For the architecture student, finding that elusive balance between school life and life outside can be quite a challenge. What I've discovered is that this notion of “balance” doesn't just mean having one life to counterbalance the other as a matter of convenience, but actually means having to go the extra mile to sustain both lives in a Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde/dual identity disorder kind of way. This challenge became evident for me this past weekend when I took advantage of a small break in my rigorous schedule of daily pin-ups to spend a night in Vegas with some old college buddies.
The day started at 8:00am with a studio field trip to ARIA
, a well known company in Orange County specializing in the fabrication of concept cars and other unique designs, including a few architecture projects. Overall the tour was pretty unremarkable except for seeing first hand a 5-axis CNC router in action (sorry, cameras were not permitted). Aside from that, I spent most of the tour methodically mapping my escape. With a 4 hour drive and Los Angeles traffic to consider, I started wishing to myself for this tour on rapid prototyping to go a little more rapidly.
2:00pm I made it back in time to swing by the school finance office to pick up my student loan check before heading off to Vegas, and within 5 hours, I was sitting at a blackjack table (coincidence can be a bitch). During the car ride over, my mind was entertained with fantasies of bringing down the house
and winning enough money to pay back the 10G I just dropped on tuition. I figured if those MIT students could do it, then I could too...but 30 minutes, 2 cocktails, and 100 squandered dollars later, that dream came to an abrupt end. When the euphoria of Las Vegas passed, I was left to realize that I didn't go to MIT, the gin pretty much nullified any attempts at card counting, and I still have huge debt...but at least I got some free cocktails out of it. My only other consolation was witnessing a guy at the next table lose $21,000 on one hand! That kind of stuff makes my stomach turn, but then I thought for someone to risk that much money on one hand of cards probably indicates that money is of no consequence to them. So they say, “a fool and his money...”
The rest of the night was spent drinking and catching up with old friends, and through my conversations, I began to realize how assimilated I had become to academia. If architecture school is an island, then the currency is knowledge and the native dialect is archi-speak; all of which has little or no value in the outside world, especially during a night in Vegas with your pals. It was quite nice to take a break from talking about topology and porous bodies to be able to just chat about football, cigars, and women (all things I know less about since starting school). Nevertheless, I had fun, and sometimes its interesting to see how things you learn about in school sometimes seeps into the realm of the personal, and gives you a new frame of reference for viewing the outside world...exotic morphologies: body territoriesthe panopticon: mechanisms of controlkinematics: motion (or lack thereof)