My songful fruitcake of a biography, this is the story of how one plucky art graduate (me) went on to study engineering halfway across the world and survived (so far)… the Confessions of an Artsy Engineer.


I. Forever Changed

First, let it be said that I have an honors bachelor of arts. And it’s wonderful. Truly. I got to study all sorts of interesting and unusual things at university that some people can’t even dream of. There was the tanuki, a fluffy raccoon-dog with enormously disproportionate testicles, and that time Aztec priests skinned (and … Continue reading I. Forever Changed

II. About This Confession

From a philosophical standpoint, it would be perfectly natural to start with a confession. After all, it is the first word in the title, and one must always define the important terms of an argument to avoid unnecessary misunderstandings. That seems a pretty obvious thing to do, but it appears it’s not always so, particularly … Continue reading II. About This Confession

III. The Damaged Goddess

Thus I was sick and tormented, reproaching myself more bitterly than ever, rolling and writhing in my chain till it should be utterly broken. By now I was held but slightly, but still was held. And thou, O Lord, didst press upon me in my inmost heart with a severe mercy, redoubling the lashes of … Continue reading III. The Damaged Goddess

IV. Hairpins & Hopscotch

I was what one might call…weird…at university. For one thing, I’m pretty sure I had the only dorm with matching towel sets and seasonal floral arrangements. I collected house plants and Renaissance prints, woke up to Enya, and my idea of a party was a single ticket to the ballet. There was that one time … Continue reading IV. Hairpins & Hopscotch

VI. Pasta on the Wall

I was fifteen. I was sitting in chemistry class, and had just been given back a test. The mark was of a kind I hadn’t seen since the fourth grade, when I drew a giant x across my paper and wrote “You did not cover this in class” across the top of it. Needless to … Continue reading VI. Pasta on the Wall

VII. Of Angels & Slaves

So, here we are. If you’re still reading these posts (Wow, you’re still reading? Thanks for the interest. xx)… If you’re still reading, the context of how I got to this point should be pretty clear now. I confess I’m not a very reverent person in the conventional sense. Though it has its uses, overly … Continue reading VII. Of Angels & Slaves

VIII. It’s Only a Pipe Dream

I have come to believe engineering is a lot like making a smoking pipe. (Now, I wouldn’t be much of an American if I didn’t pull out my theoretical safety scissors and emphasize that I said “making” and not “smoking.” I trust we are all mature enough here to handle this analogy without it influencing … Continue reading VIII. It’s Only a Pipe Dream

IX. A Dark Room

It should have been Doryphoros, the man I was thinking of—it would have made all the sense in the world if it was him—but it wasn’t. Against all logic, principles and pretty much everything I stand for, it was Barberini. It’s always Barberini… For as fun as it would be to write that I had … Continue reading IX. A Dark Room

X. Sparks Flying

The first time I saw it, I nearly swooned. Okay, ‘swoon’ might be slightly exaggerated, but it definitely stopped me in my tracks to the point where I nearly bent over backward to get a closer look. The picture was of a welder, with sparks flying everywhere so perfectly printed they looked like a firework … Continue reading X. Sparks Flying

XI. Starry Night

“Define the whole of your thesis at the beginning. Outline your argument in the intro!” It was a criticism I’d heard many times during the early days at university, and one I ever so reluctantly followed. There was no excitement, no suspense, I thought, in presenting your paper like that—it was like a gift of … Continue reading XI. Starry Night

XII. Raising Churches

So, there I was, buried in a mountain of papers that should have been filed, feeling quite sorry for myself that pursuing an engineering degree after a decade out of math was proving to be so difficult. During better days I had joked that despite having a fancy fine arts degree, I still chop onions … Continue reading XII. Raising Churches