Polymer Journal #4

If you want to create something, working through the engineering process is vital. The engineering process is first defining the problem, then developing solutions, then optimizing prototypes. However, it isn’t just a three step process. You go through it many times, and in the end, you will have a solution to your goal.

The first step that we took when we were given the design goal “something wearable with another purpose” was narrowing the goal down. Starting is the hardest part, but once we narrowed this goal down to “elbow and knee pads that will keep you safe” we had kick started a momentum that drove us through until the end.

The next step we took was developing solutions to this goal. We used background knowledge from previous slime test observations to come up with a base polymer (boogers) and other substances we wanted to add (PVA solution and glue, borax, cornstarch, water, guar gum). With this information, we started to test ratios of substance to substance to find a perfect ratio that will give us a polymer that will fit our goal. This took the most time and effort. We had our first ratio, and of course it wasn’t perfect. This meant that we were back to the drawing board, finding the problem with our polymer and then fixing it by adding more of the substance that would give that polymer the property it was missing. Of course this would also counter act some properties therefore we would need to optimize it again, but eventually, we were able to come up with a polymer that worked. It was a cycle of finding the problem and finding solution, but being engineers we “never gave up, never surrendered”.

This is a summary of the many times we had to repeat the engineering process and an example of difficulties we had to overcome.

This is a summary of the many times we had to repeat the engineering process and an example of difficulties we had to overcome.

Through all of this, we learned many things. Without passion for the outcome of our polymer, we would never have gotten this far, we would have given up the first problem we came across. With this we understood the true importance of passion. In broader terms, we learned what it was like being an engineer and all the difficulty it bared.


The Path To Forgetting

A quick glance at the book I Am the Cheese by Robert Cormier-you think to yourself, what does this mean? I Am the Cheese? Why would the author title a book like this? There are many theories, too many to count. What I believe is that the book is titled I Am the Cheese because “the cheese stands alone” and then Adam says himself that he is “The Cheese”. Adam is alone, he is an orphan, and he has lost his mind. The book is about how he becomes “The Cheese” and it all comes together in the ending.

Endings are the most important pieces to a book, they are what we remember and what influence us the most. The theme of the book is included in the ending, a major factor to what makes an exceptional book. The themes of I Am the Cheese are identity is more important that just your name and background, memory is of great significance, and lies are very powerful. How are these themes uncovered? The resolution of the book.

There is a saying that it isn’t the destination that counts, rather the journey, but I do not believe that this saying is true. The destination is the most important, because in the destination you can see a reflection of the journey that one has taken to get there. The ending of I Am the Cheese is very confusing, especially because the three narrative strands are combined into one. Adam with Brint is the present, and Adam on his bike and Adam in Monument is all in his head. Adam never actually got on his bike and rode to Rutterburg, it was just a mental trip that keeps repeating after Adam’s sanity flew away subsequent to his final “therapy” session with Brint. “[T:] Who did you see? [A:] Gray pants. Him…[T:] Who? Who? You must not retreat now. You must not withdraw.” (Cormier 221). The bullies, Whipper and his two friends Dobbie and Lewis who tried to steal his parcel back in the narrative where Adam is running away are revealed to also be patients at the “haven for troubled people”. “They are always playing pranks. Once when I was riding my bike around the grounds-Dr. Dupont allows me to do this if I promise not to leave the place-Whipper and his friends chased me and knocked me off and I went flying into a ditch.” (Cormier 225) With this sentence all the pieces are put t