Confessions of an Engineer

Hello, my name is Mark and I am an engineer. [Hello, Mark!] I work with many other people and most of them are engineers too. Being an engineer, I know that I am susceptible to the ravages of the terrible and debilitating curse of CNS. For those readers that are non-engineers or as we engineers like to refer to you as, civilians, CNS or Classic Nerd Syndrome is both the promise and the price that modern technology exacts upon America’s engineering class. As an engineering occupational hazard, CNS touches almost every one of us.

Some of us are able to rise above its most debilitating aspects and live almost normal lives. Some even marry, sometimes even to civilians. The most courageous of us even dare to have children. This is an especially dangerous proposition, because there is no test for CNS that has been approved for children. When you as an engineer first hold your new born baby in the delivery room, both beautiful and full of promise, a nagging fear can claw at your mind. Will this child have CNS? Boys are more susceptible to CNS then girls are, but somehow it is even more tragic in women. This is not sexism. Men with CNS have a much more robust support system than their female compatriots enjoy.

The cause of CNS has been discovered. The explanation of this cause is somewhat technical, so please bear with me. I’ll use an analogy, just to make it clearer to you civilians. Think of the human brain as a computer. Try to envision a PC inside your head. Not a Mac mind you, because we have all seen those I’m a PC/ I’m a Mac commercials and we are speaking about CNS. So, your brain is a PC and inside your brain is a motherboard. I warned you that it would get technical. For people with CNS, somewhere on their motherboard is an open slot. This open slot is where most people have their social awareness chip, but for sufferers of CNS there is no chip in the slot. 

So you have CNS, where do we go from here. You are still human and you feel the need for human interaction. You could hangout with other CNS sufferers, but you already do that all day at work. One advantage of CNS is the ability to earn a good wage. You could buy social interaction. I know, this smacks of prostitution, but I’m not talking about sex, yet. Volunteer. Take care of people less fortunate then yourself or champion other social causes, especially the ones that we can all get behind. No one gets fired from a volunteer organization, unless they are truly obnoxious.

How about exercise? I know what you are thinking, CNS sufferers as jocks? It has worked for me. Maybe not immediately, but as a CNS sufferer gets older, that 98 pound high school frame begins to pay some dividends, when the average weight of your graduating high school football team approaches three bills. I’ve chosen bicycling and it has worked great for me. That this sport has a high technology quotient is only serendipity. In the end each of us people with CNS must find are own path. I’m here to help you find yours.

The pictures with this post are from our first stop on last Saturday’s ramble. The Green Homes Festival was just kicking-off at the Missouri Botanical Gardens. We eschewed our normal, but still always choice bicycle parking spaces, a mere 100’ from the front door, for valet bike parking. It is only right; don’t you know when yours are the two greenest two vehicles on the lot. Last weekend’s Green Homes Festival is really just the warm-up act for this coming weekend’s Best of Missouri Festival. Green Homes erected the first pair of tents. Best of Missouri will have four of a kind. Still it is a fine festival on its own and an even better warm-up act. The pictures show various electric vehicles that were on display. US made plug-in hybrid cars, who says that CNS is debilitating?

12 thoughts on “Confessions of an Engineer

  1. Two of your nieces – Valdemort & Pengo-Janetto – are the spawn of an Engineer and a Mathematician… talk about double-nerd-genes. Yes, they are both sufficiently nerdly – and totally female, and have had all sorts of great support systems for their nerdiness. Not to mention, enthusiastic encouragement from their nerd-Mom. So, there are exceptions to your observation that it is “tragic” for females to be born nerdy! 🙂 Nice post!

  2. Karen, thank you for writing such a great comment. I have observed that Valdemort & Pengo-Janetto are both totally female, but I would take exception with your assertion that they are nerdy. Wait, wait, upon further review of their Facebook posts, I must now agree with you, they are both totally their father’s and mother’s daughters.

  3. (I know, not “officially” nieces, but it’s just easier to call them that! Guessing it’s something more “cousin-ish”… but, eh, we’re all family!!)

  4. 1st cousin once removed is the “cousin-ish” relationship and in my former career as a non-profit admin there were more than a few volunteers I’d’ve loved to be able to fire.

  5. Thank you, KW!! I was too brain-dead last night…. and further confirmed that (at least for now) everything that I have as “me only” on FB still is…

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