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June 3, 2001


The Workterm Diary: Day 24


Originally conceived on Thursday, just not written up until now.

I don't know what caused it, but all of a sudden, I seem to be craving a little iron ring on my little finger.

We all know the story. Upon graduation from an their program, engineering students get a little iron ring. Supposedly from a bridge that fell, to remind us of the need of our care and our service to society.

Sure, ever so slightly irrelevant to my classmates and I, engineers of the computer breed.

I can't explain it. I look for these rings. I hunt for them. I sit on the subway and seem to subconciously look for the prescence of a little dull and tarnished ring on the little finger of the other people on their way to work.

Maybe it's just the hype, but iron rings are the talk of the campus. Well, atleast, the faculty. The outgoing show off the iron rings, the newbies eagerly countdown to the next ring ceremony ("Iron Ring Stag") with the help of a large digital countdown clock in POETS, the engineering bar/hangout.

My manager has one. Someone in my department has one. I find myself studying their rings while I sit there, bored as ever, in the weekly status meeting. I mentioned it once. The reply was nonchalant. "Yeah, I studied engineering."

These rings don't define your persona. They don't establish who you are or what job you do our how successful you are.

My dad's an engineer. He doesn't wear his ring. I often time find myself sneaking it on, I guess, waiting in anticipation of the day when I'll (hopefully) get one.

I wondered for a while why he didn't wear it. Ever. Old pictures and my mom seem to indicate that he always used to wear that ring, proud of it, just like every other newly-graduated engineer. But why did he not wear it now? Was it because he was unhappy with his choice of profession? Or burdened with the weight of the duty to society junctioned with the ring? So I asked...

"Oh, it's too small now."

Maybe I'll outgrow this one day too.

Carpe Diem. Seize the day.

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