Wednesday, April 06, 2005

And they fought like... engineer poets... or something...

So I meant to post about this earlier, but I forgot. However, because the April 15 deadline is coming up, I just got a reminder e-mail.

So the College of Engineering (and the College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences) is sponsoring a poetry form. This forum is just for engineers and scientists. You see, as mentioned in the February 14 announcement,
Research has suggested a need for more liberal arts education and experiences within the undergraduate curricula of technical and science-based majors, particularly exemplified in recent updates to engineering accreditation standards. Humanities-based experiences – particularly in the form of creating writing activities – have been recommended to provide students with tools to communicate better with the public and across disciplines. It is a strong belief of the organizers of the forum that students within CoE and CFAES are talented individuals whose interests lie not only in the scientific and technical arena but also within the humanities and the arts. The 2005 CoE/CFAES Poetry Forum seeks to enliven interest in creative self-expression amongst students and faculty within the department, as well as create a Renaissance learning experience for all involved.

And they're not kidding about accreditation standards. This recommendation comes straight down from ABET, the organization that accredits all engineering programs. Engineers should, at least intellectually, be Renaissance professionals. Most engineers spend a majority of their time writing, and those who are at least competent write in so much third-person omniscient passive voice (I know the academics who are reading this are probably cringing) that they start *THINKING* that way. Some of them even TALK that way. So there's definitely a need of some reform.

Now, I'm not passing any judgement. I know that a lot of very proud engineering students are passing judgement, and a few of the know-it-alls are submitting masterpieces to show just how much better they are than everyone else (it's an engineering complex)... But I do think it's an interesting topic.

Now, something else that I think is funny is that the title (as in, what's at the very top of the window) of every page is "Department of Food." Now, I looked at the page sources and saw that the poor author was using Frontpage to compose those pages, so I'm assuming that she was editing her template for all of the rest of those pages when she pulled up the properties to edit the title. She was going to type "Department of Food, Agricultural, blah blah blah," but someone interrupted her, and she never went back to fix it. And so now you have "Department of Food," which is just kinda silly.

So that's that.

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