The Iron Ring ceremony for graduating engineers to be obligated into the profession was held this past weekend on March 29. The day started out with an ethics workshop put on by APEGGA in the morning, a rather excellent lunch and somewhat entertaining speaker (more for method of deliver than content) and then the ceremony. The ceremony is meant to be closed to the public so I’m not going to divulge details here. Anyhow, we all left with smiles on our faces:
We then cruised around downtown and went for dinner at the creperie. Following that a few EngPhys dealt with a robbery while the others proceeded to meet most of the addicts on Jasper. I was almost certain that my library book was stolen from the car and would have to pay a fine but the cops got it back. The evening wore on with a lengthly poker game and philosophical debate regarding whether or not it’s a valid system that we have created where the most effective means to getting good grades in your education are not the most conducive to learning material well.
We all decided that our education system has created test writing machines out of us, that we’re all very well adapted by this stage in our careers to demonstrating rapidly and with loose accuracy significant amounts information under relatively high stress conditions. In addition to the skills that were developed, we noted a few lacking areas contasting them. The retention level of such a situation is deemed to be low. This was attributed in part to the reality of gaining a grade at the end of a course and not being required to retain the information. Additionally however the examination style that follows the period of learning is one that doesn’t demand intimacy with the source material so long as it can be retrieved swiftly and with accuracy. Coming from the African education system Ayo suggested that his experience was even more that way and that in reality there was never any thinking required in the course of his secondary education. While the room was full of people who have successfully managed (very successfully, and in a few cases the most successfully) to develop skills to operate within the current education system, we unanimously identified that it was a bit scary. Upon departure from an academic institution the fact that regurgitation was smiled upon is not likely to benefit us in the long run. The ability to take in information at reproduce it in various forms does not aim careers favorably towards innovation and generally positive contribution to society.
Is there a cooling off period following graduation that is required so that we as humans can return a bit more towards mainstream life? I think so, but I’m also aware of the fact that the best way to reform bits and pieces of one’s mind is to stretch it a bit far in one direction and then let it slide back a ways, inevitably it will be shaped a bit by being drawn in that direction. I think to my own experience identifying myself on the political spectrum. Being drawn heavily in one direction under a certain experience can lead me a bit far afield, but allowing time to season that experience and come back to a bit more of a mainstream position leaves me with a better understanding of things and where I actually do find myself. Hopefully having been stretched over the course of the previous four years into a significant amount of information processing as well as priority management will shape a more efficient and balanced mind.