Ever wonder what Honors students do during the summer? Instead of doing “traditional” blog posts this summer, Honors Ambassadors and students will be taking you into their summer routines via photos. Josiah Green (a Minnesotan) has infiltrated the wilds of Wisconsin and reports back:
Hello, honors students and general internet creepers! My name is Josiah Green, and I’ve been blessed to be given the opportunity to work as an Engineering / CAD intern for Associated Milk Producers, Inc. at their cheese plant in Jim Falls, Wisconsin. This is the landscape at about 7:00 AM, one of my later drives to work.
Sadly, I signed a confidentiality agreement barring me from sharing information regarding the cheese making process (otherwise that’s all this blog would be about because cheese manufacturing is SO COOL), so I figured a picture of the outside was the best I could do. This facility takes in about 2.4 million pounds of milk PER DAY and has the ability to manufacture just about any kind of cheese. They primarily produce pepper jack and Colby cheese, and some of their customers include Kraft, Subway, and McDonalds. AMPI is a private label company, so they mainly sell to food service and don’t sell their cheese in grocery stores. They also use the liquid whey from the cheese curd, dry it, and sell it as whey powder. Yes, I have been stuck on the roof of the whey portion of the plant while trying to open a jammed door.
My job is to draw Process and Identification drawings for some of the systems at this plant. For now, my assignment is to draw the cold well water system, and eventually I will be moving to the hot water, soft water, cow water, and polished water systems. Apparently they kicked the office manager / human resources coordinator out of her office so I could have one of the 4 legitimate offices instead of a cubicle between the accountant and the sales manager. Typical secluded engineer? Check.
Yes, that is my best selfie face. Ladies, watch out. This is my required work get-up. The “bump cap” serves to keep my wonderful brain in one piece as I wander in the basement and hit my head on countless low clearance areas. The hair net keeps my luscious locks out of your McDonalds cheese burger. I’m not sure what the safety glasses are for. Flying cheese curds, I guess. Finally, the earplugs are for my nose because the pepper in pepper-jack can be pretty strong. Just kidding.
Okay so I figured the confidentiality agreement couldn’t possibly include mess of piping in the basement corner of the plant, so here’s a glimpse of what I look at when I’m out in the plant. Two of those are water lines, at least two are product lines, and a few are steam lines. No, I still don’t have any clue where they come out after going in to this wall. However, I did get trapped in this room for about 3 minutes because, apparently, the door knob is broken and the forklift drivers can’t hear pounding on a metal door while they have earplugs in.
After work this is my view. Being from Minnesota, I’m not supposed to like Wisconsin at all, but I’m absolutely in love with the countryside.
Here’s my best attempt to be artsy while *NOT* driving over one of the insane amount of hills in this area.
After work I go to McDonalds or Starbucks for their Wi-Fi because my host family doesn’t have Wi-Fi in their home. I work on my physics 2 homework, labs, quizzes, and exams here while listening, singing, and sometimes even dancing to my music to try and stay focused. It’s safe to say nobody ever sits by me.
One of the few ways I unwind here is running. Thankfully there’s a fairly flat spot about a mile from my house that I frequent three times weekly.
My host family loves me, and I’ve been invited to multiple extended family outings with them. This one was a tour of the sculptures in downtown Eau Claire and free blues music on the river. We ate here, The Livery, which used to be a real livery. The elevator that brought horses up to the second level is still in the building!
This is the first time I’ve ever lived on my own without dining center food, so I take pictures of every meal I make because I feel highly accomplished and grown-up buying my own groceries and cooking for myself. *pats himself on back*
To finish my day, I try and set aside an hour to work on my to-read list. I enjoy knowing what people are reading, so here are a few of the books on my list: The Help, The DaVinci Code, The Lost Symbol, Fahrenheit 451, The Discipline of Grace, The Problem with Pain, Worship Matters, Desiring God, and Gospel Wakefulness.
So, thankfully, this isn’t part of my daily routine, but I had to include this picture in the snapshot of my summer. If imagining me stuck on the roof of a whey dryer or trapped in a pipe chase room didn’t already make you laugh at my stupidity, this ought to do the trick. The damage here (about $3,600 worth according to the local auto body shop) was caused by a BABY BLACK BEAR. Yes, ladies and gentlemen, I hit a bear on my first commute to the plant. Observe the fur in my bumper.