Wendy the Builder
When I was little, I was obsessed with the TV show Bob the Builder. Don’t get me wrong, I liked princesses as much as the next girl, but Bob had my heart. Maybe it was my genetics, with every person on my mom’s side being an engineer, or maybe it was my practical mindset that drew me to the show. Whatever the reason, I was fascinated by how he helped people by designing and constructing everything they needed. It was all I would watch. Every day while going to preschool I would look for the construction vehicles I learned about from the show, my favorite being the cement truck. I aspired to be like Bob, and I absolutely needed to know everything about his job and life.
However, as I got a little older and understood the show more, I realized that Bob wasn’t actually that good at fixing things.
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Every episode he would botch simple tasks—ones that I was sure I would have easily been able to complete myself. And every episode Wendy, Bob’s co-worker, was the one to fix Bob’s mistakes. My obsession with Bob turned into an infatuation with Wendy. Bob would be nothing without her charisma and smarts. Every day I became more and more obsessed with Wendy, and more and more frustrated with Bob. I sensed an injustice: If Wendy was really doing all the work, then why was Bob getting all the credit? Why didn’t Wendy have her own show? Everyone still loved Bob best, but I decided that Wendy was my new idol, and I would do anything it took to be like her when I grew up.
Now, I’m a senior in high school taking three science courses, including engineering. Not much has changed—I still think Bob is overrated, and I still aspire to be like Wendy. The more I analyze Wendy, the more I see myself in her. Despite facing tough situations, she remains calm and collected. She rarely asks for help and often solves problems on her own. She truly believes in herself until the end. Some may call it stubbornness, I call it confidence.
I have a strong sense of conviction. I take opinions very seriously, which is why I love to do research before taking a stand on a situation or deciding my viewpoint. Because I put so much careful consideration into my views, I stand by them. I was, and still am, never afraid to go against the grain, which is why I was so insistent on Wendy’s superiority to Bob.
The best part of Wendy’s job is that she meets and talks to the people she is working for. She builds relationships and makes an impact on the lives of those she is helping. My interest in helping others led to my decision to pursue engineering. I want to make a difference. It doesn’t have to be the whole world, but one day I want someone to say that I was the one who helped them. Engineering is just the start. It combines my love of math and science with my love of working with and helping others.
Recently, I was talking to my parents about my childhood and they brought up Bob the Builder. I thought that I should give Bob a second chance to win back my heart, so I watched an episode. I will admit Bob might be a little nicer than I remembered, but I stand by my opinion that Wendy deserves significantly more credit. I will always think of her as the star of Bob the Builder. I’m not going to credit Wendy with my interest in math and science, but I will say that she served as an inspiration and confidence booster for both my younger and older self, and has made me feel more than ready to be a female on a construction site of males.