Jesy Fortino

Jesy Fortino is a civil + environmental engineer in Seattle, WA. Previously, she recorded music under the name Tiny Vipers.

01    Nature

One night this summer a friend and I were thinking about going dancing but we couldn't decide where to go so we ended up walking around the neighborhood procrastinating. We passed an old cedar tree with low hanging branches. We started climbing the tree. It kept going up and eventually we were over one hundred feet in the air and had a view of several Seattle neighborhoods. We sat in the tree and spoke for an hour or so. Every now and again music and other sounds from all the nearby clubs would drift up through the branches.

02    Object (old)

Earlier this month I was taking a long walk and I had a backpack with my coat, water bottle, sunscreen, book, and other summer leisure accessories. I was digging through my bag looking for my sunglasses when I found my calculator hidden in an inside pocket. It had been a week since I finished school and received my engineering bachelor of science from the University of Washington. Before I returned to school to study engineering I had about a seventh grade education and pretty bad math anxiety. That BSCE represented 5 years of incredible challenge, uncertainty, sacrifice, and isolation. That calculator had been with me from basic algebra to differential equations. I wondered if I would ever need it again. I still keep it in my bag.

03    Object (new)

My new object is a pair of nice running shoes. Now that I have free time again I spend almost all of it running or walking around the city.

04    Surprise
05    Encounter

I was helping my boyfriend move out of his place a couple of weeks ago. I was removing the sheets from his bed and the biggest spider I have ever seen hopped out. I screamed and ran across the room. I wasn't sure what to do with it. Sean captured it in a cup but we both agreed that it moved way too fast for either of us to go outside and release it without the risk of it running up our arms. So I decided to put it in the refrigerator so that it would go to sleep. We left it in there for about five minutes. It looked asleep so Sean took it outside. When he opened the jar the spider jumped out and was super alert and awake again. A hornet flew into the apartment later in the day and we tried the same trick and captured it and put it in the freezer for a couple minutes. When it looked asleep I took it outside and released it onto the ground but it didn't wake up. I checked a few hours later and it still hadn’t woken up. I think I killed it and I felt pretty bad about it.

06    Night Out

A friend of mine moved to Berlin. I went to his goodbye barbecue with the intention of only staying for an hour. I met a guy named Sean and we couldn't stop talking to each other. I told him I had to meet friends and invited him to come along. We ended up hanging out, dancing, and talking until sunrise.

07    Day Out

In second grade my class visited the Cedar River Watershed which is a closed watershed not far from my childhood home. It is a large natural area that is off limits to people and a place of great mystery and wonderment for me as a kid. Only scientists, engineers, and some Native American people were permitted to enter. I remember being captivated by the idea that there was this incredible wild place that our water came from. The last year I spent in the civil engineering program I got an internship at Seattle Public Utilities. The group that I was assigned to was in charge of a project in the Cedar River Watershed! I remember the first time they took me out there to observe the conditions and tour various sites. It felt like a dream.

08    Time Alone

Until recently almost 90% of my time was spent alone studying. I was about 10 years older than the other students in my engineering program and I had a nontraditional educational background so I approached the material differently than other students. Though I enjoyed doing labs and working on projects in teams, I had an easier time working on homework and studying alone. When I think back on the past 5 or so years I think of studying or exercising by myself. It made me appreciate the company of others.

09    Time With A Friend

I got really sick the last quarter at UW. I was trying to ignore the fact that I was sick and keep working and studying and my doctor said that I was going to be in danger if I didn't take it easy and stay at home. She wrote a letter to my professors and my internship and prescribed codeine and a week of bed rest. I was in a good amount of pain but mostly I was horribly bored and stressed out. When my classmate Aaron found out how sick I was he insisted on coming over to visit. He made a huge pot of chicken noodle soup and taught me how to play Pokemon and hung out with me all day. Even though I felt crummy I had so much fun hanging out and goofing off and talking to him.

010    Movie / TV / Book

I have a pile of books that I planned on reading after graduation, and lists of movies and tv shows…In reality I haven't really read, watched tv, or movies since I finished. For the moment I am content just being free of the stress and catching up with friends and having time not to think about anything. I have been listening to podcasts. My favorite is called Code Switch. I've also been listening to a lot of Car Talk.

011    Creative Act

I finished a record that I wrote over the past few years. I was a musician before returning to school.


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Jesy at school

Jesy at school

The Cedar River Watershed

The Cedar River Watershed

notes + study materials

notes + study materials