Saturday, March 04, 2006

And Breathe...

It’s been back to the grindstone, and thus the lack of posts. Another big critique is around the corner, and as expected, studio has been the walls surrounding me during daylight hours. Thank god that the studio here has restricted hours, which forces me to plan accordingly and leave at a reasonable hour.

I don’t know what happened in the intervening years between undergraduate school and graduate school, but my stamina has been shot. I remember the days of rolling into studio at 8 in the morning, only to leave at midnight. I remember not seeing my dorm room during daylight hours. I remember seeing the sun rise while finishing a model.

I try and rationalize. I am, after all, not taking other classes. Here, any time I am at school is devoted solely to studio work. That means 8 hours of non-stop, uninterrupted bliss (or torture, depending on the day.) And I never had that as an undergraduate – what with those pesky liberal arts requirements that I had to go to. It was an hour here, and hour there, and suddenly, it was the afternoon before you could step foot through the studio door. (And I kid about the other class requirements…I liked…no loved…my classes outside the core architecture curriculum.)

But, there is a nagging feeling at the back of my mind – perhaps a guilty conscious – that tells me that I am not working like I used to. And it tells me that I should have more reserves to produce more work. Or I should be more anxious about the presentation that looms ahead.

For some reason, I find myself not quite so frightened of this deadline. I’d like to chalk it up to maturity, to a better sense of self. But, a small part of me thinks that, perhaps, it is because I’ve become a bit more jaded to the process. From experience, as both the one being critiqued and the one doing the critiquing, I realize the real importance of this rite of passage. It’s to get outside opinions – ones more objective than your own. Rather than seeing this critique as an assessment of my abilities, I tell myself that these sessions are potential moments for enlightenment. It helps me take a more blasé attitude towards an experience that used to cause me numerous sleepless nights. And it helps me appreciate the criticisms that will undoubtedly come. (Just remember, it’s about the work, not me, the work, not me.)

So, on Monday, at three, I will stand before a group of professionals, and give my little speech, remembering that I speak faster than I think, and not with the British colloquialism that may make my ideas easier to process. I’ll use my four A1 posters and my small thirty-second video, which I created over the course of four days, after teaching myself the computer program in a day. I’ll try and be composed, assured, confident. I’ll remind myself that this is not the end, only a pause on a longer journey – one that has room to address any of the insights these outsiders might offer. And I will remind myself to laugh, joke, and not take offence – even if you find the comments offensive. I won’t raise my voice, be argumentative, or rude. I will offer rationales and logic…and if that doesn’t work, I’ll listen quietly, fume inside, and rant about it here instead.

Wish me luck.


Blogger flanthrower said...

I totally know what you mean about the guilt of not working like you used to and not fearing deadlines. It's one of the things that really eats me up here in law school.

1:30 PM  

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