Tuesday, October 28, 2008

grading with the engineer

I bet Neil wishes he got to get this dirty at school, but it's just from working on the Jeep's engine. But it's still my favorite "engineer husband" picture.

Sometimes when people ask me what classes I teach, and I give the generic "business and technical writing" response, they say, "Just don't teach engineers!" and I say "But I love teaching the engineers!"

And today, when I was grading, I realized why I'm fine with teaching the engineers.

Because I'm married to one.

And I was the TA for lots of engineers (yes, I, an English major, had my two years of glory days running TA sessions on particle physics and cell biology. I think I'm pretty cool. Also, it helped being married to an engineer).

Anyway, being married to Neil for almost six years means that I've picked up on lots of engineering things, so I can write comments on resumes like, "'MATLAB' is all caps" or "What about other CAD programs--SolidWorks, IronCAD, CATIA, or Unigraphix?" And when it comes to grading, my science background and my listening-to-Neil background get me through just about all the technical issues.

But every now and then, I get a particularly convoluted (which generally means it's poorly written in the first place) paper, and I take it to Neil, and I say, "Is this a real equation? It looks made-up to me. And do airfoils really have anything to do with noise reduction?"

And he says things like, "This equation is worthless, and this guy doesn't know noise theory, and plus that graphic is a fighter jet engine and that one's a commercial jet engine, and let me explain this particular theory to you..." and then he explains some more things and I write everything he says down, and then I give him a kiss or two and change Juliet's next diaper to even things up. And think about how lucky I am to be married to such a clever guy, even if he is in school for about eleventy million hundred years doing fancy-pants things with lasers.

And that is why it's nice to be married to an engineer.


Elise Decker said...

plus your car would have probably died like 5 years ago....

danielle said...

man...you guys are smart!

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