Bret: MONICA! You're my hero.
me: you have low standards
Bret: Indeed I do. I said the same thing to the guy in the fast food drive who undercooked my fries. Low standards are an important philosophy for life and education.
me: true so why am i your hero today?
Bret: Because you're the only person on g-mail IM and I'm bored.
me: oh, good enough why are you bored this time?
Bret: Because higher education in the US amounts to daycare.
me: true but you know that didn't you come prepared?
Bret: Well I did bring my tippy cup and my favorite red bouncy ball but nobody wants to play.
me: bummer personally, i prefer a laptop and the new york times, but to each his own
Bret: Well you can't make very good paper airplanes out of newspaper and people look at you oddly if you play computer games during class.
me: what classes are you in? in my classes that's practically par for the course
Bret: I'm at studio trying to do enough that my group actually thinks I care.
me: hmmm i'm betting they don't care if you care so long as you still do do the work that is i'm finding not giving a damn about the work i do quite liberating
Bret: Yeah but it leads to a conflict of motivation vs goals and intended outcomes.
me: goals and motivations only conflict if you have either wereas i'm practicing being unmotivated and goal-less my profs seem to prefer it that way
Bret: Yeah but thats the rub...I think my group has the goal of doing what the prof wants and I only have an over riding desire to tell them that the prof is full of shit.
me: which prof?
Bret: Peter Hind. The guy is nice and all but he talks too much to suit me and wastes too much time making us listen to his irrelevant tangents.
me: so i've heard so why haven't they figured out he's full of shit yet? and why do you care if they just want to do what he wants if that's how you get a passing grade? don't tell me you actually want to learn something? gasp
Bret: #1. Because they think he's great (and in comparison to others on the teaching staff thats not unwarranted). #2. I care because I know what to do without being told and the redundancy makes me grit my teeth. #3. I'm not concerned with learning as I am with trying to contain my angst until such time as I am holding my diploma.
me: i so understand all of that you doing thesis next year or vertical studio? or is this your last?
Bret: Last year. In retrospect I should have done thesis with Wayne so I could have just done my own thing, but I thought I would benefit from another year of healthcare (in terms of employability). In the long run it will help me get a job, its just wading through all the shit I already know that galls, I wish they would let me jump ahead in the project and focus on things I actually want/need to learn.
me: so did you take the healthcare studio twice?
Bret: Yup. I figured doing multiple heathcare projects of different types was better than doing a thesis and only doing one project. Volume > quality sort of thinking. Plus I know that next semester with Wayne I will have a golden ticket to do whatever I want.
me: cool sorry they have you stuck in a group that's slowing you down i had to do remedial homework for my thesis profs this week because my design process isn't what they think it ought to be i'm two weeks behind schedule
Bret: Ouch. Make it up, bullshitting is the true art of the architect. That is my motto. What do they think you should have done?
me: oh you know, come up with a nice fuzzy concept, diagram the concept in some bizarre way, put the diagram on the site and create some completely arbitrary schematics which relates well to the concept but have no reasonable chance of actually being a workable building or for any reason actually fulfilling what actually needs to happen on the site but apparently what I handed in was "much more promising" despite the fact that it means didly squat to me
Bret: It can't be! Focus on a meaningless and arbitrary concept over actually addressing reality? I cannot believe such a thing of our school! In life its the fuzzy bunny thinkers that always kick you in the balls. or ovaries as the case may be.
me: so true ya know, i was trying to figure out why i found it so hard to do it the way they wanted me to do it and i realized something i've been designing things my way for 23 years i started drawing building plans when i was 6 when i was 8 we got a computer and one of the first programs my mom bought was a little floor plan layout software for me i taught myself orthographic projection when i was 10 i had a dozen notebooks full of plans and sections and elevations by the time i was 12 so when they ask me for a design, that's what i spit out but the problem is that that isn't the way i design - that's just the way i express the design the process is all in my head because i never had a way to express it so they assume i'm just not doing it - i'm not considering concept and architecture and design and i try to tell them in words (cause words and plans were the only ways to express what i had) but they think that's not good enough i have to have diagrams and schematics - like if the process is external it's more valid and if its internal it might as well not exist at all ARG!
Bret: Welcome to the school of architecture where they don't believe that you can think with your brain, you have to sketch to do it. Draw some squiggly lines on a page and make them happy.
me: that's what i ended up having to do it's just ridiculous makework
Bret: And now you know the source of my angst in this school since sophomore year. Makework > learning/doing.
me: ha - try freshman year! try kindergarten! hey, we'll graduate together in May go figure i'm seriously considering writing an honest graduation speech something short and sweet, maybe just two words do you think they could withhold my diploma for that?
Bret: I think they would try to find a way. I hope your speech would start with an 'F' and end with 'you'. I think mine would start with 'F' and end with 'this school'.
me: yeah, but i have no reason to believe another school would have been any different so i'd just stick to the all-encompassing pronoun
Bret: True. Would 'fuck higher education' be general enough or would you like to indicted US education in general?
me: oh, we must include k-12 certainly i hated that more than college ya know, i was stupidly looking forward to this year i had thought i'd finally get a chance to do it my way
Bret: Silly rabbit, you never do your projects in school...you do the professors, and when you do someone else's work you have to do it exactly how they like it or you just aren't learning.
me: "you do your professors" ha, now i know why some people sleep their way to the top it's easier ya know, i miss ertl he was a great studio proff because he didn't give a damn well, this bitchfest has been fun, but i've got to go to school now hang in there