So I think I have a lot of useful websites so I would like to use this post to talk about all the things that my grandpa has. I finally found out what par to the army he was. He was in the 27th engineering corp. He has a book that he was sent a few years after his discharged. It summarizes his entire journey in the army. EVERY place, date they were there, what they did….everything. There are many cool pictures too. They have pictures of all the projects they did also. There is quite an array of bridges used and my grandpa even went in depth to tell me how they did it. I have so many cool facts to share. He even has personal pictures that have not been seen by anyone. A lot of army life but also them hard at work. The coolest thing that I found out is that my grandpa was working on the first airstrip made in the Phillipines. He was there when the first paratroopers fell on the Phillipines! thats so cool. he said that there were tons of them falling from the sky, and the airstrip wasnt even done yet, and they were falling in trees, onto cars, just everywhere. He has pictures of it. He has so many old papers, he wont let me take them out of his house but I really want to photocopy everything! Do you think I could incorporate sound in my powerpoint? So I have this crazy idea that maybe I could record some of some stories from my grandpa and somehow put it in my powerpoint to play. You know how a story is so much more interesting from an old persons mouth? haha… All his stories come to life because he is saying them and he is saying how he saw it…does that make sense?

With all this new info, I think I am getting caught up in all of it. Am I losing site of my thesis…what is my thesis? geeze, what am i thinking. Do you think this is turning too much into a story of my grandpas time in the army?



So this is about the air force civil engineer. I could use this to show how broad civil engineering is. It can be expanded to all corners of the workforce. When I talk about the my interest in civil engineering, I could use this on where I could get a job or something.

“Experiments produced new equip-
ment for the revised engineer organiza-
tions. In the search for easily trans-
ported and rapidly emplaced bridging,
the armored force engineers copied the
German inflatable ponton system and
produced a 25-ton ponton treadway
bridge for tanks.”

While reading this second website, I ran into this exerpt and I got very excited. My grandpa has pictures of him making this bridge! In the picture, he is standing on it with a few of his buddies, in the Pacific sun. I just think this is the coolest thing!

other than the bridges themselves, I do not really like this site. It mostly talks about the engineers in Germany and Europe and my grandpa was only in the Pacific. If I want to talk more about the specific kind of bridges themselves, this site will be useful.

This website goes to the the roots of the Engineer Corps. I think this is good to know, but I didnt see a lot about its participation in the war. It talks a lot about its contribution to the National development. I think it is good to start with its beginnings but I think I want to focus more on WWII, since thats what I have the most insight on from my grandpa


This link talks all about the Seabee. Which I had no idea who they were so I researched them further. A Seabee is a member of the United States Navy construction battalion. In the North, Central, South and Southwest Pacific areas, the Seabees built 111 major airstrips, 441 piers, 2,558 ammunition magazines, 700 square blocks of warehouses, hospitals to serve 70,000 patients, tanks for the storage of 100,000,000 gallons of gasoline, and housing for 1,500,000 men. In construction and fighting operations, the Pacific Seabees suffered more than 200 combat deaths and earned more than 2,000 Purple Hearts. They served on four continents and on more than 300 islands.

They were very important because they built practically everything. I really need to talk to my Grandpa because I have no idea what part he belonged to or if he was even a Seabee.

Bridges to Victory by Max Schwartz, is about the 1306 engineers in WWII. Maybe I should read this. It seems like it would give me a lot of insight. I think right now I want to focus more on my grandpa’s stories. I think it would be really cool to hear everything from his point of view. He has tons of pictures that I could use in my power point too….very cool.


So practically my whole exit project has changed. I decided to just focus on the Bridge Over the River Kwai. Empire of the Sun is gone, I finsished it but just felt like I could not connect it. I want to focus a lot on the civil engineering. I want to compare civil engineering techniques in WWII and even maybe before that to the civil engineering now.

I’ve talked a little more with my grandpa and I found some more websites.

I looked a little but I dont think my grandpa was in any part of the Regiment or Batallion. It says what challenges they had to face because of the extreme conditions in the war.

I also looked into the batmobile. I found this link and it just says that the batmobile came from a vehicle called the “Tumbler.” It was originally used to lay the bases of temporary bridges. I need to look further into the actual Tumbler and not the batmobile.


Okay so I can see where you were going with the interstate system and such but I cannot see the Batman and the Batmobile connection. I have seen the movies but I do not really see it. Can you enlighten me? I see the Eisenhower highway system connection. Thanks for the website, too. Its neat how they compare Empire of the Sun to Heart of Darkness. Its fate….haha.  Okay I found a link talking about at the highway system. It gets into the details of it. I am trying to find television specials about WWII but I am not having much luck. I want to sind some that focused more on the part of the war in China and in Japan because that is what Empire of the Sun is about. This book is so weird. It seems that he identifies more with the Japanese than the British that they are fighting against. I want to find more things throught the Japan and China’s eyes. All I can find right now are just more books…which is not what I want.

I read some of the website you gave me….not all of it because it is very long. I want to find more sites like that but I am having trouble. Do you think I am trying to do too much…having two books ( medium-long-ish books in my eyes) then having all these sights? I feel like I am drowning in information but I need to focus more on the connection of all of it.


