With everything going on at Higher Ground, you’d think that I’d work on that and nothing else, but life wasn’t that simple.
We’d gotten to that point in the semester when the tests begin to appear and papers along with them. Electronic engineering and materials science weren’t majors with a lot of papers, but I did have to turn in a couple of short ones explaining the technical choices I’d made on projects. The tests weren’t bad—Dr. Strazinsky’s calculus class asked about material I’d learned on my own and “Principles of Photonics” was interesting enough that I couldn’t ignore it. Continue reading Truth and the True: Part 1
Not a lot more happened that weekend worth mentioning—at least in terms of events with world-ending stakes. On a personal level, Haley and I went out on Saturday and had a good time. Also, I spent Sunday studying and I enjoyed that too. On Monday though, I went to Dr. Strazinsky’s class. That wouldn’t be worth mentioning either except that when it was over he said, “Nick, could you stay after class? I’ve got a couple of questions about your internship.”
I continued putting my books into my backpack but said, “Sure.”
We walked out after he’d answered a couple questions from students and walked to his office.
“I’m going to assume it’s going well, but I can’t ask more until we’re inside.” He unlocked his office door. Continue reading Deeper In: Part 5
Eventually, I finished signing all the papers. My hand didn’t hurt, but that was more of a surprise than an expectation.
When I signed the last one, I looked up, handed Dr. Hansen back his pen and asked, “I understand that you talked to friends in government about me, but what made me qualified for this? I mean, this is secret enough that only Dr. Strazinsky can read my internship reflection and that I have signed a mountain of papers saying that I won’t tell anybody about this except for people on my projects inside Higher Grounds or that have a top secret security clearance plus codewords that will be defined later.
“I’d be surprised if I have Top Secret clearance. I’m pretty sure they have to do some kind of investigation for that to even be possible. I’m not trying to get out of it or something, but it just seems too easy. You know what I mean?” Continue reading Hardwick Industries: Part 2
The next day, I got an email from Dr. Strazinsky and the Engineering department chair, Dr. Hansen. That interested me on several levels. First, because I’d been expecting an email from the department secretary with my internship information. Second, because while my engineering department adviser had to sign off on whatever internship I got, neither Dr. Strazinsky nor Dr. Hansen were my departmental adviser. Third, getting an internship meant getting information from a contact at the business, but didn’t mean a meeting with the departmental chair or anyone in the department once they’d accepted you and you’d accepted their offer.
If I hadn’t talked to Agent Lim, I’d have been worried, but as it was, I walked into Dr. Hansen’s office at the appointed time (three o’clock) with a good idea of what was going on. Continue reading Hardwick Industries: Part 1
“They’re okay with that?” It seemed like something I could ask. The Galactic Alliance requirement that we couldn’t copy their technology had passed into general knowledge.
Dr. Strazinsky nodded. “The aliens aren’t as concerned about the math as the technology. I like to think that I’m exploiting a loophole in the system. Don’t tell anybody. The administration might get nervous.”
I thought about that. I’d heard of people doing that kind of thing in STEM courses. Our scientists and engineers seemed to be more bothered by the Alliance’s version of Star Trek’s Prime Directive than your average guy. Continue reading For His Own Good: Part 3
When class let out, I waited for everyone else to leave—which also meant waiting for five people with questions and others who wanted to add or drop the class. By the time that was done, the next class was already beginning to file into the room with their professor.
Dr. Strazinsky looked over at me as I stood there. “Would you mind walking to my office before we say anything about your quiz?”
I thought about it. “Sure.” Continue reading For His Own Good: Part 2
Dr. Strazinsky stood in front of the class, staring down at the pile of paper in his hands. Then he looked at me, making me wonder what I’d done.
This was my Calculus III class, one of the few prerequisites I hadn’t comped out of. I was only taking it during my Junior year because of some annoying scheduling issues between my double major in electrical engineering and chemistry.
The professor took a long breath and looked out at the class. From his appearance, I guessed that he had to be in his thirties, but he felt older. I didn’t know whether it was the tan suit jacket with tie and slacks, or the slightly balding hair.
Whatever it was, if you were hoping for a young, charismatic professor, this wasn’t your guy. Continue reading For His Own Good: Part 1