Why “The Electrical Engineer” magazine almost made me cry

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The Electrical Engineer

How could IIEE‘s magazine for electrical engineers make me so emotional? Funny, but true. I was teary eyed when I recently received from the mail this magazine with the blazing orange cover. It was my father’s. It was the remainder of his magazine subscription; the sticker label said so. It was a small part of him that I could hold on to long after he had gone.

Next month (September 30) will be his first death anniversary. The subscription would have ended by then, but he will still live on, my father the engineer. He is and will forever be missed in our family — my father, my inspiration.

It’s no coincidence I’m working in a place surrounded by engineers. I wanted to be here. I chose to be here. I wanted to be like my father. It’s my source of pride that I stubbornly did not study to become an engineer (as both my parents secretly hoped, but then math happened), yet somehow I ended up here in the electric power industry doing something else that I love.

I may not have an “Engr.” title affixed to my name, but I am happy learning and just being in the company of amazing people who worked hard to earn that title. Just to be clear, there are hundreds more in the corporation who are non-engineers, but they work just as hard and are just as amazing.

But these engineers, they are at the heart of NGCP’s operations, and a big part of what I do at work is learning from these experts and trying to communicate to different audiences how they operate the power grid. After so many years, I’m still trying to learn as much as I can. It’s a never-ending challenging experience to work here.

So now, as I leaf through “The Electrical Engineer” — my father’s last subscription — even the long technical articles seem strangely comforting, the transmission industry stories especially so. The words read familiar and feel just like home. I finally understand that it’s true: home is where my heart is.

(first published in The Weekly GRID, 10 August 2015)

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