Our friend Troy graduated from NCSU with a Bachelors Degree in Civil Engineering on Saturday. We were privileged to attend about the best graduation I have ever attended. All the speakers appeared to be grateful and humble. Even more importantly, there speeches were brief and interesting. The crowd was respectful (with the exception of a few appropriate and well-justified digs at UNC). It is quite a thing to just get through the math required to earn a Civil Engineering degree. Then, when you add Statics, Dynamics, all the Physics and Chemistry, and the big project classes, it gets even uglier. These were the guys that were willing for, even relishing the hard work of really “getting” science and design. The huge payoff is that now they have it. The degree shows they have endured the pain and employers, having been through that same pain themselves, value it.
Lorena, Kelly, Christian, and I talked about it a lot on Saturday evening and Sunday. It DOES pay to do something hard. Troy put a link to this video on his blog a few days back. It is awesome–EXACTLY what I have been preaching to my kids for several years now. You can do ANYTHING you want, but doing something hard first opens a lot of doors that are hard to open when you get older. My theory (and that espoused in the video) is that if you want to be a Sociologist, study Applied Math, Statistics, or Engineering first.