Wednesday, December 16, 2009

When Worlds Collide

How many sorority girls does it take to change a light bulb? Just one, but she has to call Daddy.

No, seriously, how many sorority girls does it take to change a light bulb? Two. One to change the bulb, and one to make a T-shirt.

OK, just having a little fun. No offence intended. In fact, I'm writing today to brag a little about one of my students, Teresa who is not only a sorority girl, but a fine young mechanical engineer. This is an unusual combination, especially when she maintains a stellar GPA. Hence the title of this post. She has been working with me this semester to design and build a prototype hydro turbine like the kind we want to build in Honduras. See my earlier post.

Teresa has accompanied me to Honduras on two occasions. The first time was just after her freshman year, and she was a little nervous. I remember that as we drove on the windy back roads up and down the sides of mountains and across rivers, she would listen to her iPod and close her eyes to try and relax by not thinking about the road. I also remember how one day we were stuck in city traffic and she started feeling sick, apparently from something she ate. In an attempt to be comforting, I told her that if she needed to, she could just open the door of our four wheel drive SUV and throw up on the side of the road. But I could tell from the look on her face, that making street pizza in front of me and the other students would be very embarrassing for her. So I did what anyone would do, and drove over the median and into the empty lane of oncoming traffic. This got us back to the hotel in time for her to be sick in private. Yee ha.

The village kids in Honduras always loved Teresa, and she spent a lot of time playing with them and talking to them in Spanish. The day she was sick, all the kids were sad she didn' t come. Donde esta Teresa? Donde esta mi amiga? I said, hey what about me? I'm here. I'm fun and cool, right? They just looked scared and ran away.

In this picture she is welding the turbine with the oxy-acetylene torch. What did he say? A sorority girl welding? How cool is that? To top it off, she's wearing her sorority logo. I love it when stereotypes are torn down. I am honored to be a part of it! Go Teresa! You inspire me.

[This is the steel tubing we sliced into the blades for the turbine.]

1 comment:

Say It In Color said...

Wow, who wouldn't want her as a daughter or friend !!! ...congratulations with such the our future! Go Teresa!