“Made it Ma! Top of the world!”
“Look at me now. I’m getting paper!”
“I’m livin’ in the 21st century, doin’ something mean to it.
Do it better than anybody ya ever seen do it
Screams from the haters, got a nice ring to it
I guess every superhero needs his theme music”
“I might be too strung out on compliments, overdose on confidence,” but you know what? I did college, and I did it well. I went in as a youngster and came out a star! Came out a Plastics Engineer! So I’m going to gloat about it. “Get off of my cloud!” Sorry I’m not sorry!
Now that I’ve publicly acknowledged how awesome I am…again, it’s time to be serious. I’m a man, an educated man, but I didn’t get this far on cheap laughs and good looks.
Teaching is a noble profession, a profession that overworks and under pays. Early mornings and late nights. Without our professors and teachers the world would be an uneducated and ignorant place (seems obvious, redundant and self-explanatory, but I’m still saying it). These men and woman don’t get the recognition they deserve. So I hope this blog has provided you with a new found or increased appreciation for the educators of not just America, but the world.
This is my formal and sincere thank you to all my teachers, professors and faculty members. From elementary school to middle school to Westford Academy to UMass Lowell and beyond. Plain and simple, I wouldn’t be who I am or where I am today without all of you. Thank you.
Thank you to all of my family and friends. When you look back on the most memorable moments in your life, were you alone? Life is better with company and I am fortunate to have shared so many amazing moments and created lasting memories with you all. Let the good times roll!
Lastly, I’m taking this opportunity to thank everyone that has been born and anyone that will ever be born. So, if I left anyone out…you know who you are.
I want to leave you all with this thought. I used to tell someone who is really important to me about missed opportunities. Every day, every minute, every second, every moment has the potential to change your life, whether the result is good or bad, it’s undoubtedly bettering yourself as a person. Don’t let a chance at anything slip away.
It could be meeting someone new, taking a different class, learning a skill, or even something as minor as just looking or listening. Because you never know what’s going to come of it and it could honestly have the most substantial impact on your entire life.
“Don’t be afraid to care.”
I can honestly say every person I’ve come in contact with the last 22 years has changed my life; every last individual has made an impact. College is one of the most amazing opportunities I have had the good fortune to partake in at this point in my life. Embrace it, cherish it, enjoy it, live for the moment, live for right now, because before you can realize, it will have passed, and you most certainly don’t want to miss it.
Anything Is Possible
Don’t Stop Believin’
And from the bottom of my heart,
“Don’t cry because it’s over. Smile because it happened!” -Dr. Seuss
Every Hero Has A Journey
“If you make yourself more than just a man…”
Every Journey Has An End
“If you devote yourself to an ideal, than you become something else entirely…
A legend Mr. Peraner…A Legend!”
“Jared has to come back…”
“What if he doesn’t exist anymore?”
“He must…HE MUST!”
One last week, One last class, One last hoorah. Last, but not least. It seems as though we are all in a rush to get to the end and yet we’re all shocked at how fast the end arrived. But none-the-less…
Let’s dance the last dance!
Final papers, final exams, final presentations, the final push to the Grand Finale. It’s so close you can almost taste it! And don’t feed me that *Bird Noise* that “the *Bird Noise* you give went that way” or that “zero *Bird Noise* were given.” Earning a top notch grade feels a *Bird Noise* of a lot better than a *Bird Noise* one. (Ya I’m censoring myself a lot right now, big woop want to fight about it?).
Regardless of whether or not you have the mindset that you have a job lined up, or all you have to do is pass each class and you’ll graduate, you’re not fooling anyone. Everyone wants to do well in school whether it “matters” or not (Let’s be honest getting a better grade than anyone in your class makes you feel “like a boss”).
Oh and I’m sorry, I thought this was America! You should be thanking your lucky stars (all 50 of them) that you have the opportunity to get an education and receive a college degree. No matter the school, no matter the cost!
And for those of you not graduating, hahahahaha, just kidding! But not really. No but seriously, don’t mail it in during finals week or check-out early, it’s an easy way to find yourself in a hole that you’ll spend the next three years (or more) trying to pull yourself out of. Instead of going into more detail I will shamelessly plug myself one last time.
For more information refer to first chapter of my Pulitzer Prize winning (pending) saga/blog/novel and while you’re at it just read my blog in its entirety because I’m not sure if anything else you ever read in your lifetime will amount to it.
But I digress…
We have all worked way too hard for way too long to just drop the ball and piss it all away in the homestretch. So put your best foot forward and like I said last semester “end on a high note” (No pun intended. I know what you’re thinking).
