I think this is the third time I’ve gone through scrutineering (technical inspections) with Quantum, going back to 2011. That being said, I’ve seen many of the same inspections people a number of times.
I admit that it is a bit strange this time. We’ve gone though it so many times. We’ve got a car that’s gone through it so many times - that if there’s a small problem it’s almost like a little joke. The scrutineers laugh about it and we laugh about it. Obviously we will correct the issue, but it’s more lighthearted this time around.
It’s also a little strange to be back with the team. When you do it in school, Solar Car is a lifestyle. You devote so much of your life to it. You get a lot of inside jokes going. Once you leave it, you don’t immediately realize that it’s gone. It might sound cliché, but it really is like riding a bike. It all comes back to you. The whole lifestyle, the inside jokes, the people, the little quirks. It’s strange but it feels really nice.
Earlier, we were talking about how nice it would be to get just an alumni solar car team together because of how much more enjoyable it is when you’re not in school. This actually isn’t a new idea. Every single time after a race, people half-jokingly talk about how fun it would be to build another solar car. As students, we do these races and get all this experience, and then leave the team at the top of our game. And now that we’re back, and it all comes rushing back, we talk about all the stuff we could have done a little better. And that’s kinda what this is. It’s coming back. It’s having fun. It’s making some improvements, but most importantly—reliving the experiences.
Troy Halm, BSE ‘13 Mechanical Engineering