Reflections from an Undergrad

As the semester comes to a close, all of us are busy writing our final lab reports for surf engineering.  In reviewing the final copy of my lab report, I personally couldn’t help but realize how far this class has taken me as a student. When Dr. Weaver first came to the surf team’s meeting promoting his class how could I say no? So I registered for the class thinking hey, I may not know much when it comes to the instrumentation stuff, but at least I can ride the boards for him. The first day of class was nothing less than overwhelming. All these new terms, equations and questions were being thrown at me from classes I hadn’t even taken yet. So here I was thinking well, let’s hope I can surf well enough to get an A… What I hadn’t known then was that today I’d be sitting and running a code in a program that I’ve never even used before and actually enjoying writing a paper over 10 pages long. This class was different from others, and not just because we went to the beach every other week.  The class was more of a team than a bunch of students. Maybe it just seemed that way because we all have that easy going surfer mentality, but this time I don’t think so. Everyone in the class is passionate about what they’re doing. Not just the surfing, but the learning. I have no one to thank but Dr. Weaver and the graduate students for what I’ve learned in this class. No matter how focused they were on finding the answers to their own questions, not once did any of them hesitate to answer mine. Whether it be teaching small tricks to make using Microsoft excel easier, or taking over an hour to teach a mini-lesson combining all of waves and Matlab, the graduate students were invested just as much in their classmates as  they were in their own research. Yes, I learned coding, waves, instrumentation, and so many other great topics. What I really learned however, mainly from my fellow classmates, is that when your passion and your education are the same thing, what can be done nothing short of incredible. Sure, we may not have all the answers just yet, but if future classes put in just a fifth of the effort that my classmates have, I think we’ll get there.

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