Friday, January 21, 2011

Engineers are different. Like, strange different.

Engineers are different. They just are. They think differently.

If you have an engineering friend, relative or spouse you know exactly what I mean.

Someone might look at a garden and say "Wow that's a nice looking garden." An Engineer would say that too, but then spend the next 15 minutes pondering if the gardener considered if density of the crop could be improved by changing the width of the rows to correspond to the seed-specific space required between each plant to optimize light exposure on the leaves based on the angle of the sun and the height of the neighbouring plants. I'm not kidding. (Engineers reading this know I'm not kidding and are thinking "Yeah, I've thought about that too...") A personal example is that one of my favourite things to do is to imagine (and then criticize, of course) the manufacturing processes of pretty much every object I come across (especially plastics). Other people might consider this stuff too on occasion but Engineers tend to take up a lot of time with this type of thought process. That's why engineers are different. Their minds think about strange stuff ALL THE TIME. And this makes them happy.
My husband and I both have Engineering degrees. This means not only do we think the same way, we also have what most people would call incredibly strange and boring conversations. We just call them normal conversations. For example, recent discussions have included such topics as: R-values (insulation) of different types of construction material, evolutionary theory, conservation ideas and theories on human growth and development. Exciting stuff? But seriously, who else would want to talk about this with us? I think that is one of the reasons we get along so well, we are both just so odd and we are the only ones that find each other's weird thoughts interesting. "Why yes Andrew, tell me more about that new material they have developed that is not only lightweight, structurally sound, environmentally friendly but also has a greater R value than cement. Tell. Me. More." Seriously. That was last night's conversation. You will never meet two people who enjoy talking and theorizing about how the world works more than us. We have this unending quest to know "Why?" about everything.

So here you have these two people with this unique mindset raising kids. Having kids started a whole new string of conversations on human development, the brain, growth etc, etc. If one of us is staring at our kid it is not because he has food on his face, it's because we are witnessing the development of a human being and we are simply fascinated.

So we are raising our kids in this environment where learning about the world is part of everyday conversation. Right now Liam finds this interesting because at two and a half years old he is in the "Why?" phase of his development. I hope, like his parents, he never quite outgrows this.


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