A bony man who struggled with his words and barely looked at his audience mumbled about the ingenious art that is engineering. “We build tomorrow’s world.” He said to his shoes. “We are the hands that solve problems and make life for humanity easier.
“Chemical engineering, it is the subtle science of the world. It has no real definition so it is something quite brilliant. It is the chemistry of the world. Mechanical engineers, we put the engine in engineering. We are the wheels of industries that run the world. Civil engineers, we set up dwellings and we put up shelters. We take the intricate designs from the profound architect and we pull up these magnificent buildings from the ground. Up, up and up. We are the educated youth of this age. It is our time. Read your books and solve this over done problem and you will wield the power to run the world because we shall give you a paper that says you could.”
It was exciting to hear this anxious and annoyingly shy man talk this way. I told myself I shall earn myself this paper and wield the power that would give me a say in the world. And I poked my head into this world of said chemistry of the world and it was quite exciting. Spontaneously combustible matter, the making of the hard, eternal matter, the essence of life was in it and it was indeed magical. I ran and showed this to the man. And to my surprise, he shook his head no. He said, “No, go solve this problem using formula. I know the answer to this question. You do not. Solve this and I will give you your paper that shall make you my equal.”
There was no magic in that single equation that he himself must have taught in a class over and over and over. I scribbled the practiced numbers and variables in the right places and went to show him again. Satisfied, he gave me a paper that said I had mastered a level in the undefined but quite brilliant science of the world.
So I went forth and I went to people. “Employ me, I am a master of the chemistry of the world.” I said. They gazed over my paper and they nodded pleased. “Here, make these plastic bottles that will hold all the natural water that people can’t afford. Also make some of that cement the civil engineers will use to raise all those buildings that people can’t afford. Then put this chemical in all those herbs. It will either protect the skin from UV light or it will give it cancer and kill. We will take the chance. Then dump the waste right over there in the river where all the sullied people live. They do not know what it is so it can not kill them.”
I started blankly at my boss.
“You are a chemical engineer aren’t you?” he asked.