Monday, April 20, 2009

Georgia Tech - Portrait of an Engineering Mad House

Georgia Institute of Technology, 1898, Courtesy of Wikimedia

After this next post, I will be taking a break for the next couple weeks as I first buckle down for finals and then close out my dorm room. But as I prepare for the Big F's (not really), I decided to take a moment to reflect upon the stimulating, fun, industrious, and nerve-wracking school that I affectionately call Tech.

You know that I did not grow up here because I was willing to name my blog "Hailing from Georgia" despite being a Tech guy. To me, Georgia is where I live, and although I will most certainly chant "To Hell with Georgia" at our school's football game, along with large numbers of red-faced fans that are both angry at Uga for being Uga and me for not being angry enough, I guess having not grown up here it's hard for me to really dip in to that rivalry. But do know that it is a very important part of our school, embodied by our unofficial school motto:

Courtesy of Photobucket and user brandontara

The motto itself is also somewhat symbolical of where GaTech is located. Being in the heart of Atlanta, it is located in a part of the state that has always, going all the way back to Reconstruction (1865-1876) and maybe before, been at odds with the rest of Georgia. There are even occasional calls for secession. The student body, however, has it's 60% of in-state students coming from all over the state, so you definitely will not miss your rednecks.

In addition, GaTech will attract applicants from all over America, ant the World. I have friends from Massacheutsets, Michigan, New Mexico, New York, Alaska, and California, as well as Iran, India, China, Cameroon, Haiti, Mexico, Ecuador, Brazil (why major in "foreign cultures" when you can go to Engineering School?) and I myself am from Seattle. Ranked at 4th for America in Engineering overall (US News & WR), 1st for Industrial Engineering, 3rd for Civil, and within the top 10 for all Engineernig Majors except Nuclear (also US News & WR), Tech has a reputation to live up to, and Jimmy Carter believes it tougher then the Naval Academy, always a good sign.

There is a split admissions preference though, between the in-state students and the out-of-state students. For out-of-state, admissions are tough, taking an average GPA of 3.7 and a SAT average of1280 (Math + Verbal, no one cares about the Writing test.) For in-state, however, to keep that high percentage, they must submit to state-mandated Soviet admissions standards.

Tech is also a school of many traditions. In particular students love to hijack the T from this tower:

Brooke Novak, from this website, under CC 2.0

They also love to race tricycles:

Photo Courtesy of Apringstone, public domain

And build moving contraptions of dubious engineering:

Retrieved from CU Tigers message board.

And although we work hard, we also play hard, sometimes too hard:

Sebastian Paquet, cc 2.0

What really impressed me most about Georgia Tech, besides it's spectacular location in the heart of the South but admist city lights, was it's attitude. I don't believe there is any better way to communicate this attitude then with our school song:

"I’m a Ramblin’ Wreck from Georgia Tech and a hell of an engineer,
A helluva, helluva, helluva, hell of an engineer,
Like all the jolly good fellows, I drink my whiskey clear,
I’m a Ramblin’ Wreck from Georgia Tech and a hell of an engineer.

Oh, if I had a daughter, sir, I’d dress her in White and Gold,
And put her on the campus, to cheer the brave and bold.
But if I had a son, sir, I’ll tell you what he’d do.
He would yell, “To Hell with Georgia,” like his daddy used to do.

Oh, I wish I had a barrel of rum and sugar three thousand pounds,
A college bell to put it in and a clapper to stir it around.
I’d drink to all good fellows who come from far and near.
I’m a ramblin’, gamblin’, hell of an engineer."

At a time when colleges from sea to shining sea are forcing you to apply for your major, are instituting curfews and mandatory service hours, and are indoctrinating their students with shameful partisan propaganda, Tech continues to tolerate good ole fashinoed chaos and an atmosphere that allows a true individual to excel by his own merits and will. We don't mandate, we don't force, we don't coerce, we let people grow and find for themselves how they want to be.

Come to our school as a momma's boy, and our high standards and lack of external direction WILL tear you to shreds until you can either find the integrity to push yourself, or the door. We don't just tolerate individuality, we WON'T tolerate anything less.


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