Jack of all trades…

Master of Architecture?

Thursday was an odd mix of the “throwback” and the forward thinking. I went to a college campus for a tour – as a perspective student. It was a long drive (and would be a rotten commute at 90 minutes) with lots of time to think. The more I think of it, the more it becomes a trippy mix of memory and future plans. I have a college degree, but not the right one to break past a certain ceiling in the architecture industry. I started in design school, but finished in a different program. I spent years in studio and drawing classes, but what got me into the field was my ability to be a CAD monkey – or take all that data and put it “in the box”. I’ve got years of experience and I’m working on the requirements to get my registration stamp here in Pennsylvania, but that’s not easy when you’re not actually working. School might actually help with that – if only I could afford to do that right now. Thursday really tossed my emotions around.

I’m considering trying to go to Morgan State University for the Graduate program in Architecture and get my masters degree. I dropped a line to the program and ended up getting a tour with the head of the program himself. That was both excellent and disconcerting. Excellent in that, how many folks get the personal tour with the director of the program? Disconcerting in that we’re about the same age and were within a just few years of each other when graduating from school last time I did this. The throwback went into overdrive when he said that the first semester of studio all students were required to be on the boards – no computer work for drawings or presentations. It’s been more than 20 years since I was on the drafting board. I’ve got the trace paper, the pencils, the triangles – I’ve even got a drafting board in the attic still. My skills would be rusty to say the least, but I think I would struggle for a while until I got back into the swing of things. The trippy part? I’ve spent the past year and a half as a trainer for the computer programs that architects and engineers use – so there’s actually some small potential that I could get an adjunct professor kind of position there teaching Revit. I could be the teacher and the student… at the same time? It was a confusing and unsettling day, but the trip is one I’m ultimately glad I made.

Now is more of the wait and see part. This is all conjecture. None of it is relevant until I’m once again gainfully employed – money does seem to make the world go around.

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