Apr 14

Germany – Week One

Lisa Mitchell

Editor’s Note: This is a guest blog post by B-Section senior Lisa Mitchell, who is majoring in Mechanical Engineering and works as a co-op at UTC Aero Systems LK in Connecticut, and will occasionally post her thoughts about her Kettering student experiences on Life at Kettering. If you’d like to write a guest blog post, e-mail jmurphy(at)kettering(dot)edu. Lisa’s other posts: Post 1 | Post 2 | Post 3

 

So far, I have had such an amazing experience in Germany. Last weekend we went to Munich and got to experience the joys of a biergarten and eat some traditional German food (which I’m now making for myself during the week at the dorms) while roaming this beautiful city. It’s truly breathtaking how historic and beautiful the buildings are here. Just being here is such a wonderful feeling.
We walk just about everywhere, and we have a 45-minute walk to school/downtown so all the pretzels, sausages, and bread are not affecting us as severely as one might think. I actually think I’ve lost weight since being here.
Being a stranger in a new country is so eye opening. The way people live and interact is so exciting because it’s so different. We are quickly learning that most Germans are used to staying out much later than Americans are. The classes we have and the professors are all incredible. They are scheduled later in the day, so most days our first class isn’t until 3:45 p.m.! Which means we get to fill our mornings with jogging, reading in the park, espresso at the local cafes, and just chilling out with the Germans students we meet.
One of my personal favorite aspects of European culture is the style. The community as a whole takes very good care of themselves, and they are very hygienic and stylish. I swear, this whole country smells like cologne and flowers.

Today we are heading to Audi for an excursion with our class. From there, myself and five others are jetting off to Austria for the weekend. We plan to hit up Zurich and Salzburg! It should be another fantastic weekend.


Apr 14

Germany – Day One

Lisa Mitchell

Editor’s Note: This is a guest blog post by B-Section senior Lisa Mitchell, who is majoring in Mechanical Engineering and works as a co-op at UTC Aero Systems LK in Connecticut, and will occasionally post her thoughts about her Kettering student experiences on Life at Kettering. If you’d like to write a guest blog post, e-mail jmurphy(at)kettering(dot)edu. Lisa’s other posts: Post 1 | Post 2

Last night, I slept with the window open (which I never do in America but I’m taking on European ways of life as best I can) and it was absolutely wonderful. I woke up to birds chirping and a lovely breeze that was incredibly refreshing. I woke up at 6:30 a.m. and went for a run. Took a shower and definitely used a washcloth and a flannel shirt to dry myself off because I didn’t bring a towel and couldn’t find one on Tuesday.

Then I met with my group, we stopped off at the market for breakfast. I got a breakfast cinnamon roll honey fritter thing which was quite the comedic scene when I attempted to order, I don’t know a lick of German so I suggested that I point to what I want and she didn’t know what I meant by “point” so the lady was nonetheless very confused and I couldn’t do anything about it. But after stumbling through some awkward pauses and charades, I got my cinnamon roll honey fritter thing.

Then we caught a bus to downtown Esslingen, then walked through the city lost, but not admitting it, and finally found the building our orientation was held in. We had an introduction, then went for lunch in a cute little cafe downtown. I decided ordering the “special” is the way to go because I get a traditional German meal that is new, delicious, and cheaper. So once again we fumbled through ordering our food and enjoyed a nice lunch, and an incredible cup of tassee kaffee.

After lunch I was on a serious mission to find a towel before we had our next orientation session. Finding a towel was excessively difficult! After wandering and going through numerous stores, I asked someone “where can I buy a hand towel?” Using a translator app, I finally received a detailed drawing on where to go. 

