I'm making my guilty face again because it's been a while since I've written, but...
The semester ended well enough for me, and since then it's been fun and busy and all over the place. I went on vacation with some friends to Washington DC and NYC, spent time with family in Boston and Montreal, where I attended my PhD graduation from McGill. (It was wonderful to be back in Montreal, and it reminded me how much I made that city, and McGill in particular, my home.) And I spent more quality time with friends, dealt with medical appointments, cleaned my apartment, and tied up a few loose ends in my personal life. So basically, I spent a couple of weeks unwinding and dealing with all those Life Issues that get put on hold during a busy semester.
Which is good, because Career Discovery started last week and I'm a "Representation" instructor, so I'm back in Gund Hall, working almost as hard as during the school year!
Teaching at Career Discovery is an opportunity that I'm really excited about, and I'm learning LOTS about teaching by presenting lectures, leading workshops, and giving desk crits to some 60 students (five sections of ~12 students each) on issues related to drawing, building models, and generally using representational tools within a design process.
But it does raise the same question that was on my mind this school year: although the Career Discovery students don't work quite as long hours as we do during a GSD semester (given that the building closes at midnight during the week and 10pm on the weekends), it's obvious that we're already wearing them down with the workload. On the one hand, design is difficult and it takes time to develop the necessary skills and work through iterations within a process. On the other, is it really necessary to work people so hard that we snuff out the fresh spark of excitement that brought them here in the first place? I hope not.
The students are working hard, learning huge amounts every day, and producing interesting work. I hope I can find ways to help make their experience productive AND enjoyable over the next five weeks.
I'll write another update soon, but right now I'd better get going--desk crits await!
Thanks for reading!
P.S. Oh, and I'm also really excited that I've received a graduation fellowship from McGill that will be funding some research travel in China this August! I'm planning to go to Beijing, Shanghai, and some places in the vicinity.
P.P.S. If you're interested in design and education in underprivileged environments, check out this interdisciplinary design competition hosted by UNICEF, called INDEX: DESIGN CHALLENGE 2010 / DESIGNING FOR EDUCATION. Registration is due July 29.
Lectures and exhibitions, news and events, now primarily from the Bay Area! Please note that all live blogs are abridged and approximate. If you want to see exactly what happened, in many cases a video of the event is posted online by the event's hosts.