it's now the beginning of the second week of spring quarter for us. my schedule is pretty similar to last quarter's: the second 10-weeks of the foundation studio sequence, the third part of the architecture history sequence and a required cultural studies class.
i managed to secure a place in shiga's foundation studio this time. nikola, my instructor for the first 10 weeks, moved on to a 3rd year studio as the first-years numbers dwindled from 80 down to 64 (which meant one entire section less to be taught). so far, the shiga experience has been both great and less than lovely. he's much better at keeping up a dialogue from day-to-day with you and your work, but on the other hand, your expected contribution to that process (i.e. doing a ton of work) is proportionally increased... i wasn't used to that coming from the more comfortable climes on the north side of shattuck hall. i will say it's nice to be able to fire off an email to rich at 2:00 a.m. and likely get a reply, though. i've talked to many 2nd year students about this process so far and the best description of it has been that it's somewhat akin to doing push-ups: "they suck when you're doing them, but a week or two later you start to notice you're feeling stronger..." so this is not unlike a 10-week fitness training regiment. the studio culture itself seems somewhat lacking by comparison with our previous one (though at the time i never would've believed it), the desks are smaller and no one has brought in a refrigerator yet, but at least every desk has access to an electrical outlet. 4 of us from nikola's studio are now in there.
the trip i arranged to aalto's mount angel abbey library and flw's gordon house was last weekend. we had a 50% attrition rate the morning of, but the 14+2 of us who did attend had a good time. great weather, beautiful buildings and lots of room on the bus. shiga and garrett martin tagged along to kick it faculty-style for us. oddly enough, we were standing in the very center of this benedictine abbey discussing aalto at the moment the pope died. bells kicked off and it was somewhat strange.
i'm now outfitted with laptop and wireless so i'll see if i can't offer updates more regularly this quarter.