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¶ fighter pilots pursuing dreams
When we first showed up at MIT last September, they told us that typically, 1/4 of the students who start the phd program don't finish. Lots of people hear that, but they never really know why. People not familiar with the program often have this misconception that if you leave after a couple years, you either failed out or you got kicked out. Not really true, though.

It's about that time... when a bunch of my classmates have decided that the phd just isn't the thing for them, and they're packing up and getting ready to go. Some are going to industry to work and make real money... some are going back to their home countries to get married and pop out babies... some have just decided that academia isn't the thing for them... and then there's rik.

rik started doing his phd in aero-astro at the same time as us. Then one day he decided he didn't want to build the planes and rocket ships anymore and decided to drop out of the phd program and join the air force to be a fighter pilot. So he got laser surgery to correct his eyesight (air force only accepts pilots with perfect vision) and sent off his application. He finished his masters and will be leaving soon.. the air force and navy application process take a while, so he's gonna go work for Blue Origin and be a rocket scientist while he waits.

Apparently, this sort of thing is more common than I realized. twd was telling us about how his brother got started as a helicopter test pilot like twenty years ago... he was working on simulation software when one day he was testing the simulator and did this one maneuver that made the helicopter crash in the simulator. twd's brother refused to believe that the maneuver would actually make the helicopter crash, so after trying it in the simulator over and over again (and crashing over and over again in the simulator) he just went outside, grabbed a helicopter, and tried the maneuver himself.

the helicopter did not crash.

twd's brother is still alive, and is still a helicopter test pilot.

Re: fighter pilots pursuing dreams
Posted 16 years, 10 months ago by amandine • • Reply
can one drop out to become a baker?

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