I'm obviously thinking of hunters on a thrilling gallop, urging each other to release their dogs and set off after their prey. But at the onset of this new school year, I feel like the prey. This is going to be an insanely busy year: not only am I helping develop coordinate a class here at Yale in the Spring semester, but I am also one of five responsible for organizing a symposium in the Spring as well. I am a little leery of being the point person on projects, but I have to get over those fears.
But the two things that are really stressing me out:
(1) I am applying to PhD programs this fall. I have applied to school so many times that I am a little weary of going through this process again. It can be expensive. As to what school I will applying to, well, I'll just say that I will applying to the usual east-coast suspects. I had my first informal PhD interviews this past May, and they were, for the most part, incredibly positive. The right people seem interested in my research, and that's a good thing.
(2) My thesis. My thesis. My thesis. This thesis thing is beginning to give me heart palpitations. I cleared one major obstacle in that I was able to get reading proficiency in German this summer. So, according to Yale University, I can read German. However, my knowledge of German is ... uh .... dictionary-informed. So yeah, my thesis. I've done a lot of primary research, and the more reading and writing I do, the more I feel that my project is spinning out of control. So, if you remember my previous posts, I am writing about the work that Erich Mendelsohn, Konrad Wachsmann, and Antonin Raymond did for the Standard Oil Development Company and the United States Chemical Warfare Service during World War II. Because most of the architects I write about are German, I spent a great deal of time actually reading primary sources in the language.
A diversion: Has anyone ever noticed how strange a language German is? Verbs are usually the last words of a sentence. So this gives the writer plenty of writing room to compose devilishly intricate and complex modifying clauses. But for the translator, this means that we have to read every single word in the sentence before we translate.
So, as I go further in my research, i find out that I have to deal with people like Heinrich Tessenow, Hans Poelzig, Paul Schulze-Naumburg, Paul Mebes, Emmerich, etc, etc. So yeah, the thesis thing kinda scares me. Like or not, my thesis process will inform many of my posts this coming school year.
All in all, I am glad school is starting again. New Haven is a more pleasant place once it is crammed with student. The A+A building is bristling with new faces, excited about this whole endeavor of architecture. Only two weeks ago, I was in Texas chasing rattlesnakes and then at the Minnesota State Fair eating hotdish on a stick.
i promise that my postings will be more frequent this year. And for those of you reading this from computer monitors on the 6th floor lab .... us MED's are on the 4th floor, next to the advanced studios. Stop by and say hello.