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Editorial Note by Historical Chair: "At the University of Texas-Arlington last November, I heard many entertaining and creative "bull papers” read by students being initiated to the national civil engineering honor fraternity Chi Epsilon. Ruth Bribiesca, a junior civil engineering major, granted permission to reprint her paper here. Ruth was born and raised in Monterrey, Mexico before moving to Keene, Texas 12 years ago. She says she realized she wanted to help unfortunate people with necessary things to make their lives a little better and easier (things such as improving their water quality, roads, or building a bridge). Liking math, and wanting to do something challenging, Civil Engineering seemed to be the best fit. She’s now convinced she picked the right major because studying is not an obligation but something she enjoys. After graduation she plans to get a masters degree and is interested in working in the field of Structures of Structural Analysis because if is fascinating to her. Below is Ruth’s tongue-in-cheek evaluation of those gifted individuals who decide to practice our historically exciting profession!"

Engineers – World’s Most Boring People By Ruth Bribiesca

As I was wondering what is a good topic to write in this “Bull Paper” I remembered an article that I once read; the title was “Engineers—World’s Most Boring People.” So I decided I wanted to discuss what I read and the things I agreed and disagreed about the article.

The first time I read the title I was caught in the interest of knowing what the author had to say; I mean are they saying I’m boring or going to be boring? Sure enough I found some interesting stuff in there. First, it had a list of the things that engineers do that makes them a boring persons; yeah like having no conversation but talking about the research they’re conducting because that’s pretty much all they do during the day and that is what they think about all day. And also the fact that they don’t have a social life but can prove it mathematically. I thought this is a really interesting one; I mean I can prove I just don’t have enough time for everything! Am I the only one? When I hear people say “I’m just killing time” I just wonder “Don’t kill it… give to me!” I’m sure I’m not the only one who sometimes wishes to have a little more time to finish what we are required to do.

Anyways, I think I understand what the author is trying to say because sometimes I find myself always talking about the things that I have learned and engineering related stuff. But this is because it’s what interests me and what I’m passionate about. However; in my point of view I don’t think this makes you necessarily a boring person; it is NOT the subject but who you are or who you decide to become that makes you a boring person. I mean engineering is the answer to all the needs of society. It’s the discipline that will improve the life of many with inventions and structures that will be good for the expansion and growth of its economy. Engineering will last forever! And just knowing how things work is a nice feeling; because many have no clue why things are getting done. I guess what I’m trying to say is engineering can’t possibly make you boring because engineering is COOL!!!

And to finish this paper I’m just going to leave you with a couple of facts that assure you might be an engineer.

.....If you can translate English into Binary;
.....if, when your professor asks you where your homework is, you claim to have accidentally determined its momentum so precisely, that according to Heisenberg it could be anywhere in the universe;
.....if you'll assume that a "horse" is a "sphere" in order to make the math easier; or
.....if you know vector calculus but you can't remember how to do long division;

You are definitely in the right major!!!

- John P. Wier, P.E., R.P.L.S., Historical Chair, Fort Worth Branch ASCE, February 2011

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