3 responses to “An Engineer’s Child”

  1. Miss Outlier

    Amen! What we learn from parents as children are powerful lessons. Never quite realize how hard those lessons stick until you look back as an adult… :)

  2. GWDay

    I grew up on a farm and much later in life realized that my father was my first engineering teacher. In addition to raising livestock and growing crops, he was a competent electrician, plumber, mechanic, designer, builder, and accountant, and to some extent he taught me all of those skills. Empirical physics and practical engineering are practiced daily on a farm. He knew what would work. Later on, I learned why they worked. A few years ago I wrote about some of my early experiences in a piece in Today’s Engineer: http://www.todaysengineer.org/2009/Oct/Precollege.asp.

  3. ferd

    Kids who follow their parents’ professional footsteps always have an advantage. They grow up with continuous (hopefully successful) exposure to the ins and outs of those professions. That’s probably why so many kids end up doing similar work as their parents, even if they originally intended to rebel.

    Ironically, my father is the least mechanically inclined engineer I’ve ever met. (But he’s a chemical engineer so he isn’t heavily into mechanical things.) Once I entered high school our normal roles reversed when we’d tackle projects around the house – he’d become my helper. But he still had plenty to teach me about methodically approaching problems and reasoning out solutions. He also instilled an urgency in me to learn why and how things work (or don’t work) rather than accepting “that’s just the way it is”. That’s what creates positive results.