Tuesday, February 1, 2011


The smell of graphite fills my nostrils as I drag my compass repeatedly across the page.

Small particles of the soft lead crumble off of the small, two millimeter diameter shaft clamped into the metal arm of the device and scatter across the paper, leaving thin marks behind as faint delimeters of their rolling trajectories.

A quick flick of my clipboard knocks the miniscule lead clumps from the page.

My ruler and protractor come down upon the page, acting in tandem with my pencil to generate points and dotted lines upon the crowded canvas of the once sterile and empty white void of the sheet.

Step by step, my hands use the simple tools at their disposal to turn what was once a simple, nearly planar rectangular field into diagrams, models, and representations of simple mechanisms.

There is very little math; in fact, there is little more than a simple inequality.

This is the closest that I have ever come to creating art.

A simple requirement is given: one basic constraint that gives way to a combination of deep-seeded understanding of the physical limitations of motion and a trust in my hands to effortlessly construct from nothing a device to complete the required task.

I pause to check my work.

My manual extremeties are covered in smudged ink and large, patchy splotches of smeared lead.

The desk area in front of me is littered with eraser shavings and discarded drafts of previous attempts.

I trace over the recently confirmed portions of my diagram with heavy black ink and continue on to the next step.

I do not over-calculate.

I do not constantly wonder about the end result; if I am correct.

I do not struggle.

I simply do, and allow myself to do.

Yes...I believe that I am going to enjoy Kinematics.

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