Tag Archive | The Project

An Update

I know I said I would do a series of posts on observations, and I still intend to, but at the moment real life is just getting in the way. This is just a quick update of what’s happening, and the next post will be about something I really need to get off of my chest.

So, I am rapidly approaching the end of my degree. My final report is due next Tuesday, and after the Thursday after that, I am done. Finished. Leaving my university and likely not coming back (except for graduation based stuff).

I’m not going to lie, it’s a scary prospect. Not accounting for my work placement, I’ve been in full-time education for 19 years. It is literally the only thing I can remember doing. As of September, I start on the beginning of what (at the moment, at least) will be a career in Engineering. Real engineering (it doesn’t get any more real than jet engines…), where the work I do actually has a real purpose.

I will be leaving behind what I know and am comfortable with, a huge number of my friends, and all the other benefits of student life. This is scary beyond belief…

In other news, I am currently bike-less again, as some idiot drove over the front wheel of my bike (fortunately while I wasn’t on it). Needless to say, this is very annoying, not least because I am currently sat on a bus that takes the most roundabout route home possible.

This year I am not going to the graduation ball. In fact, this is the first time since starting university that I’ve not been there in some kind of first aid capacity, and I have zero interest in going as a punter. I had intended to go as first aid, but I haven’t been asked yet, and the unit has upset one of my good friends, so we’ve decided to go on duty the next morning instead. The person who did the upsetting is now also not going, but I have managed to persuade my friend that it isn’t her problem any more (and so she doesn’t need to pick up the pieces after the very likely meltdown).

Speaking of meltdowns, the local adult division is currently having a very slow one. Three of the more progressive members have been made to feel very unwelcome, and so have walked away. As a result, their training program is steadily going down the pan, morale is going to drop (as people realise what they’ve lost), and its all going to go to hell. Of the units six-ish active ambulance qualified volunteers, they now have two actively refusing to do events, two prioritising county level events (me and CycleGuy), leaving two to (fail to) meet the units commitments (meaning other units have to help out).

On the bright side, my unit of young people is going strong.  We have just had a very successful sponsored walk (where I got to legitimately play tag for the first time since I left junior school), and have half a dozen things planned for the near future.

Work is still being its normal irritating self (but that’s retail for you), and I’m doing far too many hours for the Organisation (no change there, then), and for the most part I’m enjoying myself.

When things start settling down, I will try to post more frequency.  For now, I will get on when I can, and I’m still on Twitter (my lifeline when drowning in my project).

Now, to finish, another musical interlude.  Enjoy 🙂



There’s likely to be a few more of these sort of posts in the near future.  Sorry about that, but my project (or more specifically, my project group) are seriously annoying me at the moment.  Hopefully I’ll get to go on duty soon and have something interesting to write about.)

Our supervisor has said that it would be a good idea for everyone to switch around their parts of the project, so they don’t get stuck in a rut while designing.  That’s fine, in principle, though possibly of questionable usefulness.  You’ve gone ahead with it, with everyone.

But you’ve not really thought this through.  You have forgotten that, for all of the last couple of weeks, people have made a big point of mentioning that they don’t understand half of what I’ve produced.  And I have made no secret of the fact that I’ve done no mechanical engineering for two years, and to call me rusty would be an understatement.  I am also down on the project cover as a Control Engineer.  And you want taking all of the control work away from me.

And then you act surprised when I dig my heels in.  I am not going to get very good marks if you hand me a mechanical engineering design to finalise.  If you hand my work to someone else, keeping in mind that I’m the only person in the group who had even heard of the technology I want to use before we started the project, and the only person who’s done any serious control theory, they are not going to get good marks.  You grumble because I’m being stubborn, and it can’t be that hard.  I point out that I’ve done two modules on control now, and I probably won’t find it easy.  For someone else, it’s going to be extremely hard.  You suggest that I could help.  I point out that I don’t really have the time to teach two modules worth of control theory to someone else, as well as writing my report on a subject I don’t really understand.

Thankfully, this is the point where you relent.  I have my section of the project back (and with it, my chance of getting a first), and you have to hand my bit to someone else.

Something tells me I’m not going to get rated high on my level of teamwork.  However, I have discovered that when I need to be, I can be enough of a pain in the arse to make you change your mind.  Excellent.

Project Supervisors

Okay.  I’ve just explained to you my concepts, and my design strategy.  Now I know the design strategy doesn’t match up with the way mechanical engineers do things, but it is the way we do things in electronics.  The limits we are going to hit here are mechanical.  I can make my electronics do almost any maths that I can describe, and unless you start breaking the laws of physics or operating another controller against me, your stuff won’t be so unpredictable that it is impossible to control, even if I can’t move it fast.  Please stop trying to impose limits on my design that don’t exist.

Oh, and I’m asking you a question about whether my circuit diagrams will be suitable to illustrate my concepts.  So why are you instead telling me what (pointless) things I can sketch to illustrate how my circuit works.  None of your examples match up to what I’ve got, and you still haven’t answered my question.  I can’t draw a diagram explaining how different parts of the circuit activate at different times in a motion, because it doesn’t work like that.  It’s a microcontroller, not a mechanical controller with weights and balances!

I hate working as the only electronics engineer in a group of mechanical engineers.

Useful Timing

I tell you that I won’t be on campus today until at least 1030 because I have a nurse’s appointment.  This is fine, I was told.  Hopefully you know that I’ll get the work done at some point, just not first thing, as I’ll be spending most of the time travelling (more than an hour’s travelling time for what is currently only a 10 minute appointment.  I hate not being able to ride my bike!)

So why in the name of all that is good and possibly holy do you schedule a meeting at 0900.  A meeting where, if all goes well, you’ll be explaining to me why you’ve just taken all of the electronics away from me (which is the bit I can actually do), and put me on to help someone else with their task.  Their task, which last I heard, they didn’t think they’d be able to fill out in to a long enough report.

Needless to say, I’m unimpressed, and this is not helping with everything else at the moment.  If there are not good explanations there may be reports of explosions, and/or mass murder in UniTown.

Incidently, this means that all the project work I’ve done this week was a complete waste of time.  Sometimes I wonder why I bother.

(Of topic: Zemanta needs a slap.  It’s picked up the phrase ‘time travelling’ and decided I’m talking about ‘time travel’…  Sigh…  It is also suggesting that I link the phrase ‘mass murder’ to it’s Wikipedia page.  You know what, I think I’ll let you, the reader, work out what I mean…)

Two Down

One more exam done.  Not amazingly difficult, but not as easy as yesterdays.  Now a day off (well aside from revision and a Theatre duty), then one more this week.  Then, after Wednesday next week, I’m free! Well, until The Project starts, that is…

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