Confessions of an Artsy Engineer

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), along with what I listened to as I went.


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 tanunki, a fluffy racoon-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