an engineer is me (almost)

I passed the PPE. Now all I need to do is prove that I have engineering experience, and I’ll be able to have a licence to practice engineering. The Engineering Council thought I had enough experience to be a CEng back in 2001, but engineering fundamentals are so different here in Ontario.

forget, forget, forget

Well, the exam’s done. With luck, I can get on with life now.

The gym at UofT where the exam was held was stiflingly hot. It also didn’t help that the invigilator dude made announcements through a cruddy bullhorn, so he ended up sounding like an imperative Miss Othmar.

Ask me how I did in  mid-October.

cram, cram, cram

I have my PPE exam today for my Professional Engineers Ontario licence. This is my first exam in 15 years (not counting citizenship, which was more of a test). I think it’s my first essay-question exam, possibly ever, certainly since school.

I never was very good at studying; last minute and aim for one point above the pass mark was more my style. I’m sure Catherine can confirm it hasn’t changed.

mid summer, 1987

In UK exams, a “No Mention” was basically where you did so badly in an exam that they didn’t bother to mark it, and you weren’t actually listed as ever taking it.

I got a No Mention for my A-Level Special Maths. I got talked into sitting it by my mate Matthew, who is a maths genius. It was on my 18th birthday, my last day at school, and a gorgeous day.

When I opened the exam paper to see proofs of things involving frictionless pulleys and light, inextensible strings, something snapped. I wrote my name, then:

1) I refuse to answer this question on the grounds that it is silly.

I sat for a few minutes, watching the dust motes groove about in the light from the library windows, then walked out.

Matthew got a special distinction, by the way.

I would have liked to add that I went home and listened to “A Can of Bees” by The Soft Boys on my brother’s hi-fi. But I think he’d already left home by then, taking his record collection with him.