Tufts in Talloires: Engineering goggles

This summer, two students from the Bridge to Engineering Success at Tufts (BEST) program are blogging their experiences from Tufts in Talloires, a six-week summer program that offers students a dynamic group of courses taught by Tufts faculty. In addition to coursework, a wide variety of optional outdoor activities, weekly hikes into the Alps, field trips, and organized events offer each student the opportunity to explore the unique Haute-Savoie region of France. 

By Hernan Gallegos

Bus stop in Talloires - Hernan

Waiting at the L’ecole bus stop in Talloires.

“Où allez-vous?”

“Annecy,” is what I responded when asked by the driver of the bus. Walking up the seamlessly big steps, my roommate and I found seats close to the front. For me, I wanted to see what the bus saw through its big headlights.

Minutes into the ride, we came across the first stop: L’ecole (the school). Going down the main road from the stop, one will end up at Le Prieuré (The Priory), otherwise known as the Tufts University European Center. It’s a 500-year-old building that contains antiques from since it was built. “How has this building lasted so long?” I wondered. Passing this stop, we went straight to Annecy.

Driving along the long road, I observed many old buildings, various roundabouts, and sharp turns. It made me wonder how a charter bus can get through so many obstacles on the road. Someone had to design it, right? How precise the angles of each turn, diameter and circumference of the roundabouts; the materials used for the aging buildings… Thinking about all this opened my engineering mind.

I cannot escape my engineering mentality, so being in Talloires further enforces my need to become an engineer. Observing and analyzing many of the things that Talloires and Annecy have, I realized that many of these features could not be here without someone coming up with various plans to create “perfect” things.

That word is in quotations since nothing is perfect, but it’s close to it, in this case. The creators made sure their creations lasted for a long time. I want to be a part of that. I want to create something that will last for centuries; that will help generations to come. To me, that is engineering: to help others within the community. My community.

Hernan Gallegos is a rising sophomore from Atlanta, Georgia, majoring in mechanical engineering.

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