But I am able to feed my habit with a mere 20 minutes per day and it keeps me mostly healthy so I don't plan on changing anytime soon.

Tuesday I spent the day training how to use another finite element software, HyperMesh. After Abaqus and Ansys, it will be my third FE software. It seems to be very powerful, but my experience is limited thus far.

This week I had a breakthrough Wednesday! The simulation that I have been working on for about three weeks worked! I mean I finally got all the boundary conditions and connections and material properties right so that the results were about what I expected. At 11:30 AM CST Wednesday I was ecstatic. I was so happy that you would have had a lot of trouble bringing down my enthusiasm. The next two and a half days were some of the most productive that I have had. I was setting up simulations and running them and getting results that made sense. Much of engineering is really common sense. I set up the specifics and run the model and I expect to see results in a certain range and when I do I know that I doing most of it right.

I ran 44 miles this week which is one mile more than last week. Sunday I ran 3.3 miles and every day I ran a little bit farther until Saturday I ran almost 10 miles. I had a massage Friday and the therapist poked and prodded and pressed until I was in pain and my muscle knots started to dissipate. I felt amazing better Saturday than I had for almost two weeks. It is amazing how someone besides me can stick a finger in my hip and put me in incredible pain which releases the knots and "toxins" from my muscles. I say toxins in quotes because I'm not really sure what that refers to but I assume it is something that prohibits my muscles from functioning their best. It was a good week.

Socially I had a rather nice week as well. I had two hour long phone conversations with two friends in other time zones. I don't talk to my friends often enough and it was nice to spend some time doing that. I also went out to eat with my sister and some of our friends twice. There was a little more social interaction than that, but I would rather not give the personal details of everything that I do.

This week was so good. Considering the number of the things that I did for the first time this week if they happen again I would be thrilled. If some of those things develop into greater parts of my life I will be even more thrilled! I am so fortunate.

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