École Spéciale d'Architecture (Travis)

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    Send Offs, Take Offs, and Evacuations

    By TK. B
    Aug 29, '08 9:08 PM EST

    Looks like I'm getting out of here right on time:


    Meet Gustav.

    On the left side of the cone:
    Houston. Where I am now. Where I grew up.

    On the right side of the cone:
    New Orleans. Where Tulane School of Architecture is. Where I am and have been enrolled for three years.

    Didn't we just do this some three years ago?

    In fact it was exactly three years ago yesterday that Katrina hit the Gulf Coast, so I suppose we're due this again. It seems every other or every third year Tulane evacuates (normally as a precaution) ahead of a hurricane. Which is exactly what began today. Tulane closed it's doors at noon until Thursday of next week at the soonest. However the city itself has not mandated evacuations as of yet given the large cone of uncertainty.

    Lucky for me:


    I'm 'evacuating' tomorrow to Paris as an exchange student for the academic year to the École Spéciale d'Architecture. I clearly picked a good time.

    This will be my 4th Year in Tulane's undergraduate five year program. While many students in their fourth year here partake in the many Summer or semester professor-lead study abroad programs sponsored by Tulane, I chose to navigate a cryptic web of bureaucracy to convince admin people to let me pursue this one year exchange at the ESA.

    Of course, since it took a great amount of arguing and convincing as well as other tangled messes, there are quite a few things still left to figure out yet with this thing. For example, I'm not actually registered nor do I have any idea which classes I'll be taking while at the ESA. All of this I'll hopefully resolve in a formal interview on September 2. However, from the ESA's point of view, I don't exist until they see me. Obviously there's little I can tell about the school so far, given these constraints.

    I will, however, say that I am looking forward very much to having an opportunity out of Tulane to study Architecture in both Paris and the ESA. I gained a lot out of being able to study for a semester at Rice University in Houston during the semester after Katrina hit New Orleans (and my first semester at school). Basically I want as many different schools' influences crammed into my head.

    Speaking of head-cramming, I will be using this year a lens to really narrow down what I'm looking to work my thesis around next year. I've got so many disparate interests; let's see if I can narrow them down or bind some together. I imagine my view on making and thinking about architecture will change greatly by the end of this year. We'll have to see.

    Finally, I suppose it would be reasonable to at least wish everyone who is at school (and in the City of New Orleans) good luck with the storm. Hopefully we won't end up with exploding buses of elderly or rooftop-stranded people. In all likelihood though, I'm not expecting anything great. Keep in mind, for those of us on the Gulf Coast, this happens all Summer and Autumn long, every year.

    To be honest, I always kind of root for the hurricane. Maybe it's just the Tyler Durden in me.

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