Of becoming the youngest Engineer ever and giving back
I was brought up with what some might call a blessing and a curse. Back in my middle school days, I liked to think of it as just a curse. I don’t like tooting my own horn. Nevertheless, for the sole purpose of this account, I’ll have to point out some facts that could be mistaken for toots. You see, I was extremely smart and picked up concepts in a flash not hesitating to correct teachers and show them easier ways of approaching problems. This put me smack down in the middle of crossroads with the insecure teachers who saw me as a threat to their god stature in the classroom.
Not wanting to see my gift die off by the wayside, dad enrolled me into a private catholic prep school hugging the edges of northern Maine close to the Canadian border. This was done strategically to allow me to totally immerse myself in my studies and not be led into big city Jezebel temptations (women it turns out, are suckers for superbly smart fellows such as myself). This prep school had a propensity of yielding societal movers and shakers such as diplomats, Senators and Fortune 500 CEO’s; The tradition has persisted without fail over the years. After the evening prayers, we spent many a night excitedly discussing new fascinating ways of utilizing logarithm tables and how we could change the fate of future generations through Applied Dynamics of Advanced Metaphysics. Everything was in Latin and we couldn’t have had it any other way.
One day, in the regal Victorian-style school library named after Admiral Rothensberg Markley, a distinguished alumnus, I discovered an Economics article in a New York Times newspaper that would forever change my life. Towards the end of my senior year, I had begun receiving offers from a myriad of Ivy League colleges in earnest. I strongly felt that spending 4 or more years at say MIT, was really shortchanging humanity’s prosperity. I was ready to get down and dirty in the trenches NOW.
The little strip of ad almost jumped out of the classifieds instantly drawing me in. Murray Technical Institute was located in the outskirts of Akron OH. It had a student population of 349 with a staffing that ensured the lowest student-faculty ratio I’ve seen to date. What’s more, they even had an accelerated program towards being an Engineer.
It turns out being exceptionally bright has its perks and I was able to obtain a federal loan pretty easily. The application process to the engineering program was flawless. I think it was hurried along after I mailed over my high school diploma with an attached glowing recommendation from Sister Marie Cavanaugh, my prep school’s Headmistress. As expected, I cruised through the 3 month course and didn’t even have to pay a single dime upfront.
Many people ask me what it takes to accomplish so much within such a short period of time. I tell them, I honestly don’t know. I’m very blessed and don’t underestimate my good fortune in any way. While my education is generally over and done with, the next phase in helping the world become a better place is just beginning. I moved up the ladder at TransUnion Freight very quickly. I’m now the nighttime Chief Engineer responsible for the 150-ton diesel engine my employer recently procured from General Electric. I called upon my creativity prowess and named her Big Bertha much to the respectful glee of the crew working the yard that night. I operate out of the LA port making sure imports from Malaysia reach our clients all over California, Nevada and Texas in the most efficient and cheapest way possible. I’d say the biggest challenge has been this treacherous stretch of rail from San Francisco to Carson City. The track loops around numerous steep hills and I’ve developed callouses in both my hands struggling with the brakes and air horn. Who knew there’d be so many vagabonds and wild animals to shoo out of the way of a lumbering train? On weekends, me and my conductor get to refuel Big Bertha’s giant fuel tanks with diesel for the trip back to the LA harbor. We also clean her intricate wiring and gizmos with a high powered hose to rid of all the nasty grease trying to clam up her dainty works. It’s been quite a journey.