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Iron Ring

  • 17th Feb, 2004 at 9:40 PM

I received my Iron Ring and participated in the Ritual of the Calling of an Engineer. Strangely enough, I felt as I did when I graduated from high school: cold, detached, analytical. While I could see the animation in my fellow classmates, I was just there.

It seems odd to voluntarily take on an obligation to society after enduring five years of exhausting education. But that's what we did as a class. As I was leaving the Arts Theatre, I couldn't help but notice the backs of my classmates. We had all sworn an oath to serve society with honour and resolve, yet I can't help but think about the human flaws each one carries. Do they take obligations as seriously as I do? Can I trust them to uphold their word?

Part of our ceremony admonishes us to network with each other, to keep communication open amongst our fellow engineers. But as far as I can see, upon graduation we will walk our separate paths; only to meet again if chance and happenstance provide. So I can't help but suspect that this ritual is a mere milestone for many of my classmates.

I've missed another bus to the Iron Ring Stag. I missed one before, which is why I came back to write this entry, and my resolve to celebrate at a nightclub is draining away. As an introvert, such "tribal" gatherings are always exhausting. I described myself to Julie as "anti-fun". I guess I'll just keep my ticket and my pair of shorts, for rememberance.

Will my future self begrudge me for missing this? After all, I'm spending my halcyon days of youth as such an old man at heart. Looking back though, I don't seem to miss much of it. I was already cynical by the time I hit middle school, and I haven't gotten any younger since. I don't regret missing my high school formal. I've been able to remember my classmates as they were on graduation—proud, intelligent people. I think going to IRS would have made me think less of my classmates: less than the paragons of humanity that I hope them to be.



( 3 comments — Leave a comment )
18th Feb, 2004 14:29 (UTC)
I had similar feelings about the Ring Ceremony - But I've changed my opinions on Engineering as a future for myself. Likewise, I didn't make it to IRS. I don't think we missed much by not going. Celebrate in your own way like I did. :)
18th Feb, 2004 15:50 (UTC)
Re: Iron Ring
Congratulations on getting the ring. I also felt the same way about the ceremony; I couldn't get worked up about it. Perhaps it would be different if it was right at the start (or end) of the 4B term, instead of in the middle, when school has you all tired. Or perhaps not.

I found the ceremony interesting; a little overly sombre, with brief moments of humour. I still don't fully see how the oath applies to computer engineers, although I don't mind serving society with honour and resolve, if that ever comes up. I think I wear with the ring with the same attitude I would wear an "I survived!" t-shirt. I hope that doesn't make me a bad person.

I also missed IRS, although I didn't even buy a ticket. Perhaps we should start a club. The We're-Moderately-Sane club. :)

Have fun,
18th Feb, 2004 17:39 (UTC)
Re: Iron Ring

Well, I'm sure we can assert that the matter we use to create software is quite fallable, ideas being more ethereal than iron. And the machines we use are quite perverse. So in that case, we are not less different than Mechanical Engineers.

It merely means that we struggle against worst odds, no? And that we certify almost nothing as being safe.

( 3 comments — Leave a comment )