Thursday, June 03, 2010

How I Ended Up Being An Engineer

I was born curious.

Since I was a kid, I have been continuously warned about the destined fate that I am to go through in case I do not take my education seriously. Like other parents, mine were very proper when it comes to education; they did so many things in order to keep my time filled with education-based activities whether directly or indirectly. My mother used to rent videotapes of cartoon and bought me short stories and novels just so that I could learn something from them. My parents usually brought me to sit in front of the TV during prime time news, and my dad usually put me next to him whenever he was watching National Geographic Special. Those were my early educations.

When I was young I had so many curiosities that needed instant explanations, and when I did get them they usually had me at a position where more curiosities branched out from the first one that the answer I had obtained for. At times there were things that not even any of my parents knew the answer, so they started buying me more books and the likes. In months, I started to develop interests in a few interesting things; human anatomy, dinosaurs, excavators and garbage trucks. The last two things were due to the fact that back in the days, I spent a lot of my day time being taken care of by my late grandfather and my grandmother at Kampung Datuk Keramat, Kuala Lumpur, where at the time the maintenance of the River Gombak, that was just a walking distance from the house, was constantly ongoing and there were many of these giants excavators moving around and about. And then there was this garbage truck owned by DBKL that literally ate all garbage and solid waste by means of pulling the waste into its internal hopper area by using some hydraulic tricks.

I always thought that the truck will eat me one day.

So when the excavators and the trucks were nowhere to be seen, I would bury myself in piles of 'How My Body Works' and 'Dinosaurs!' encyclopedias, looking at pictures and slowly digesting all the stuffs they have inside there. If I was not with my books then I just played at the sandbox with the miniature plastic excavator that my mom used to buy for me.

When I was a bit older, around five or six years old, I started going hands-on. My father and my late grandfather they both have practical knowledges and I used to accompany them when they were with their works; fixing pipes, carpentry works, woodworking, and some other things they did when something broke down. And all I did was observing and memorizing before applying the skills on something else. The first thing I managed to reverse engineering was my bike with only a spanner and a plier, although the end results were a complete disaster afterwards. It happened every time and my late grandfather had to reassemble the whole thing back again and my father could not say anything because his father was around at that time. I soon learned that my dad was dead scared of his dad the way I was dead scared of him.

And then the cool grandpa passed away when I was only seven.

Although by the time I was already able to disassemble and reassemble my bike again, I had too many problems with too many things that I tried to fix up. And since that his dad was no longer around, I used to get pretty good whacks by my dad each time I messed up with his tools and stuffs I tried to get my hands on. When I got a bit older he gave up whacking me up and started to teach me woodwork and carpentry lessons. We built many things; stools, tables, a chicken barn, a ladder, a wardrobe and many other stuffs that could easily be bought off from a supermarket but we decided to build them instead.

That was how I scored easily in woodworking class in primary and secondary schools.

And then I started to watch many English movies. Every now and then the TV people messed up real good by forgetting to put on the subtitles for me to read on to know just what the hell was going on in the story. After a few times being forced to be a fool sitting in front of the TV trying to figure the story out when they forgot the subtitles, I decided to learn very basic English just so that I could understand why the lady actor was so pissed off at the guy and knocked his head with her bag afterwards in the timeline. I got too carried away with English soon after that.

And then there was Doraemon.

That feline robot always amazed me with the amount of shits he was able to pull each time Nobita messed things up. This tools and that tools, time machines, time loop, the universe, dinosaurs (yeay!), the future, paradox and many scientific events that often caught me by surprise, sparking new curiosities in me. To cut the story short, that was how I got into the science field, mostly modern physic and quantum mechanics, trying to find out just how the hell you open a goddamn door, go through it and find yourself at another place though at the same time of occurrence.

That was how I ended up blowing up the kitchen in the pursuit to simulate a volcano eruption and also messed up my dad's potted plants in a whole separated event because I wanted a fossil so I dug the plants up and buried a chicken bone in it and checked on it daily, wondering when will it finally become a fossil. I even dug a hole behind the house to find at least a dinosaur bone when my dad was away working but I found nothing but sewage pipes, twice. When he came back to see me in a half-foot deep hole in the backyard, I solely gave my body and soul to him for a nice round of whacking.

So roughly that was what happened; I grew up as a curious kid, admiring the hydraulics of garbage trucks and big-ass excavators, digging holes everywhere, giving my mom headaches whenever I had oil on my clothes each time I fixed the bike, blew up the kitchen and received a few delicate series of whacking. I had some lessons on mechanics, drilling, woodworks, fluid mechanics, detonations and toughen myself up from physical trainings, I later decided to find the most suitable job that could cater all these experiences I had when I was young.

And that was how I became a mechanical engineer.


Khairul said...

I think most of the want-to-become-engineer did those kind of stuff. As i am, i did screw around with my bike. Now its no more working but since then i love assembling and dissembling stuff, robots toys and mechanical stuffs.

nice story man.

Zuraida said...

heyya!!!! McGuyver rupanya since young :)