I got into my elective, Writing on Architecture. I think it's going to be great. Carter Wiseman, the professor, is very personable and even grandfatherly. He's against archispeak, which is fine. It's good, actually, because I think the real challenge to avant-garde architects is to be able to describe complex ideas in simple ways. Simplicity is elegance. I also went to Dolores Hayden's class Cities, Suburbs and Sprawl, for which I am the TA. The pay is lousy, but it's an honor to work for Professor Hayden. The art history department pays their TA's about 6 times as much as we get paid, which is really unbelievable. Can't the university spread the goods around? I think that's what they do at Princeton, and that's why the architecture school has so much money to give. Correct me, please, if I'm wrong.
The first day in the Sprawl class was a mess. It's a 12 person seminar, and 36 people showed up. I arrived late and the slide projector was tilted. Professor Hayden mentioned that it would have been better if I were 15 minutes early. Then 10 minutes into the class she goes over the syllabus and points out a typo. It didn't get better until the end, when students filled out questionnaires, took a handout, and left. It was suffocating in there, and I was in all black. Natch. But it was interesting to see her selection process. We have a lottery system here (see blog 1) where the students rate the classes they want and the faculty rate the students they want and then a computer crunches out some numbers. Seniority generally rules, but an undergrad got into the class because she was the top student in Professor Hayden's other graduate course, American Cultural Landscapes. So if she's already been in one grad class, two doesn't hurt.
I have to go work on my model now. It's an analytical model of Toyo Ito's Sendai Mediatheque. Very cool. I'll post a picture.