Skills by Hand Are Still Important

For a homework assignment in one of my engineering classes, I was asked to do a bit of column design, only instead of using a program to do it, I had to do it all by hand. The teacher felt that people in the class had become too reliant on programs to get the work done, so he wanted to see if we still had the necessary skills to use our own two hands to make the columns. I thought it was a pointless exercise, since there really isn’t a point now where anyone wouldn’t be able to use a program to design anything, but I needed to complete it for a passing grade.

As I started the assignment, I thought it would be a piece of cake. I had done hand designs before, so it wasn’t like I was stepping into new territory. When I started drawing on the paper, I found myself making mistakes that I didn’t normally make when using the program. I had an eraser on hand to get rid of my mistakes, but that eraser was being worn down pretty quickly. My usage of my hand tools wasn’t as great as it used to be, so I couldn’t draw my lines straight, and my curves weren’t perfect.

I was able to complete the assignment after hours of work. When I gave it to my teacher, he was impressed with it, but I told him that it took longer than it normally would have with the program. The teacher explained that this was exactly what he knew about everyone in the class. Using a program is fine, as long as you don’t use it like a crutch and let your own skills erode. The teacher will have more assignments like these in the future, and told us to be prepared for them.