Monday, April 4, 2011

The Life of a Contract Engineer: Week 10

Wow, ten weeks as a real engineer! This past week was once again exciting. I made more arrangements for my new life to begin in Dubuque, Iowa. I also managed to have a productive week at Kohler.

Working at Kohler Power Systems was the best career opportunity I could possibly have had. I was able to live at home for a few more months both saving money and seeing my family. Additionally, the people I worked with and still am working with were simply fantastic! I was able to participate in a contract position for a not yet finished three months, of which I spent about two months learning how to use two new-for-me softwares (ANSYS and HyperMesh). I was basically paid to learn new software and I feel I am leaving now before they really get to use my new skills. That being said, one of the experienced engineers I was sitting next to has repeatedly said that it was worth it for them to hire me. I suppose, but I feel that the amount of work that I did for the salary that I received is out of proportion. Fortunately, feeling are not fact and I'll take the money.

Saturday I went apartment shopping in Dubuque. I found an amazing apartment! It's not finalized yet but I am hopeful that it will work out.

As far as running is concerned, I had an amazing week. After recovering from my breakthrough 14 mile tempo workout last week I managed on Wednesday to run 4 x 1600 meters in an average of 5:18 with 400 meters of rest in about 1:45-50. A nice workout but nothing special. Then Friday, after eight hours of work, and only seven of sleep, I did a 16 mile tempo in a whopping 1:35. That's a 5:57 per mile average, for 16 miles! That is the longest tempo I have had yet. Mentally it wasn't very hard either, physically it was not easy, but the pace was so slow that two minutes after I was done my breathing was back to normal. A total of 90 miles for the week with 20 of those miles in workouts, I think that is the most quality I have ever done in one week.

I am running a half marathon this Saturday which is exciting because I am quite sure that I will set a personal record regardless of how well I feel on the day. Of course the time of my race will determine how my training goes in the next few weeks as I hope to run a marathon in the next two or three months.

Other things of note? I wrote less than a thousand words on my book this week. I think that it is time to edit and rearrange the book. I think that process will add or subtract up to 3000 words from the book as I delete repeated ideas and add supplemental ideals or illustrations. I discussed two parts of the book this week with two different people. I am especially excited about one section that I call, "The Exercises". In short it is a how-to section about how to change your thinking. I feel the most significant lesson that I learned from unemployment was to solidify my priorities and value my gifts. In other words, appreciate relationships more. However, it is far more complicated than that, thus I devote many pages to that aspect.

One more thing, which I will likely blog about separately in the future is that while things seem to be working out for me really well now, I don't deserve this. Suffering through a year of unemployment does not entitle me to all of the privileges that I am beginning to enjoy. However, it does help me to appreciate those privileges more now than I had in the past. I am very happy that I was unemployed for so long after becoming a master of science. I can not think of anything, aside from a death experience in Pakistan, that has helped me appreciate my life as much. I am so fortunate, and based on the people that I know that read my blog I hope that you too realize how fortunate you are and do not take that for granted.

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