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Because We Take You for Granted

Submitted by Laura Horton on June 7, 2010 – 4:34 pmComments

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tall building, not designed by my brother (photo: Laura Horton, 6/2008)

I’m a writer.  Okay, so technically everybody that writes is a writer, but I have this crazy idea that I’ll be able to do it for a living one day.  Until the world proves me wrong, I’m going to continue believing this because frankly, I’d have an anxiety attack otherwise.

Now, I’ve never considered my brother and myself to be opposites, but he has a passion and a talent for structural engineering, which is about as far from writing as you can get.  If structural engineering were Boston, I’d be on a distant moon of a planet we’ve yet to discover in a solar system 10 shmashmillion light-years away.  That’s how much I understand what he does every day.

He’s a master of simplifying his craft in terms even a devote evader-of-applied-sciences can grasp, so sometimes I forget that what he actually does is design high-rise buildings.  That you know, people live in, work in and depend on to stay… standing.  If I mess up, at worst I’m a hypocritical grammar freak and an over-estimator of my abilities.  If my brother messes up, people could die.

Let that sink in.

He’s brilliant, devoted, ivy-league-educated, (blah blah more praise about people with whom I share genes), and he checks his work like Monk checks for germs, so I truly believe that we’re in good hands, but that’s a lot of pressure.

Being the wonderful little sister that I am, I want to send a hearty thank you to the engineers of the world.  Because I am currently sitting on the third floor of an apartment building, beneath thousands of tons of concrete and steel and 25ish feet above the surface of Earth, and I’m not dead. And that’s thanks to some person who knew where to put support beams and other engineering-sounding things.

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  • 2hortons

    Writing for this is a good start, anyway!

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