Thirty years. It seemed to go by so quickly, especially the most recent decade. Two decades ago, I hoped to drive an electric car. One decade ago, I hoped to become an engineer. This exists as somewhat of a bookend to an era as major events, career changes, and a relocation are striking at what amounts to the same moment in time.
As of yesterday, I'm a licensed professional engineer in the State of Ohio. Roughly four years from start to finish (due to some unforeseen delays and paperwork) is pretty good for obtaining the credentials. Both the FE/EIT and PE exams were marathons, though, and are probably better at measuring "can you focus on this subject matter for 5-8 hours with a short lunch break" than anything else. I would have liked to see more questions on newer technologies including microprocessor protective relays, electric vehicle service equipment, alternative energy, and flexible AC transmission systems hardware (SVC, STATCOM, UPFC, etc.) This stuff isn't exactly cutting edge anymore. Traveling wave protective relays are bleeding edge, but they're going to be a big deal in the industry pretty soon because you can isolate faults to within a few hundred meters if not less.
Now for something less narcotic. Yes, I'm actually going to work for one of the NASA support contractors at Kennedy Space Center. I wasn't expecting to leave Northeast Ohio or go as far as the Space Coast. When "The Best Location in the Nation" has no useful employment for me, it was time to take my talents elsewhere. Alvin Toffler's Future Shock was right, a twenty-first century person needs to be willing and able to relocate as everything is transient and I can't be moored to the twentieth-century way of life. While I might not be able to achieve my childhood dreams and go to space, I will be maintaining the systems that allow people and probes to go to space.
The housing situation in Titusville is a bit of a mess due to boom and bust cycles, so I'm going to be Airbnb-ing it for the first three weeks until my apartment is available, plus I'll probably be on the garage (yes, I found a place with them) waiting list for a while. My new place will be twenty minutes from the main gate at KSC and I will be able to watch rocket launches from my balcony (or at least see the vapor plume on the horizon) yet far enough inland to not be overly threatened by hurricanes. It's really something.
T - 7 days until the movers pick up my stuff.
T - 14 days until me and dad drive Red Midget II down to Lorton to load it onto the southbound Auto Train.
T - 15 days until I sign my lease.
T - 17 days to working at KSC.
T - 35 days until move-in.
"Feel So Moon~!"