Vice President Biden Visiting Howe Hall, ISU

It was such a late notice. Last Sunday we received a cryptic email from our adviser informing us that the Make to Innovate (M:2:I) labs would be closed all week this week. This was horrible timing since we have to finish the USLI rocket by its March 10 test launch date. The email didn't even explain why, except that "it would be revealed the following day."

The closed labs didn't deter us from getting work done. We simply worked where we could. We're actually making great progress this week. The rocket structure is 90% completed, and the payload parts are coming together as well.

Still, we wondered what on Earth the big deal was. People in suits were all over the place, and so were people with guns, and other official stuff. Finally it came out that VP Biden was coming to Iowa State to give an "America Built to Last" speech, and to tour some of the undergraduate research/projects. That's why all the labs were closed down: the department was scrambling to sweep all the messy-looking stuff under the rug and clean up.

Honestly, it reminds me of having to clean my room before doing something fun with my family as a kid. It gets done in the blink of an eye... but don't open the closet. Oh, and don't look under the bed. That's exactly what went down: everything got crammed into one tiny little room, while only selected projects were displayed meticulously in immaculate array.

It's mildly dishonest, because it's not an accurate representation of what goes on. It's also mildly ironic, because Biden's visit is to bolster engineering and productivity... and here we have to shut down all the labs and nobody can do any work.

We were all joking around about pranks we could play... however, we had great difficulty thinking of anything that didn't result in getting pinned to the ground by Secret Service.

Anyway, look for a new post in the next few days about recent build sessions!


High Power Rocketry said...

That is a bit much for a VP... but cool that he is recognizing how important you guys are to the future of this country.

When Obama came to my office two years ago it was a major deal. Many people had to go home early, and a few offices with windows overlooking courtyards had their windows covered with opaque paper.

DTH Rocket said...

Either he's recognizing how important we are to the future of the country, or he's recognizing how important our vote is in the upcoming election...

So Obama came to your office personally? Just for a chat? Very nice.