“The Finals are about a test of wills.”-Bill Laimbeer
Next, the epic conclusion, to the Jared Peraner legend…
“Dreamer, you know you are a dreamer…I said dreamer, you’re nothing but a dreamer!”
Nobody wakes up in the morning, gets up on the wrong side of the bed and thinks “I want to be average today.” Nobody sits in class and daydreams about a mediocre life. And “In an Absolut World” you won’t find yourself in last place.
“If I could see something…If I could be someone...If I could do something… If I could do anything…”
From the get-go the people most important in my life told me I could be anything I wanted to be. That they would do everything and anything in their power to give me the same opportunities as everybody else. If I really, truly wanted to do something, I could try.
“Well can you do something out of this world?”
I can damn well give it a shot. It’s lame, it’s cliché, it’s over-done, it’s over-written, and it’s over-played. It’s called the American Dream. Freedom includes the opportunity for prosperity and success, and an upward social mobility through hard work. In James Truslow Adams' definition of the American Dream he states, “life should be richer and fuller for everyone, with opportunity for each according to ability or achievement” regardless of social class or circumstances of birth. It’s written in the Declaration of independence, “All men (and women) are created equal!”
The word richer doesn’t need to be associated with $$$, being highly ranked or upper-class doesn’t mean you’ve achieved the American Dream. When you work hard and eventually find yourself exactly where you wanted to be, whether it’s the job you have, the goals you’ve accomplished, or the people you’re surrounded by, then you have achieved the American Dream. LIFE is “richer and fuller,” not necessarily you’re wallet.
Elementary school, middle school and high school are the same for everyone. But colleges are that chance, that opportunity for each of us to part ways and walk our own line. Whether it’s UMass Lowell, or any other college or university, it provides us that chance to be the person we dream about. Engineers, nurses, doctors, lawyers, teachers, writers, editors, we can all do something out of this world. I hope that all of you graduating with me this spring are one step closer to achieving your American Dream.
As for my American Dream, it’s simple. I want to be able to give the people most important to me the same opportunities that I had. Everyone deserves a chance to chase their dreams. I understand this is real life, and not everything works out according to plan, but you can’t be afraid to fail, you have to take a leap of faith, or find yourself filled with regret.
"All I ask of you is one thing: please don’t be cynical. I hate cynicism — it’s my least favorite quality and it doesn’t lead anywhere. Nobody in life gets exactly what they thought they were going to get. But if you work really hard, and you’re kind, amazing things will happen."- Conan O'Brien
The International Plastics Showcase, the crème de la crème of the plastics industry, the big boy dance, NPE 2012. The Orange County Convention Center, located in Orlando Florida, creates an almost Taj Mahal-like feel. The building is of shear (stress/rate/strain?) monstrosity and has this mind boggling aura to it. You walk in through the doors of the west building and the feeling and site can only be compared to that of the children walking into Willy Wonka’s chocolate factory (with the Jurassic Park theme song playing in the background).
“Come with me and you’ll be in a world of pure imagination!”
Let’s just say if you’re in any way, shape or form part of the plastics industry and you are not at NPE…you’re wrong. There is a never ending abyss, I’m talking yards upon yards of companies presenting the latest and greatest the industry has to offer. What’s taught in the classroom barely scratches the surface that is Plastics Engineering. So here’s a nickel’s worth of free advice I don’t need back, Go to NPE!
“If you want to view paradise, simply look around and you will.
Anything you want to do it. Want to change the world? There’s nothing to it.”
Words will not do this trade show justice. The knowledge contained within the walls of that building was immeasurable. Plastics are Universal and the Identifying components of our world today. People out there actually think plastics have a negative impact on the world. A single ban on plastics would be a crime against humanity. Imagine even 1 single plastics component missing on the plane taking us to and from Orlando.
However, the most rewarding part of a truly memorable weekend, was the time spent with my classmates. Some of us have been in class together for almost 4 years now. Our hands are full 8 days a week, and sometimes things just slip through our fingers and shatter our well being. We spend immense amounts of time in Ball-Hall day-in and day-out is so we can (hopefully) see the benefits of all our hard work. We’ve learned to work with each other. We fall back on one another and trust they’ll catch us. We hope that they won’t let us fall behind, or leave us in a cloud of smoke, or even lying alone face first on the floor. In the end, we are all in this together and the bettering of the world is our common bond. If we lose that, we might never make it.
Seeing my fellow students stand closely side-by-side-by-side-by-side to present their research made me proud. I know we can all "Do Some Good" (shameless plug) in this world.
It’s a shame we’ll have to wait 3 years for this monumental event to come around again, but I only have two words in regards to that.
An interview wouldn’t be an interview without being asked, “Where do you see yourself in five years?” I was asked this question in almost every one of my college interviews senior year of high school.
