Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Machining and Welding

Have you ever been machining?
'Tis grand fun.
I did some today.
I helped drill holes in an metal panel for an electrical enclosure.
We have a really neat drill to drill holes with.
But now I am all flecked with sparks of silver color.

Making thermocouples is also fun.
I learned how to make those last week.
Thermocouples are like temperature sensors made of two different kinds of metal welding together. The insulation is stripped from one end of the wire and the two pieces of metal are twisted together. Then they are welded to form a tiny bead on the end. The bead must not be too far from the edge of the insulation.

It is tricky getting the wires to weld together properly. But the satisfaction of seeing the little metal bead is always worth it.

Because it is difficult to weld them, we always prepare a ton of these wires. Then some go in the reject pile when they refuse to weld or the weld is wrong.

After welding, we calibrate the thermocouples. Then more of the couples end up in the reject pile because they will not measure temperature correctly.

The reject pile is nearly always larger than the acceptance pile.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Character Building

Summer break has come and I have moved to a new apartment and started work.
Roommate M and I moved from our old apartment which we shared with three other girls to a new apartment with just us. We are so happy with our new place because it is cozy but has a most beautiful living room. We are planning on hosting many things in it.

But we have also decided to go without internet for the summer. We said it just might build character in us, though we're not sure about that...
Anyway, posting may slack off 'cause I'll only be online if I'm on campus.

Friday, May 16, 2008

Yummy Yummy Chicken and Lost Umbrellas

Bother, I left my umbrella in the food court.

And of course it only occurred to me after I walked out of the mall with my friends and loudly declared my most favorite line in the movie was "I left my new torch in Narnia!"
And it started sprinkling on me.

Ah well. At least the teriyaki chicken we had for lunch just before the 12:20 showing was good. We were convinced into buying it by the funniest nice lady handing out samples.

She came over to us as we walk in. Handing friend H a sample, she says "Yummy yummy chicken! Have some yummy yummy chicken!"
Handing more around to all of us, she continued, "See? Look, combo 1? yummy yummy chicken? teriyaki chicken?"
We look up at the menu board. The young man behind the counters sees us and nods his head and says, "You want yummy yummy chicken?"
Friend H stalls for time and asks "Can we think about it?"
"Oh yes! Have some yummy yummy chicken!"
We huddle. We were going to get lunch anyway and we were hungry. The samples tasted good and besides, who could refuse yummy yummy chicken?
So we all ordered combo 1: teriyaki chicken with lo mein noodles and some vegetables and a drink. Then we watched as they fried up the chicken and prepared the lo mein noodles. And it was good, though there was a lot of it. But in the last rush, I left my umbrella hanging on the back of the chair I was sitting on.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

A few final words

This finished off my series of posts about the MBTI, most of the stuff I learned in my PD1 (professional development 1) class this past semester.
There are a couple of things I wanted to mention before the end.

First, all this stuff has been heavily researched and all that and lots of other places can explain it probably better than I can. So if I didn't quite get something right, I probably misunderstood something (example: intuition/sensing is very confusing, and I just hope I have finally understood it).

Second, we were told this several times: these preferences are just that. Preferences. They are not to be excuses. I needed to hear this when I found myself using some of my preferences as excuses for why I did act out of my preference when it would have been better if I had.

And last, you are perhaps (or perhaps not) wondering what my own preferences are. Well, I am an INTJ. Those letters stand for introvert, intuitive, thinking, judging.
The N stands for intuition because the I was already used for introvert. E, S, F, and P all stand for extrovert, sensing, feeling, and perceiving respectively. So, if you've ever taken something and gotten some combination of four letters that looks something like that, it's probably your MBTI type. ISTJ is the most common set of preferences for engineers with the INTJ's coming up closely behind it. So I am a pretty typical engineer...good thing I'm majoring in it.

UPDATE: Oh yes! and one very last thing which I meant to say but forgot: The preferences are not meant to categorize your whole entire personality. Do not think that it does! It has nothing to do with you artistic inclinations, your musical preferences, whether you are shy or not, etc.... It is mainly for those preferences that will affect teams and groups. A team with personality conflicts will tend to have these conflicts mainly with the MBTI preferences. So they are useful for group situations. Occasionally it is good to recognize them in other situations too, but not necessarily. Okay that really is the end now.

Judging vs. Perceiving

I have recovered from the week of finals and study and, having collected my grades, am now enjoying a bit of repose with my family before starting work for the summer. (Research in heat transfer, pressures, temperatures, heat fluxes, etc.)
So 'tis high time for the last dichotomy of the MBTI dichotomies.

This dichotomy concerns how people interact with the outside world, with external factors. The judging and perceiving words can be most misleading to a lot of people. I think these may be the ones most widely different from their usual meanings (though the introvert/extrovert may be most misunderstood).

A judger tends prefers order and organization. They may like to write lists. In a group setting, they will probably attempt to form some type of structure for the group and will schedule as many things as they can.

A perceiver prefers to leave things more open-ended. They can find too much structure to be stifling.

As with all the others, just because one has a preference does not mean that person cannot act in one of the other preferences. Judgers can deal with spontaneity and even be spontaneous at times, they just tend to prefer more scheduling. Some people think judgers are more competent than perceivers, i.e. they will get more work done sooner and better. But this is not true. Perceivers may not organize things in ways that managers of groups like, but they can still be extremely competent.

I had the most experience with conflicts in groups caused by this differences in preference of this particular dichotomy. This past semester I was in a design group of seven people. Five had perceiving preferences and two had judging preferences. The entire group as a whole worked more as perceivers. We scheduled things as little as possible, set up no leadership, and generally let people work on the pieces of our design as they wished. Whenever we met for a meeting outside of class (which only occurred when we had reports and presentations due), the judgers organized the pieces for everyone to do and we sat and did them. The perceivers were mostly happy with the arrangement, but the judgers felt the project could have been done faster with more scheduling. But we did get the project done and turned in on time.