Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Why I Doubted My Sister

I said several times over the weekend that I could not believe that my sister graduated from college. Quite a few people from my parents to my sister's friends asked me why I doubted. They all had the reaction that I should have had more faith in her. On the other hand, Saturday night when things calmed down my sister told me that it was nice I was her brother because I "get it" which means understanding what she went through more than any of our relatives. In other words people, I don't think most of you understand. Here are my reasons for doubting.

  1. Engineering school is hard. A private college science and engineering only school is very hard. I distinctly remember doing Intermediate Physics Mechanics II homework at midnight on a Saturday! Similarly, Spacecraft Design and Mission Planning at 2 AM on a Tuesday when I was the first of five people in our project group to go home for the night. This kind of work load is more than most are willing to suffer through.  Whether my sister suffered more than most or not I do not know, maybe she just articulated her suffering more than most. Either way, most at some point in an education like this harbor feelings that perhaps he or she should drop out and follow some other dream, like climb mountains. I suppose I considered my sister susceptible to this because sticking with something for four and a half years is more commitment than I saw her exercise while we both lived at home with our parents. Seeing her get through it... her effort makes it so valuable and rewarding for her. There were times the first few years when I worried she would take a semester off and not come back. However, she consistently kept at it and pulled the degree off. The effort that she brought to college to graduate will propel her into the next challenge, which will propel her through to the next after that. In other words, she will be a huge success in industry.
  2. My sister is one of the more social engineers. She is a social person in general. I feared that her extracurricular life might interfere with her graduating. 
That is why I doubted. It is not that I saw my sister as weak, it is that her opponent and other priorities were so strong. Once again: Congratulations Berea!

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