That was Fall of 2007, now it’s Spring 2012, almost five years later. So did I give the “right” answer?
Five years ago I answered that question saying that I plan to have graduated a major university with a mechanical engineering degree. I would keep the momentum and continue straight onto graduate school to complete my master’s degree. I felt that if I took a break to go work full time, I would never find or make the time to go back to school. If I were to find a job I would want it to be more hands-on. I always knew I didn’t want to be a business major. I didn't want to be someone who wears a shirt and tie to work. I didn't want to sit behind a desk, in front of a computer, everyday from 9 to 5. What I did know was that I wanted to travel.
This spring I will graduate from UMass Lowell with a Plastics Engineering Degree. I will most likely not be continuing directly onto graduate school because I will be working for Nypro, a company that plans to have me enter an eighteen month to two year management training program. This program will send me to the far ends of the world for extended periods of time mentoring various co-workers on various projects. Nypro is said to have two paths, one technical, and one business. While I’ll have a technical degree, I was hired by the Consumer and Electronics department for business (So yes, I sold out, 18 year old me would look upon 22 year old me with shame).
I dress business casual to work (nice pants, but no tie, so 18 year old me can breathe easy about that) I have my own office and I do have those days where I spend it behind a desk in front of a computer screen. I also have days where I’m hands-on, down on the floor working with heavy machinery. But, the best part is the travel, I’ve never left the country before, and over the next few years I will go months at a time without touching American soil. Don’t get me wrong, I love the US of A, but there’s a world out there just begging to be discovered by me.
So I guess I was both “right” and “wrong” about where I saw myself today. And you know what? I’m okay with it. I’m better than okay with it. Everything seems to be in its right place and if there isn’t anything broken, then there’s no need to fix it.
So I ask you this. Where did YOU see yourself today, five years ago? And an even better question. Where do you see yourself five years from today? (Don’t say doin your…)
“Make no mistake, moving is living.”
Last week, I joined the Order of the Engineer. This is
in no way
comparable to Albus Dumbledore’s secret society, The Order of the
Phoenix, but I can attest to the fact that both of these orders were
established with good intentions.
Below is an excerpt of the obligation to the Order of the Engineer;
“Since the Stone Age, human progress has been spurred by the
engineering genius. Engineers have made usable nature’s vast resources
of material and energy for Humanity’s [Mankind’s] benefit. Engineers
have vitalized and turned to practical use the principles of science
and the means of technology. As an Engineer, one pledges to practice
integrity and fair dealing, tolerance and respect, and to uphold
devotion to the standards and the dignity of one’s profession,
conscious always that one’s skill carries with it the obligation to
serve humanity by making the best use of Earth’s precious wealth…One
shall participate in none but honest enterprises. When needed, one’s
skill and knowledge shall be given without reservation for the public
good. In the performance of duty and in fidelity to my profession, I
shall give the utmost.”
Since high school, people have asked me why I chose to pursue a career
in engineering and my response has varied over the years. One aspect
of my answer has always remained constant. Engineers have the ability
to make the world a better place. Unfortunately, they also have the
ability to make the world a more dangerous place with nuclear weapons,
toxins, and other merchants of death.
From a positive standpoint, the one example always comes to mind is
the automobile industry. When Karl Benz produced the first automobiles
in 1888, they were death traps with solid components, glass
windshields, no seat belts, etc. Over the last century, automakers
have been continuously working towards making cars more safe using
padded dashboards, mirrors, seat belts, laminated windshields, lights,
reflectors, air bags, side curtain air bags, crumple zones, anti-lock
braking systems (ABS), traction control, On-Star… and the list goes
on. The point is, these advances are all a result of engineers keeping
up their efforts to make automobiles as safe as possible.
Now I’m not being biased and saying that ONLY engineers have the
ability to make the world a better place, we all do. Whether it's
teachers, local law enforcement, doctors, nurses, everyone and anyone
can contribute. You don’t need to pledge to an order, take an oath, or
sign a document stating you will always promise to do what is right.
You can make like Nike and “just do it”!
In March of 2010, I was driving down Sunset Boulevard in Hollywood. I
came to a red light just past the Chinese Theater and I saw this:
Is what I say after a lot of moments that have happened since I became a blogger. With Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIN, Google Plus, forums and other blogs, the world is becoming less and less private. It’s even gotten to the point where your pet can have a social network account.
