Sunday, March 29, 2009

Martha's Sons

Part of going to a Canadian engineering school is a special ceremony called "The Ritual of the Calling of an Engineer". This was alluded to in the previous post. If any of you already know engineers, then you're familiar with the iron ring. It is a reminder to engineers that the work we do is important, and we get it when we participate in a ceremony in which we agree to always do our best to produce good work. Both my parents are engineers, and I've grown up knowing about the iron ring. It's really cool (and weird) to finally have my own. You cannot attend the ritual unless you are an engineer who has an iron ring already, but since both my parents are, and one of my grandfathers, here you can see me with my guests.

This ritual was written by Rudyard Kipling for Canadian engineers back in the 1920's, and to this day every graduate of Canadian engineering schools is given the opportunity to participate. So it means a lot to me that I got to take part in this ritual. The ritual is semi-private, so I can't really give a lot of details here, but here's a picture of the iron ring, what everyone spends their time here looking forward to. Sorry for the quality of the picture, but the ring is worn on the dominant hand, so anyone trying to take a picture of their own ring is forced to use their non-dominant hand (left in my case).

The post title comes from one of Kipling's poems. It's one that really shows why he was considered appropriate to write a ritual for engineers, and the high esteem in which he holds the work of engineers.


  1. Congrats on getting your ring! I can't believe that it's only a year away for our class!
    It's cool that you have so many engineers in your family who were able to come watch your IRC.

  2. Thanks. It's really odd to look at that picture, I keep thinking it's my mom's hand.

    I like that they moved IRC to so close to the end of the term - it really is a sign that we're in the home stretch, almost done.

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