Thursday, February 21, 2008

More Dr. Deez In Your Face

Here's a sweet story that completely changed my view of civil engineering forever.

We were at the "Welcome to the Department" sophmore dinner, and I was talking to Dr. Dzombak with Chris Watts. Initially, he was telling us how "we are really going to enjoy the program here" and that "there are so many opportunities for civils right now." Tell me something I don't know buddy. Somehow we got on the topic of the hurricane (Katrina) that, at the time, was 2 weeks away from hitting New Orleans.

Dr. Dzombak predicts that no one is even close to realizing how devastating this storm is going to be. Two weeks ahead! Dr. Doomsdaybak went on to discuss how inept we are at planning to not see the catastrophe that would absolutely occur at a harbor metropolis built below sea level. Then he called out "and just wait until L.A. is leveled by an earthquake." You heard it here first.

I think Chris left the conversation at this point, there were good free appetizers and Dr. Dzombak was on a mission to ruin appetites. And this is when he spat out by far my favorite quote I have ever heard since studying civil engineering:

"You know, people think of technology as televisions, cell phones, computers... What they need is Civil Engineering technology. That's technology that's saving lives."
And then this caterer who had been eavesdropping on our conversation accidentally spilled the punch everywhere. Just kidding. Maybe. But he definitely did drop his humanities major and rethought his entire life.