Advanced Essay #1: One Too Many Steps Ahead


The focus of this essay is on the idea of letting your ego get the better of you. In this essay I use a memory of this happening to me personally, and how it affected the task I was doing. I am proud of how descriptive I was when writing about the scene in my essay, as well as the fact that I could add a little bit of humor into my essay when it wasn't really a funny memory at all. I definitely feel as though I should work on strengthening my reflection in the future so that the scene isn't the only thing attracting the spotlight in my paper.

Advanced Essay:

My footsteps echoed in the hallway as I made my way towards the Engineering room. It was 9 A.M, and although my body was in the SLA hallway, my mind was still sleeping in my bed. The hallway was dark and eery this early in the morning, probably since it was the weekend and none of the lights were on. I turned the corner and saw a streak of light peeking out from one of the rooms in the hallway. That meant Mr.Kamal was here already and that I wasn’t as early as I thought. I walked up to the doors of the engineering room and grasped the cold metal handle, ready to swing it open, when I looked inside. 
I looked around to see the barren landscape that was our Engineering room. I swung open the door and stepped in. I was about to go find the nearest place to sleep, my eyes were locked on a bare table that would be suitable for the short nap I was going to take when my ears picked up a couple of faint voices coming from the armory. Mr. Kamal suddenly walked out with a group of students who looked tired, but Mr. Kamal had a happy look on his face as usual. 
“How strong is his coffee?” I asked myself quietly. 
We all sat down and got to work on coming up with ideas for our robot since today was the first official meeting for build season. We got to pick what we wanted to work on and my group got to design the mechanism that would pull up the robot. We got a whiteboard and started to brainstorm. In almost an instant everyone thought of the same idea: a winch. We were all confident that this would take like a week max and that it would be the simplest, most reliable, solution, that would solve our problem. Little did we know we were wrong. 
We got so confident in our idea that when we had to solve a few math equations, we overlooked and didn’t calculate an important part that would make or break, literally, our idea. This is the point in time when our confidence was really hurting us. We were getting so ahead of ourselves that we were skipping the principles of what a good engineer should do, and that’s double check everything. We didn’t notice any of this at the time because we were all just excited and in living in the moment, but these mistakes would surely hurt us in the future. 
When it was time to test our idea and we prepared our miscalculated winch, we had to go get weights. Maciej and I, the two “beefcakes” of the engineering squad, obviously had to be the ones to do it. As we conveyed the monstrous weights towards the winch, our confidence started to peek out from inside us, our lips started to slowly curve into a smirk. We got to the winch and let the weights down with an echoing thud, and started to strut towards the rope. I grabbed the neon orange rope and started to maneuver it making numerous knots around each weight, securing them to the winch. When the weights were secured we backed up cautiously towards the battery, where Mr. Kamal was ready to activate it with a switch. 
“Ready when you are,” we said. 
Mr. Kamal flipped the switch and the machine started. “Crankkkkkkkkkkk, pop!” The winch broke off the surface and fell onto the floor with a loud “BANG!” Everyone stared at the winch for a solid minute with faces of disappointment. A single tear rolled down Maciej’s cheek. 
Surprisingly making a bad winch actually taught me something very important. It taught me a lot about the importance of not getting ahead of yourself. While designing the winch and later building it, we got very confident and “put the wagon in front of the horse” as some people might say. If we just thought before we acted and didn’t let our egos get the best of us we would have probably caught the mistakes we made early on and successfully made a design that worked. This lesson applies to many life scenarios. Let’s say you are supposed to be studying for a test, but goof off instead because you're cocky and think you know everything, and you end up flunking it. Either one of these scenarios, whether it has to do with engineering or with a test, teach the same virtue, and that virtue is to not get ahead of yourself.