Letters: English majors can’t accomplish same as engineering majors

“I could do what you do every day, too. I would just have to put my mind to it,” said a sophomore English major in Thursday’s issue of the Daily (Bailey Lewis’ “Adding the human element” column). She was exploring the idea that engineering at Iowa State does not deserve any more recognition than other colleges like history, English or finger-painting.

Professionals in these fields of study provide plenty of contributions to society. I love reading Hemingway, listening to old Beatles records and checking up on the latest and greatest in the Iowa State Daily. I have nothing bad to say about you or your field of study, until you bring your narrow-minded and shallow opinion to the newspaper that bears the same name of the university that I tragically know and love. So, without further ado .

I challenge you.

If all you have to do is put your mind to it, I have a structural steel design project that is due on Nov. 12, and I think I could use someone of your skills and expertise. It is a pretty simple steel frame, with about 10 differently sized steel members. All you have to do is run the statics (I’ll let you borrow my old EM 274 book) to figure out the loads (both axial and flexural), map how they transfer between members, and then just use the AISC (American Institute of Steel Construction) Manual, 13th Edition, to find the lightest W shapes to carry the loads and support the frame. It’s really not even that hard.

In exchange, I will write one of your short stories for your sophomore-level English classes. I think the story will follow a young girl from a small town who finally heads off to university. She buries herself in a foggy world of hippies and sadists from big cities like Davenport and Fort Dodge.

One day, she realizes that her degree is not going to take her anywhere unless she has extraordinary talent, so she decides to take her frustration out on her peers with bright careers and lots of dollar signs being flashed in their faces from the career fair. After making a really lousy argument in the university newspaper, she surprisingly feels just as miserable as before.

Finally, she graduates college and moves to her newest favorite town, Davenport, where she falls madly in love with Moe the Mallard, the former mascot of the local minor league hockey team.

Fortunately for the two lovebirds, Moe gets a sweet job entertaining at Chuck E. Cheese and is able to pull down enough money for them both to live happily ever after.

Miss Lewis, engineering is a very demanding and challenging field. If we screw up, people can die. We work very hard, and once a year, our future employers donate a bunch of money so we can have a fun week with games, activities and free food on campus for all ISU students to enjoy.

So, look up at the ceiling for a moment. Ever wonder what keeps that roof from tumbling down on your head? Well, you should be thankful that someone does.

Alex Zikra, Senior, Construction engineering