Thursday, September 30, 2010

The Engineers and their Red Coats

This poem was written on behalf of the Northeast Ohio MIT Club. Since you may not be an MIT alumnus reading this poem, please be aware that "Red Coats" are the folks who have celebrated the 50th anniversary of their graduation from MIT. Of course, MIT degrees are always spoken of by course number, thus the Civil Engineering being "one", and Mech E being "two".

And, finally, I extend due apologies to Henry Wadsworth Longfellow. I'm taking it for granted that Paul Revere was a Massachusetts native and wouldn't mind loaning his namesake poem out for the intended purposes.

Listen my friends and you shall hear,
Of the tireless drive of The Engineers.
William Barton Rodgers in 1861.
Would ne’er believe today what he had begun.
An Institute of Technology now 150 years.

Industrial revolution to nanotechnology,
MIT graduates lead the way.
Through challenges of greater complexity,
Solutions of simplicity rule the day.
We take pride in our casual, confident, grace,
And may collaborate with those who dissent –
A straight path is rare to that hallowed place,
Where open minds create and invent.

The numerical language we all understand,
Helps us communicate as we spread ‘cross the land.
Much like lights in a belfry or a secret shake of the hand.
One if a Civil, two if Mech E,
And the tireless engineers, relentless will be,
Ready to motivate and spread the intent,
The mission we’ve carried wherever we went,
To help the community – and our kids – to invent,
New thinking and learning – ethical fun,
The kind you can’t stop, once it’s begun.

We thank the ‘Red Coats’, in a poem, if we must,
You have all led the way in your sphere.
The Club needs your talents, we ask for your trust,
As we move forward in our MIT Club year.
You have nurtured the Club through decades past,
And built a solid foundation designed to last.
We must leverage our strengths before the die is cast,
Leaving our nation behind the times.
We will grow and attract the very best minds.

If the “Red Coats are Coming!” you happen to hear,
You needn’t shoulder your muskets and stand,
Ready to fight and defend once again this beloved American land.
Instead slow down, take a moment to pause, lend a careful and listening ear.
If we climb our foundation, re-inventing no wheels,
And learn to open our minds without fear,
Without hesitation, our next generation, on the shoulders of giants will stand.

“The Red Coats are Coming!” I laugh with a smile,
Knowing together we’ll go that one extra mile.
Please stay in touch – that’s what we’re here for,
That, and to pursue just one idea more,
Because those tireless engineers are not old-fashioned lore.