Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Crappy, Awesome, Clothes, Dinner, & So Dead

The day started out crappy. Baby cried when I left him at daycare, so I went to work and posted a self-pitying status update about it. Then I went on to self-pity status 2 when my friend posted a link about school and it reminded me that I'm not a homeschooler. And then I realized it was September 15th, which was the date I had mentally given myself to turn down my old job. I was really looking forward to going back to that job, so that was incredibly hard and launched me way into self-pity mode.

But then I remembered it was only four days until the BRAD! PAISLEY! CONCERT! and decided to get out of self-pity mode. The rest of the day was mostly awesome.

Here is what I wore today:

This dress BEGS to go dancing. Seriously, it's like the dress is asking me to take it dancing. It is just so swingy and swishy. I even had to look up West Coast Swing steps on YouTube and remind myself of the basics.

Dinner and More Awesome
After work I immediately made dinner, and it was very fast and easy. Several years ago, it would have taken me forever to make this dinner. But tonight it was super fast. Granted, I skipped some of the more time-consuming steps. We had quesadillas -- leftover chicken seasoned with fajita seasoning, extra cumin, and lime, sautéed onion and red pepper, cheese, fresh guacamole, and sour cream. (I cheated by using leftover chicken and I skipped making fresh pico de gallo).

After dinner I got tons of cleaning done (tons for me anyway). MiddleSon was very naughty at school, and OldestSon helped him write an apology note to his teacher and then MiddleSon added a cookie and a balloon and wrapped it all up. This was entirely their idea, and they looked so cute working together on it. Usually they just try to kill each other, so this was so awesome.

So Dead
In order to become a real-live civil engineer, you have to get a Professional Engineer license. In order to do that, you have to graduate from college, work full time for four years, and take the Fundamentals of Engineering exam (FE), an ethics exam, and the Principles and Practice of Professional Engineering exam (PE). Most people take the FE when they are in school. When I was in school, I signed up for it, but then I thought "HEY, I'm NEVER going to work, so I don't need to take this!! YES!!!" So then plans changed and I worked. I was scared of the FE, so I put it off until April 2006. I was absolutely terrified, studied for a few months, and then passed it the first time.

I was almost eligible to take the PE last October, but needed just a few more weeks of work experience by the sign up deadline for the test. I was definitely eligible to take it last April, but just like with the FE, I was terrified. By the time I got to the last day to sign up, I hadn't started studying yet, so I chickened out. I did finally sign up for it a couple months ago and am taking it October 23rd. Most people study anywhere from 2-6 months for the PE. I have 37 days left and I haven't even OPENED a book. I am totally going to die. I am not looking for compliments. I am serious.

My boss and co-worker told me not to bother studying much, that I'll do fine regardless. But I have serious doubts. The test covers five completely different areas of civil engineering - geotechnical, transportation, structures, water resources/environmental, and construction. My co-worker who told me not to bother studying worked for a year as a geotechnical/structural engineer and now uses all five of those areas in his job. I have only ever worked in water resources. So yeah, I am feeling completely terrified.

So why am I writing another epic-length blog post instead of studying? Good question. I think I need to continue to blog or Facebook or something in order to stay sane, but perhaps I could tone it down a bit.

Tomorrow I will post my review of the Rodney Atkins/Brad Paisley concert I went to in January 2008. Since I am going to another Brad Paisley concert on Saturday, this is pretty much my last chance to post it!


Katie said...

I forgot to mention - I thought my baby sister was also taking the PE in October. (She's in Nevada, and they can take the PE before they have their four years experience.) I was not looking forward to this, because I was afraid I would fail and she would pass. But she is leaving for Iraq (or at least pre-Iraq training) on October 20th, so she's not taking it this time. Sad reason, but yay - I don't have to compete with her this time!

Marly said...

wow, I didn't realize Civil Engineers have to become a PE. Mechanical Engineers aren't required to do it unless they want to be able to sign off on things and Ryan doesn't care to. Oh I think there are others reasons, but from Ryan has said, they aren't required to do it. I do remember the FE though. That sucked!

Katie said...

The PE is more critical for civil engineers than for any other type. It would be absolutely essential for career growth. If you are an ME or ChemE with 10 years experience and no PE, no one cares. If you are a CivE with 10 years experience and no PE, no one is going to hire you (maybe the government will, ha ha).

However, at this company, I will not be signing/stamping anything. Our insurance is cheaper if only our principals sign/stamp.

BUT I *will* be able to sign my name as Katie *****, P.E., and you can bet that I'll be doing that (probably on everything for a while -- checks, emails, ha ha ha). And I'll have a stamp, even if I don't get to use it :-) I guess I'll just have to become a principal!

Marly said...

lol, ok, I can't wait to get your stamp :)