Friday, September 26, 2014

Crashed and "Grilled"

The basilica bells tolled 5 pm. "Ok, class is over." we whispered to each other as we shifted on the pavement by the statue of St. Joseph overlooking the lake. We were reviewing outside and had two more presentations before the end. Cellphones and bricks were distributed over the drawings as paperweights. A few pairs of shoes came off throughout the course of three hours and at least one intrigued passerby stuck around to listen.

"I was timing reactions and you kept them amused for four minutes," our professor stated at the end of the last review, "then you crashed and grilled."

Crashed and grilled? We collectively spent the next ten minutes giggling in sporadic fits. Not crashed and burned. You crashed and grilled.

St. Mary's Lake is pretty beautiful as it is...
So, here we are knee deep in the semester. Everyone has muddled through at least one test and a handful of late nights falling shy of the sunrise. I imagine there is a steady flux of students entering and exiting LaFun, breathing in the arrival of autumn as they clutch their coffee and muse on the high R value possessed by the Huddle's Styrofoam cups. (Maybe that's just me.)

Then studio involves Fauré's Requiem on repeat interspersed with our obsession with "Jackie and Wilson" and "Riptide", cups of Earl Grey, The Idea of Space in Greek Architecture, graphite covered hands, and channeling everything Bertram Goodhue. We joke frequently about high cortisol levels and about how every environmental systems class we are reminded of ways in which we could easily die at the figurative hands of mold or mites.

Don't let the cortisol jokes fool you, however. I've been making dedicated efforts to monitor my coffee intake, sleep according to REM cycles, take breaks when necessary, not forget appointments, and keep my life in a state of relative order. Efforts have also been made to fulfill my friendly duties of keeping my studiomates fed with dining hall bananas and generating a steady flow of snarky comebacks and puns.

Then there's always the huge, on-going topic: process. Architects are dedicated to making the intangible tangible and there is nothing quite as thrilling as the hands-on process. I'm speaking of furniture design class which is (in my biased opinion) unquestionably the best concentration. There's a tremendous satisfaction that comes with taking rough-sawn wood and joining, planing, and cutting it yourself to reveal its beautiful, natural finish. We're getting close to creating the actual joints so stay tuned for mortises and tenons soon-ish.
Future skirting for the table.

Sunday, September 14, 2014

In Deep Charrette

Near the start of the semester I went to the campus bookstore and bought a planner to keep my life organized. That was a brilliant idea except for the fact that I keep misplacing the planner and thus can never refer to it. I'm discovering that a hamster has better organizational skills than I do.

Most frustrating and recent was the oversleeping incident this morning. I overslept mass and joined the usual crowd in the dining hall in the most completely grumpy mood.

"The schola sang."
"It's the Feast of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross."
"There was incense."
"Shut up."
"You missed the schola and the incense."

"Give me the baby." I demanded of my sister who passed the toothless and grinning chubby child to me. I held him throughout most of breakfast until I was no longer aware of self-inflicted anger. Law School Mass it would be today, and Law School Mass it was. It was fine because Fr. Miscamble gave an excellent sermon that was partly about crucifixes in the classroom. I appreciated it because I often appreciate the crucifixes in Bond when everything is tipping over the edge.

Speaking of studio, our charrette is actually going quite well. I'm very excited about the project as a whole and there is enjoyment amidst the stress. Credit for the expression "in deep charrette" goes to a fifth year who relayed the phrase to me during our charrette in Romania. I'd not be surprised if arkies at another school have thought the same thing at some point. Architorture is similar everywhere.

In other news, those of us in the furniture design concentration purchased our wood last week. In case you are curious, my table is going to be walnut. I'm pretty excited for this.