November 11, 2004 by Allen George
Middling, Good or Great?
After taking a flu shot it’s recommended that you wait around for 15 minutes. For what? Probably to ensure that you don’t keel over from some horrible reaction, die and have your parents sue the university, the Government of Ontario and the vaccine manufacturer.
Ok, so I picked the worst case scenario.
As I sat there, my ECE 318 lab instructor showed up. Taking a seat opposite me, he pulled out a copy of the EE Times and within a few seconds was absorbed. Minutes later I was joined by another classmate who, forced to undergo this 15 minute penance, decided to spend his time by studying ECE 427.
What was I doing?
I wasn’t studying or doing anything computer engineering related. In fact, I was simply editing a piece I’d written earlier this week. Observing their choice of activities, I asked myself – will I ever be a ‘good’ computer engineer?
I know it sounds odd – but see where I’m coming from. You’re always told that those who excel in their fields are the ‘true believers’. They’ve got a passion for their work and they enjoy it. Since they love what they do, they use the ‘free’ time they have to extend themselves in that area. That’s what makes the difference between a good engineer and a great one.
Do I see myself sitting down and spending my free time on engineering tasks? No.
Ergo, what will I be? Middling, good or great? I suppose it’s a rhetorical question – I don’t expect an answer. But it’s always useful to ask. At the time, I simply filed my reactions away…and went back to editing.
Surprisingly, my arm is sore and it’s a little stiff to type. I didn’t expect that.