 

Apr 14

Germany – Arrival Day

Lisa Mitchell

Editor’s Note: This is a guest blog post by B-Section senior Lisa Mitchell, who is majoring in Mechanical Engineering and works as a co-op at UTC Aero Systems LK in Connecticut, and will occasionally post her thoughts about her Kettering student experiences on Life at Kettering. If you’d like to write a guest blog post, e-mail jmurphy(at)kettering(dot)edu. Lisa’s other posts: Post 1

I have anticipated this moment since before I attended Kettering, and the time has finally come! I am sitting on the plane headed to Philadelphia, then will fly into Frankfurt where I will connect to Stuttgart, then take a shuttle to Hocshule Esslingen! I checked one bag that was exactly 49 pounds (I can thank Kettering for that precision, because I have had a significant amount of practice tetris-ing all my shoes and 3 months of my life into a suitcase). My first flight was intended to depart from Hartford, CT at 1:45 p.m. on March 31,  but as expected, the flight was delayed an hour. Which will make for a sprint in the Philly airport, but it will work out in some way or another. Traveling is all about learning to roll with the punches. Half the adventure is figuring out what to do and where to go when everything goes wrong. Nothing ever goes as planned when you travel, so I’ve learned to expect it, then smile and be pleasant to the employees who can connect me to my flights and hotels :)

I’m meeting Savannah (my best friend, roommate, and travel partner) at baggage claim in the airport in Stuttgart and we have scheduled for a shuttle to pick us up and take us to the school, so that is the plan (assuming our flights allow it).

So, although the times in the airport were fast paced and stressful, everything ended up working out as planned. Savannah and I met up in baggage claim, then met up with the shuttle driver who drove us directly to the dorms. We got our rooms, dropped our stuff off, then went for a walk around town.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We went to the market place (where I bought cheese and sparkling apple juice, both excessively random choices, I know) then walked to an Italian cafe and ate outside in the sunshine. It was glorious. Although, it was 11 a.m. and it felt like it should be 6 p.m. My body was whacked out. I unpacked and took a power nap and after that everything was very smooth. I wasn’t tired, and haven’t been tired since. We went out for drinks and dinner later in the night after discovering the most amazing ice cream (that was only 1€!) and just chilled out until we walked home around 10:30 p.m.

Apr 07

Back to your regularly scheduled work term

Jessica Bruce

Jessica Bruce

Editor’s Note: This is a guest blog post by Kettering senior Jessica Bruce, who is from Flint, MI and is majoring in Industrial Engineering, will occasionally post her thoughts about her Kettering student experiences on Life at Kettering. If you’d like to write a guest blog post, e-mail jmurphy(at)kettering(dot)edu. Jessica’s other posts: Post 1 | Post 2 | Post 3

Wow, what an academic term and apologies for the lack of posts. This past school term has been a whirlwind for me, with my class load surprising me a bit, but I handled it and came out on top. Over winter break on New Year’s Eve I actually got engaged to a Mechanical Engineering student on B section, and I’m very happy; though currently not planning anything until after graduation, school first.

Now I’m a senior! YAY :D

Finals week was interesting for me.  I was rear-ended while waiting for the red light in front of Einstein’s to change on my way to my 10 a.m. Human Biology exam. No major injury, and my car needs a new impact bar, but the whole experience was not what I had planned for the first morning of exams. However, the mini-station adjoined to Einstein’s was ridiculously convenient as I didn’t even have to call 911 to report the accident. Then later that night I went to the clinic to get checked out, as my neck was really bothering me,  and got diagnosed with minor whiplash and was given a doctor’s note for my 7:30 a.m. exam the next morning, efficiently ending my Winter 2014 academic term. All healed now though. :D

My alumni FRC robotics team, Megatron Oracles a.k.a “Big MO” team 314, is having a fantastic 15th anniversary season! They have won two of their competitions this year and at their last competition they received the Chairman’s award! Currently they are ranked 4th in the state and are qualified to go to the State competition. I am so proud of my alumni team for doing so well, and congratulations to all the members on the team! I wish you guys the best and can’t wait to see how you fare at states and worlds.

Now back to our regularly scheduled work term.

This term is going to be a bit hectic, but hey…when is Kettering not hectic? First official thesis term and I get to begin the process of testing. I’m excited for my first really big work project. Also I’m hopeful to get to travel for work a bit this term; a change in scenery is always nice.

