For the record, I'm a graduate of Cornell University's College of Engineering and proud of it. Also for the record, I'm the unhandiest handyman that was ever granted an engineering degree. While I'm at it, let it be known that I get very irritable whenever my inability to correct a household mechanical or electrical failure is associated with an error on the part of Cornell to bestow upon me the title of Engineer.
Case in point. While on a break from the school "far above Cayuga's waters", I returned home for a visit. My father was especially proud that he had a son who had taken a course in refrigeration and had long awaited my visit. After devouring a meal of "pasta e faggioli" I found out the real reason for my welcomed visit. Apparently the refrigerator was malfunctioning. Rather than calling a serviceman, my father had decided to wait until his son, the engineer in training, was home. After supper (I learned to have dinner after graduating), he patiently explained there was a problem with the refrigerator which he would like me to take care of. In turn, I patiently explained that I did not know how to fix the damn thing. My father's disappointment was obvious as he exclaimed: "You mean to tell me that you took a course in refrigeration and can't fix a refrigerator? What kind of an engineer are you?"
Of course, once I completed my education and was hired as an engineer with a major corporation, my inability to fix a refrigerator was forgiven. After all. someone thought I was qualified to take on the responsibilities of an engineer and was willing to pay me a salary.
I've written this post to reflect the disappointment of those I love, who over the years have had to come to terms with the inability of an engineer to tackle some of the simplest mechanical and electrical malfunctions in the household. Correction - all but the High Primal have come to terms. To this day, after I inform her that we had better call a serviceman to fix an appliance, she takes me down a peg or two with the words: "I thought you were an engineer, why can't you fix it".
As I said at the outset I do have an engineering education. It served me well for many years in the world of cutting edge technology. Unfortunately, it never came in handy with household tasks but I'm willing to live with that.