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  1. 1. Gaskins 1Taylor GaskinsMs. LesterAdvanced Grammar and Composition14 March 2012 Senior Speech Imagine living in a world without bridges, roads or even running water. All of thesethings are so common in today’s society that people often forget who is responsible for buildingthem. A little about me, I am 18 years old, work at the Manor Golf and Country Club, and I am adiehard Auburn fan. I always knew ever since I was a young child that I wanted to be anengineer; the problem was that I didn’t know what type I wanted to be until I discovered mynatural skills in engineering back in 2004. When I was in the fourth grade, a few friends and Idecided that we wanted to build a fort to play in.We didn’t know where to get the materials tobuild our fort, so we decided to borrow a saw and cut down all the tree limbs in my friend’s backyard.After all his tree limbs were cut off; we stacked them in a clear spot in the woods.This wasabout the point in time we realized that none of us knew how to build a fort.So after trial anderror it was determined that simply leaning them against each other was not going to work,therefore I came up with the idea of digging a small trench for the outline of the fort and stickingthe limbs in the trench, then filling it back up with the dirt to stabilize them.This almost worked,the tree limbs were standing up like a wall, but they wouldn’t stay in line with each other.Mysolution to this problem was to take the ropes off my friend’s swing set and use them to tie thelimbs together.Finally, after the cost of my friend’s back yard, we had built a fort and began toplay in it until we grew bored of it and tore it down a few days later.This experience was the firsttime I realized that I enjoyed thinking problems out and creating my own solutions to them. Thisexample is but one of many that led to my decision to write my research paper on theimprovements in education, efficacy, and product quality that civil engineers need to focus on inorder to retain their title as a leading engineering force. My intent in choosing this topic was to learn everything that I could about what it takes tobecome a great civil engineer, and to get a better grasp on what the requirements are going to bein the future. I believe this information will be very beneficial to what I will need to know in mycollege career, and it has helped me learn the proper ways on how to begin a project and carry itout in an efficient and timely manner. Now I’m going to tell you about my project facilitatorWilliam Gleason. The qualities I was looking for in my facilitator were: experienced knowledge in civilengineering/ construction, a flexible schedule, and easy to work with. I met Mr. Gleason the firstday I moved to Canton Georgia when he walked over and helped my dad build a ramp to ourmoving truck.William Gleason has gainedfirsthand experience in this field by building hisdaughter a two story playhouse complete with slide and swings, along with hisback porch
  2. 2. Gaskins 2fromscratch. Thanks to my project facilitator’s open schedule Ihad amble opportunities to planout every action that would be needed to complete my project. I first met with my facilitator in early January, where we designed the tool chest to fit mycar.Once the idea was in our minds we thought out a list of the materials the tool box was goingto require.Then the task became to figure out how to fit the tool box around the gas tank. In myoriginal design I had the idea to drill a hole through the base of the tool chest and the floor panelof the car to put a locking pin in to prevent it from sliding around when the cars moving. Thenwe began to build the actual box, and the hardest part of the two shorter sides was attaching therope handles to make lifting the chest easier. The interesting trick I used with the corners iscalled duck tail, were you cut pieces out of the wood using a special blade on the table saw toallow the wood to lock into place with oneanother. The advantage of this is that the corners willhold without the use of wood glue. After all four sides had been attached to one another; the nextstep was to nail in a small strip of wood on the interior of both side pieces.These provided thesupport needed to hold up a smaller, more portable tool box that can be taken out if a break downon the side of the rode occurs and I need to carry tools to the front of the car.Next, the lid wasconstructed out of a piece of maple wood and cut to fit perfectly over the entire tool box.Thenhinges were attached to both the lid and back, to allow the tool box to open easily.Finally, awooden pen was placed through the base and the floor of the car. Despite the fact of having apre-planned work procedure, problems were still inevitable to occur. The first problem I came upon was trying to fit the base around the gas tank of the truck.Ifixed this by using a router to cut an arch in the base to fit around the tank.The other majorproblem I had was using a paint hammer to get the chain in to stop the lid from opening all theway.My solution to this problem was to put a piece of wood on the nail and hit it, butunfortunately the damage had already been done.My several attempts to attach the chain endedin 3 broken chains and severely dented wood. Thankfully I used a paint hammer, which inflicteda lot less damage than a regular hammer would.Using my own solutions to problems I was facedwith really gave me a chance to experience what it is like to be an engineer. In conclusion I feel that the senior project was not a good use of my time.There are manyother things a senior in high school needs to be doing rather than spending months on a literatureproject, such as: raising money for college, focusing on other classes, or using available time toget a job.However, I have learned many things about myself that I wasn’t aware of before thisproject.For instance, I have a very positive work ethic for the first couple of hours, but afterabout 3 hours of work I begin to lose interest.I came into this assignment knowing thatprocrastination was going to be a huge aspect for me to overcome, but with a detailed schedulewith my facilitator I was able to complete my project in a timely and efficientmanner.Unfortunately, my project did not give me a lot of practice in my communication skillsother than telephone conversations and simple emails.If I had a chance to do this project overagain I would definitely choose one that gave me more practice in communication. I havelearned from this assignment that I don’t want to choose civil engineering as my career
  3. 3. Gaskins 3choice.Instead, I aminterested in pursuing anengineering career more focused on engine designand repair.For my post-secondary education I am attending Southern Polytechnic StateUniversity next semester and studying mechanical engineering.I plan on enlisting in the air forceROTC program they have in order to help pay for my college education and to give me structurethrough school.After two years at SPSU, if I maintain a minimum of a 2.7 GPA and take threerequired mechanical engineering courses, I will have a guaranteed acceptance to Georgia Tech’saerospace engineering program to finish my education and complete the AFROTC program. Ihope to become a crew chief in the United States air force to design and repair aircraft motors.Thank You for Your TimeDo you have any questions?