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.