Mar 24

What is the speed of three months? Fast.

Chaz Mancino

Editor’s Note: This is a guest blog post by Kettering freshman Charles ‘Chaz’ Mancino. Chaz, who is from Fredonia, NY, and is majoring in Mechanical Engineering, will occasionally post his thoughts about his Kettering student experiences on Life at Kettering.If you’d like to write a guest blog post, e-mail jmurphy(at)kettering(dot)edu. Chaz’s other posts: Post 1 | Post 2 | Post 3 | Post 4 |Post 5 | Post 6 | Post 7 | Post 8 | Post 9 | Post 10 | Post 11 | Post 12 | Post 13 Post 14 Post 15 | Post 16 Post 17 | Post 18 | Post 19 | Post 20

No one blink: it could be the end of the term by the time eyes are opened again.

Three months. What use to seem like a long time now goes by in a blink of an eye. Either I am growing old or have gotten use to the Kettering schedule. Whichever, three months now go by like 1, 2…poof! Done. Just like that. Amazing.

With another batch of finals right around the corner, it is obvious that stress levels are at peak levels for the term and activities and tests have started to level off. There is also hope in the air, sort of like the hope that a little kid gets on Christmas Eve in anticipation of Santa Claus’ visit, since work term is also right around the corner. Time to relax, give one’s brain a break, and get hands dirty with the latest technologies, machinery, and prototypes. However, just like the kid on Christmas Eve, there is a wait before work term. While not as magical as going to bed with a stocking over a fireplace, the wait for Kettering University students on school term includes finals. Finals. The very word makes college students all around the world squirm. Just breath, relax, and study hard. Everything will (hopefully) work out.

In the meantime, as finals and work term approach, I am as busy as ever. Finishing term projects, completing the remaining tests of the term, and closing the book on another school term, there seems to be no time to relax. However, there are many times even during the daytime to have fun. At Kettering University, there are many clubs and organizations to join. Despite having been in many clubs and organizations before, I have joined new ones this term including the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME). That may be one of the great things about Kettering University: despite having a hard and busy academic schedule, there is always a club or organization that one can become a part of if it sparks interest. There, a student can relax with friends and attend various activities that occur throughout the week. For example, being a member of Firebirds Club, I have been able to attend karting events throughout the term. For a car lover, nothing relieves stress like tossing a vehicle around corners. However, not only can I race a go-kart against friends and relieve some stress at these karting events, I can also become a faster driver, hangout with friends, and forget about classes for a while.

Photo by Adam Watson, chief engineer for the Formula SAE team

Photo by Adam Watson, chief engineer for the Formula SAE team

Talking about vehicles, what about the Formula SAE car? Well, like all ongoing projects at Kettering University, it is being built as you read this. Being a designer and fabricator of the car, I can see a project through the design process to the fabrication process. Even though they both have to do with completing a car, both have many different aspects. For example, when designing a part, one must consider where it can go, if there are any minimum or maximum dimensions as per the rules, what materials can it be made out of, can it withstand any forces that might go through it, and the list goes on. When fabricating a part, one must consider what the best way is to make the part, what materials are needed and are they available, what machines need to be used, what is the tolerance of the part as per the design, and the list goes on. Even after a part a fabricated, one must make sure that it can actually fit on the car. If it the part does not fit, then it means that it needs to be remade. Like all SAE vehicles, Formula SAE cars are also prototypes, meaning that something might go wrong with them during practice runs or at a competition. This means that students must also must think fast of how to fix the car, especially during a competition. A lot of work, but after going through the stress of creating something from scratch, saying that you have designed, fabricated, and tested it is a great feeling.

So there goes another three months. Three months of classes, activities, and building a racecar. Busy, but it is all worth it. Now to throw myself at some finals before getting tossed out into the real world again. No one blink: it might be the beginning of the next school term when eyes are opened again.

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