Okay so I looked further into Coffee’s suggestion of the Bridge Over the River Kwai. I faintly remember talking about this book from Geography freshman year. I am almost positive we watched the movie. Okay so I think I will link this book to Empire of the Sun rather than Hiroshima. I talked to my grandpa and I found out that his job was actually making bridges and airports in the jungle….just like Bridge over the River Kwai! cool huh? He would get there and have to decide what trees to cut down or what holes to fill. He made roads too. I think that knowing that, I bring everything pretty much full circle. I also think that BOTRK is a better link because I am leaning more towards civil engineering. If I would linked the atomic bomb aspect, it would have been more nuclear engineering. I love building things and am just amazed by the structures. I guess my question is….How can I smoothly hook all these things together? I dont want it to be like. “Yeah so WWII, my grandpa was in it and he made bridges and stuff….Oh and by the way, I want to do civil engineering when I grow up.” I haven’t found a good way to link it. So like which aspect do I start with?….the civil engineering or the WWII? 

So I’m having trouble getting time to read. I have a lot of trouble reading two books at the same time. I just feel like I have to put all my attention to one book to really understand it. It gets really bad when I start intermixing ideas from either book. I have a few pages in Heart of Darkness so I’m excited to start putting my full attention to SEP…..that is I’m hoping we don’t start another book in class?

Meert Alert SEP

Okay so the book is now…..promise not to change it….Empire of the Sun by J. G. Ballard. It is about a boy who lives in Shanghai. It’s right after the Pearl Harbor attack and so everything is chaos. He, Jim, is right in the middle of it. I’m not going to lie…I’m not that far in the book so I can’t really tell you a lot more. My grandpa is a WWII veteran. He served in the Pacific on little islands and the Phillipines. He has so many pictures and stories to tell. Every time I visit, it seems that he has a new one. He just turned 90 years old but he seems so healthy…..In fact he still shovels his driveway and goes golfing. I know he is getting old and he won’t be here forever so I would like to document as many stories as I can from him. He has so much history in him.  It would be interesting to compare my grandpa’s view with the boys view. 

There is also the whole atomic bomb aspect. I am planning to do engineering in college. I am not entirely sure what field but I am positive on the engineering part. I could go into the whole building of the bomb and the effects of it. I could also tie in the book Hiroshima by John Hersey. It talks about after the bombimgs and what happen to six specific individuals. It would be interesting to show a side that many people do not and have not thought about.

Random thoughts

Pointless inventions……just think about it…….

  • An ejection seat for a helicopter pilot
  • Color coded braille
  • Inflatable dart board
  • left handed pencil


Okay so here is my question……Why is Grendel only described as a monster but then in Geatland where Beowolf was the lord, the monster was specifically desrcibed as a dragon. They said a dragon came. So do we assume that Grendel was or was not a dragon? It has truely been bothering me but maybe I am just looking too much into it….So like in Campbell’s piece, he described how dragons to some people are mean but to others they are sacred. I would research further into folklore to see all the monsters and animals mentioned to maybe find out what Grendel was. Is there a significance to the author only saying monster as opposed to dragon….or was it just overlooked? Also Beowolf fought Grendel’s mother under the water while the dragon he faced was fire-breathing. They are kind of the opposite….you know…fire and water. That is interesthing to think about. I might be leading myself into a corner because I am being so specific but it would be interesting if I actually found out so insightful information. On the Mythological and Archetypal link on Coffee’s blog, one thing that is mentioned is the meaning of the image of water. One thing that it can mean is redemption. So Beowolf beat Grendel’s mother as a sort of redemption. Everyone thought that after he got Grendel’s arm, they were home free. After the attacks happened again, I think people doubted Beowolf, as in he did not help us at all. So he beat Grendel’s mom to show how much of a hero he truely is. He changed Unferth’s mind. Then the dragon scenario, Campbell mentioned that fighting the dragon can be like fighting the dragon within ourself. So when Beowolf was fighting a dragon, he was actually fighting his own ego. So when Beowolf fought Grendel, it wasn’t technically a dragon so he really wasn’t pushed “too hard”….I use that loosely because I could never do what he did….because he wasn’t facing himself. Then when he actually had to face a dragon, the outcome was different. He was always too prideful and full of himself so he would have to face that fact one day. The dragon showed him.

I could also look into the whole Grendel being a descendant of Cain. Cain killed his brother and spilled the first blood. Cain was shunned from society. Grendel also does not fit in. He cannot go to the meadhall and have fun at the party. Grendel represents “a monstrous outsider enraged by the joy of brotherhood and society from which he is forever banished. His enmity towards Heorot is grounded solely in this moral perversion, which is another example of the hatred of the good simply because it is good.” (Williams, 45.) Grendel exhibits his envy towards the warriors as Cain did to his brother. He wants revenge. The Folklore and Mythology electronic text site had a section about Cain and Abel and what different countries had interpreted it. Turkey’s interpretation kind of made me angry……at the very end.

It said….It is related that when our mother Eve bare Cain and Abel, she bare a daughter along with each. God Most High commanded the Messenger Adam, saying, “For the sake of their offspring, give to Cain the girl born with Abel, and give to Abel the girl born with Cain.” The Messenger Adam did so.

Now the girl born with Cain was exceeding fair; and Cain said, “O father, let the girl born with him be his, and let the girl born with me be mine.”

Adam answered, “God Most High commanded otherwise.” But Cain loved that girl exceedingly; so he went and slew Abel. Thus because of a woman was blood first shed upon the ground.

So…….its all because of women, huh?

Brainstorm 1.1

So I have recently rethought my senior exit  project topic. I know that a Topic D was up in the air-the topic being tell why a book should be on the AP list. I am planning on reading Animal Farm by George Orwell. I hear it is a great allegorical novel so I wonder why it is not on the list……the list we are referring to is the list that we chose our outside reading from, right? Time magazine chose the book as one of the 100 best English-language novels (1923 to 2005);it also places at number 31 on the Modern Library List of Best 20th Century Novels. So………..this might be a good idea to pursue but I will have to tell you, once I finish the book, if it is worth my while.