Thursday, March 19, 2015

My College Major

When I was first accepted into college at Colorado State University (CSU) my major was Forestry because of my love of the great outdoors. I love to fish, hunt, rock climb, backpacking and snow skiing. However I learned that PhD’s in Forestry was basically only doing meaningless tasks by emptying garbage bins in parks. That was in 1975. I didn't want that for my career.

My dad said that I should try R. O. T. C. because he was in the Army many years ago. I joined mainly because my best friend from high school joined with me. My wise father said I would learn a great deal. I would get experience that no other job would offer. He said one day I would act as a lawyer and the next day a judge. Another day I would act as guidance counselor and on and on, you get my point. It didn't take long after I was in the Army for a few months to find he was right!

My family wasn't that well off so I applied for and received a two year scholarship in my sophomore year. I also worked 3 jobs during my five years at college. In my sophomore year I worked in the office at Allison Hall, at the Student Center washing dishes (oh yeah!) and at a gas station until closing time. The R. O. T. C. program paid me $75 each month that paid for my apartment rent. Believe it or not that was my total rent payment! 

My dad was a civil engineer and at that time was getting his PhD at CSU. He convinced me to go for mechanical engineering. I love working on cars and repairing anything! Unfortunately I didn't have a strong background in math. In my second year I was struggling in all my classes. Dad was extremely intellectual yet down to earth. Fortunately my dad would help me study because he had an office in one of the buildings on campus. Even with his help my G.P.A. was suffering. He knew I could not continue so he found a major for me that was less theory and more practical. 

I changed to Industrial Technology! Since I was already an automotive mechanic my automotive repair classes were easy. We learned all about the manufacturing process for example how production lines work and how to build things. The eagle in my living-room was something I made in cast iron shop!
My favorite class was woodworking! When I married Hing I would build furniture for our house and I was the car repairman in my family including Hing's family! 

I have pictures of the furniture that I built. Here are two of favorites. The picture below is a book shelf that we stored board games.

I built a shoe rack in our garage because of the Chinese tradition of taking off your shoes off before entering the house. I built it with love for my dear wife!  It also stored our baseball and football equipment etc. 

In the Army I was a maintenance officer. Four years of the Army and I loved being stationed in Germany but I didn't like the Army that much. Too political. After I was in Germany for a few years I called my dad and asked him if he liked being in the Army and he said that he hated every minute! I said thanks dad!