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    What I did on my (Last) Winter Vacation

    PodZilla Jan 19 '09 1

    Standing on the threshold of my final semester of Undergraduate Architecture, I'm wondering where the last five years have gone. I know it sounds cliche and stereotypical but, looking back on it, it really feels like it absolutely flew by. With the big nut of Comprehensive Studio completed, it's just a matter now of finishing my final options studio and some electives (and the stupid physics requirement I put off) and I'm done, ready to be released into one of the worst recessions in recent memory.

    Choices for studio this semester seem a little thin, with only 4 critics teaching Options. By contrast, there are 6 teaching Pre-Comp. The 4 projects I have to choose from are: A retail space for a high-end architectural glass company in Manhattan, An expansion of the Museum of Modern Art in Jersey City, whatever Don Wall is doing, and a Dynamic City, focusing on the redevelopment of the waterfront between Bayonne and Brooklyn along the lower New York Bay. Right now, I'm leaning towards the City, since it will be a fairly unique project and something different for the portfolio.

    I'm also taking two elective classes, "Architecture of the 21st Century" with Michael Mostoller and "Advanced Construction" with Matt Peckham. I also have Pro Practice, my last Core class, and that damn physics class I mentioned above. Should be a pretty packed semester, and for the first time in a year and a half I have class every day, no more fridays off. I'm also doing more TA work in the fablab, and probably a whole slew of various other little projects. One of the things I enjoy most about being at school is constantly being busy and having something to do. I've always felt that I'd rather be busy than bored, and I get to live like that when I'm at school.

    It always seems that before I go out on vacation I have these grandiose plans, like "I'm going to update my resume, re-draw some projects and make a kickass portfolio" but never manage to get around to it. I did compile all the information that I'm going to put on my resume, but haven't managed to put it into a graphically clear format yet. One thing I did get around to was finally archiving all of my old studio work onto DVD's, so I don't have to rely on otherwise unstable external hard drives for my backups. When I get some cash I'm going to buy a safe and bolt it to the floor in my closet to keep those discs safe from fire and theft.

    Also over winter break I worked for my uncle for about a week, doing one of my favorite things in the world: electrical work. I worked for an electrician for three summers and two winters during the early years of college, and loved (almost) every minute of it. My uncle just finished building a new barn in front of his house, and had me in to do the electrical work. It took me and a friend about 8 days to completely rough the whole thing. I even passed inspection on the first try! Besides the wiring, I got to do some plowing for him as well, living out my boyhood tonka truck fantasies, driving big machines around parking lots and making giant piles of snow.

    image
    The front of the new barn, with my car parked on the left. His name is Clifford.

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    The rear garage bay with the sheep pen.

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    The sheep.

    If you're curious what it looks like to drive down the entire length of the Garden State Parkway in 6 minutes, check out this video from my final Cinematic Literacy project last semester:



    I think that's plenty for one entry. More to come over the semester.

     

     
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