Ball State University (Gregory)

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    Gregory Dowell
    Sep 22, '08 5:40 PM EST

    It was an architecture free weekend as things are just beginning to pick up this week. So with Ball State taking on in-state rival Indiana University in football on Saturday, three architecture graduate students and I hopped in the car and took a road trip to the game. All day tailgating ensued before the Cardinals took care of business and dominated the Hoosiers 42-20. It was BSU's first win over a BCS school. But it didn't come without a huge price. Our leading receiver, Dante Love, was taken off the field on a stretcher and underwent 5 hours of surgery to stabilize a fractured vertebrae. While he'll most likely never play football again, he is expected to make a full recovery and live life to the fullest.

    So after enjoying the weekend, it was back to work today. Tomorrow my historic preservation documentation class is heading to Arcadia, IN to begin field verifying and documenting our building. It's about a 45 minute drive from Muncie. Then on Wednesday my HP studio is heading the Indianapolis' Near East Side to meet with city officials to determine exactly what they're looking for from us. They've gotten a report from a developer and are looking for another perspective. With the Super Bowl coming to Indianapolis in 2012 the city is infusing a lot of money into the city and we're going to determine what the best course of action is for this area (roughly 30-40 blocks). That's all I know at this point but I'll update you after the site visit on Wednesday.

    And thesis/design project proposal is always on my mind. I did a literature search today and noted about 20 books I need to grab from the library. The most difficult part is determining a project that best illustrates my thesis. But until I nail down a particular question I want to address (and not just a topic), I'm not going to rack my brain with that. I'll probably take it easy tonight, watch a little Monday Night Football and be ready to go for tomorrow and Wednesday.


    • vado retro

      fucking i.u. (my alma mater) should drop their lame ass football program, did you start the riot before the game???

      Sep 23, 08 9:37 am  · 
      liberty bell

      I don't want to be a jerk, but it's disappointing that you didn't stick around Friday for the Alumni Symposium. The school organized a lot of people to come speak on a variety of topics, they showed a broad range of possible futures for your architecture education, and over a dozen alum gave freely of their time and energy - even driving from other states - to "give back" to BSU. Though the symposium wasn't required, it's disappointing that students would take it as a "free day" and run off to watch a sports event, instead (yes, I know the whole school rivalry thing is a big deal). I believe the students who attended learned a lot - some of it not necessarily stuff they wanted to learn, as the reality of practice can be bleak, it's true, but education means seeing both the good work AND the crap and learning to differentiate and define one's path relative to both.

      And since I really don't want to be a jerk about this, let me state I know you're not the only one doing this, Gregory. My husband teaches at two different colleges and constantly pushes his students to attend every lecture available to them free at the school - yet lectures all tend to be minimally attended, even when the speakers are superstars. It's hard to understand, when one is a student, what a wealth of knowledge is available right there for the taking - but once one gets into the professional world after school, opportunities to just sit and listen to others' experience become fewer in quantity and harder to get to.

      Maybe, and this is a sincere suggestion, while you're watching football tonight you should be considering how sports could be included in your thesis, as it is obviously an interest of yours.

      Sep 23, 08 9:39 am  · 
      vado retro

      also, on the near east side is an old school built in the 30's that was the first accessible school ever built and is a fine example of art decoish architecture that of course the school district wants to tear down and repleace with a parking lot. and don't forget to check out the coca cola bottling plant that is now where the school district parks their busses and cooks meals to be delivered to the schools...

      Sep 23, 08 9:41 am  · 

      Liberty Bell-

      Thanks for your insight. I'm not going to question the validity of your statements. So I'm not the perfect student- I chose a football game over learning. All the presentations were filmed and archived, so I have the opportunity to check them out in the future.

      Honestly I'm disappointed in the manner in which BSU handled things leading up to the event. Not a single professor mentioned the symposium except on the first day of classes when going through the class calendar on the syllabus. There was only one banner posted in the CAP building and that was only a few days before Friday. Finally they emailed the schedule of events only one day in advance. Seems like a poor strategy on their part if they are interested in having the best turnout. But in the end, I make of my education what I want and I chose not to go.

      And as much as I'd love to include football in my thesis, its just not practical. Football is my escape from architecture. Maybe you can deal with architecture 24-7-365. I can't (not at this point, I have the rest of my life to work). We all have interests outside of architecture, and football happens to be mine.

      Vado Retro-

      Nope, I had nothing to do with that fight.

      I'm really excited to go to the Near East Side tomorrow. Seems like there is a wealth of buildings available to really make the area worth reviving.

      Thanks for the comments guys/gals.

      Sep 23, 08 10:27 am  · 
      liberty bell

      True, the event was NOT well-publicized, as you say; I only found out about it because my friend alum Jeff Rawlins was speaking and he told me. I didn't realize it was not well-communicated to the students, as well - that is disappointing. I understand that the school is working on improving their communications; the AIA in Indy is trying to get better-informed as well, looking towards the potential of doing joint events, etc. Indiana and -polis have a terribly quiet architecture scene, it would be nice to see that change.

      Also true: I am one who would never, in any situation, choose to watch any sports event over any other event even remotely concerned with architecture. I'm a geek that way.

      Sep 23, 08 3:00 pm  · 

      I heard that Mr. Rawlins gave a great presentation and it will be one I'm going to check out from the archives.

      The communication within CAP is poor to say the least. They've been "working on it" for quite some time now. It's amazing how much "crap" they can inform us about at a moments notice but they struggle getting across the important information.

      I'm assuming there is a lecture series this semester, but I've seen/heard no mention of it beyond the information my studio professor passed along about Gregg Pasquarelli.

      Hopefully things change soon.

      Sep 23, 08 5:49 pm  · 
      vado retro

      note: bsu and indiana is NOT a rivalry...

      Sep 24, 08 9:03 pm  · 

      To really analyze the football vs learning decision would be to deconstruct the current American approach to education. And, now, well, we don't really want to do that...

      I don't know much about architecture (I did play with Legos once), but I'm sure firms hire people on their ability to build/maintain/rehabilitate structures. I'm also confident that they especially like when such actions meet certain budgets. Whether or not a given architect went out of his way to attend some goofy Friday symposium what not seems to be far down on the priority list when it comes to professionalization.

      That's not to say I don't agree with Liberty Bell's vantage point. If universities, though, are serious about learning then I'd recommend a number of changes including removing business people from presidential appointments, canceling weeknight football games, changing funding priorities, etc. Even graduate schools are guilty of business model approaches, as most programs over-enroll scholars, leaving a glut of "educated" people without jobs to fill.

      Although I agree with the critique of Greg's decision, I also have to offer the other side. That being, I'm pretty sure BSU is as interested in having the symposium as they are in people attending. It's as much about saying "so and so came to campus" as it is "our students actually came to hear so and so speak." I think that has something to do with the business model on which universities are ran, but that just may be me.

      Sep 25, 08 12:24 am  · 
      Bhuck Gorge

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      Feb 10, 09 4:21 am  · 

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