People are constantly voicing their opinions via the internet. Even I am guilty of it (Exhibit A: This Awesome Blog). BUT, this is America, and we have this document (you may have heard of it) called the Constitution. It has 27 Amendments, and the first 10 of those amendments are known as the Bill of Rights, and the first of those rights encompasses freedom of speech. So in conclusion we as American’s can say What. Ever. The. *Bird Noise* We. Want. (U-S-A! U-S-A!) This lack of privacy is a two way street though. Someone says something we react. We judge people based on what we see on the internet. I’m guilty of it and you’re guilty of it!
Don’t judge a book by its cover, because it’s the internet. We know employers, friends, family and strangers are looking at us 25/8, so naturally we make sure to make ourselves look our best, the rest of the world doesn’t know what goes on behind closed doors (unless you share it on the internet).
This is why I don’t use a GPS. Remember the days when you had a destination and you had to figure out on your own how to get there? You would jump in the car and have a relative idea of where you were headed, but you would figure it out as you got closer. Then on the way you would become lost and stumble upon this amazing diner with the world’s best pie (c’mon everybody loves pie). Had you been using your GPS, he or she (don’t deny it, you refer to your GPS as a gender specific being) would have led you right past that diner, and you the driver would never have been the wiser to its existence. The art of getting lost is…well lost.
It’s the same with the internet. We can look up everything and anything with the click of a mouse, without even leaving our seat, heck without even putting on pants! Nothing is a mystery anymore, nothing is a secret and nothing is a surprise.
“The internet’s not written in pencil, it’s written in ink.”
The beginning of the end. The final chapter. The epic conclusion to the undergrad student legend. It all starts tomorrow morning at 10:00AM.
Rewind, a lot has happened since I last spoke (wrote, blogged…you get the idea). Over the All-Star break I accepted a position at Nypro Inc. where I will be working in the consumer and electronics department. It’s an internship right now, with promise of turning into a full time position upon graduation. For old times’ sake let’s summarize the interview process:
Company: Nypro Inc.
Interviews: 1 (On-Site)
Follow Up with thank you notes: YES
Job Offer: YES
Notes: Yeah we poppin’ champagne like we won a championship game
That’s it. 1 interview. 1 job. Boom Roasted! As you can imagine, this go around was significantly better than last spring. Going into tomorrow and the rest of my final semester knowing I could have a full time job after I graduate makes me feel like I’m no longer “Under Pressure” (shameless plug…again). For you new comers to my blog, catch up on my life story here: Prelude
In order to continue my internship/part time work during the semester at Nypro I took a course, The Short Story, during the winter session. Unfortunately they weren’t offering Architecture with Prof. Theodore Mosby, so that had to do. The course allowed me to free up some time and finish my Arts and Humanities requirement. To make a long story short…story (yeah I just did that) “I’m awesome!”
Fast forward to present day. Like last semester and every semester since the dawn of…the semester, tomorrow will follow this script:
“Hi and welcome to _______. My name is professor_______. Please take a few minutes to read over the syllabus and feel free to ask any questions…Any questions?...Alright, well have a good day.”
Last semester of the season, can’t hold anything back now.
“Hello Boys (and girls) I’m baaaaaack!”
“One down, four to go!...One final and three papers until freedom!...Just got to get through the next 24 hours and I’m free!...yada yada yada”
Yeah, it’s remarks like this that clutter my newsfeed during the month of December. December is certainly the month of countdowns. The countdown to the end of the semester, the countdown to my BIRTHDAY, the countdown to Chrismahanukwanzakah and the countdown to the New Year.
Back to finals though. Without a doubt, this is one of the most stressful times of the semester. If there was any time to be “under pressure” (shameless plug) this is the week. This is the week people decide to go to the library for once. This is the week where coffee and energy drink sales skyrocket. This is the week you find freshman in panic because they spent the last five weeks playing Modern Warfare 3, Uncharted 3 and Skyrim, and didn’t go to class so now they have to try and learn a semesters worth of material in a few days (good luck). This is the week where (some) seniors “just don’t care anymore because after this last final I am done with finals FOREVER!” (not this guy). It’s definitely an emotional week.
My routine consists of the following. I’m going to collect all my materials, head to north with 23 ounces of Arnold Palmer and find the deepest, darkest, loneliest, corner of the library. I’m going to sit down, put my big noise canceling headphones on and sit there until midnight. I’m going to go over everything I have learned this semester and I swear if you disturb me with meaningless *bird noise*, it will be the last time you disturb anyone. When the clock strikes midnight on this Cinderella story, I’m going to close my books, pack up my belongings, make haste back to my room and retire. Simply put, if you don’t know it by midnight (assuming you started at a half decent hour, not 11:00PM), you’re not going to know it ever.
Nice try, better luck next year.
Good luck to everyone one on their finals! Don’t “mail it in” this week, give it the old college try! End the semester on a high note!