05 September 2013

Observation: Students who attend city schools each have their own agendas. Their own things to do, their own places to go, etc. On the flip side, students who live on a campus all have the same agenda. Lots more time to spend together. Plus your friends are literally next door. (sigh)

04 September 2013


Let me tell you about my days at Mount Holyoke.
Monday through Thursday, I had classes from about 9 AM to 2 PM which also included breaks in between classes. Then I would have a single class on Friday and perhaps a lab someday during the week. I had a lot of free time. I joined crew, that was a really great way to start the morning which I prepared for by going to bed at 10 (crazy early, I know). But really, I had a lot of free time. It also didnt help that my professors didnt assign much homework.

Well, all that free time is gone now.
Because I'm commuting, I have to allot enough time to travel to class. Mondays and Wednesdays are okay since I can catch the express train. Wake up at 6:30/7 for a 9 AM class, and all is well. But then I have class until 5. And I have a total of three hours of time to kill between my classes. I suppose that time won't go to waste considering that there are architecture assignments to be completed now. But still. Tuesdays and Thursdays, however, are studio days. Class starts at 2 which means I can spend about an hour and a half on the train. Of course, I always have the option to leave early, but we haven't officially claimed space in our studio (yet). Four hours later, and we finish at around 6 (maybe slightly later).

My days are full. Fridays are a lovely break from learning although I doubt they will be thoroughly enjoyed. I nearly took a French class that met on Tuesdays/Thursdays/Fridays that I kinda wish I took, but I'm kinda glad I didn't. There's also a lecture series on Thursdays after class that we're encouraged to attend, so I guess I'll go to those. And I've been considering participating in the SSA student council thing, but we'll see.

I have to learn to satisfy my time as well as possible and work on time management. Also: snacks. Have to pack a lot of snacks. I'm going to school tomorrow despite the fact that classes are cancelled. And maybe the day after. We'll see.

I'm mostly just tired at this point.
You know what the Triangle of Truth* is, right? Here are three things: You can only pick two. You know what I'm talking about, I know you do.

Whoever created this should correct their syntax and obviously chose social life & sleep.
Well anyway, na├»ve Julia thought that she could successfully maintain life as an architecture student with all three attributes. In my mind, the Triangle of Truth is between Sleep, Grades, and Fun. Obviously, sleep accounts for the number of hours of sleep I can get/how well rested I am. Grades accounts for all the work that I have to accomplish in order to get excellent grades (I'm shooting for all As, but it's too soon to tell). This also includes all the architorture work I have to do (bleh). Then fun is a very, very big folder of all the fun things I could be doing instead of working or sleeping. This includes, but is not limited to, watching TV, socializing, or any other activity that is considered leisurely or enjoyable.

Thankfully, I haven't fallen victim to the woes of the Triangle too severely. In fact, today I decided to sit through nearly the entirety of four consecutive Harry Potter movies despite having things to do. And my very impressive streak of going to bed around this time (midnight) is now over. Long live a good night's sleep.

It's needless to say that I will be considerably unsocial in a social kind of way. Hours worth of work at the studio will be spent with a dozen other poor children. We'll all be suffering together. I think that's what everyone meant by "studio culture." Studio culture consists of regular caffeine infusions, group naps, sleepovers, blade cuts, graphite smudges, amongst other things.

Nevertheless, studio culture is one of my favorite things about being in architecture school. Everyone is laboring, working hard, and applying every iota of effort to accomplish something that could be great. There's a lot of potential in architecture school, I think. What matters is whether or not someone can apply themselves and achieve that potential. Good things don't come easily.

Over and out.

*I did not realize that "Triangle of Truth" was the actual name for the triangle. I took a stab at it, looked it up to see if it was accurate, and voila! I was really surprised.

31 August 2013

This Week in Review

I woke up before 8 AM on a Saturday. On my own. Without an alarm. That, my friends, is an accomplishment all on its own. Granted, I rolled around in bed while checking all the social networks for an hour, so there's that.

This week felt pretty long, which is probably partially due to all the time I've spent on trains and whatnot. Otherwise, I'd say it was slightly eventful sprinkled with a whole lot of awkward. My schedule has been finalized whether I like it or not and includes Physics for Architects, Lit & Psychoanalysis, and my studio class "Design Communications." 
(Wow this is really boring and dull so far)

To sum things up, here's a list:

  • My Lit/Psychoanalysis class is a weird two-part combined class with an awkward two hour break in between
  • The writing prof for the aforementioned class is pretty cool (with cool hair and cool glasses)
  • Had a really yummy shroom burger before class on Thursday (whee)
  • I have Fridays off
  • Tuesdays and Thursdays start at 2 but I dislike the local 7 so I'll probs just go in early anyway
  • My studio TA okayed my coffeemaker
  • Now I can get a new mug too!
  • I miss getting supplies for free 
  • My new mouthwash makes me cry (literally)
  • I have groovy teeth
  • And I made cookies again but I don't like them as much.
  • I also supplanted my dumb back breaking chair with the roller from upstairs but now I don't have a chair upstairs (whatever)
  • Michael's has Strathmore sketchbooks on sale: 2 for 1 
  • I've been bombarded with Labor Day sale emails and I... just... have to control myself because merde, I am poor.
  • People come to City College from everywhere. That surprised me. (People actually really want to come here)
  • I found Mount Holyoke's Big Picture calendars really useful last year so I made one of my own using iWork's Numbers. The program is pretty icky but my calendar isn't :)
  • I'm expecting Moleskine to send me a new planner because I found a hole in a page in my new turntable. Now I'll have an extra turntable if they actually honor the quality control thing I had to submit
  • Muji pens are more expensive than I remember. 
  • Muji pens are more wonderful than I remember.
Okay bye

27 August 2013


Oh no. Oh, no!

Tomorrow I return to 160 Convent Ave. to resume my studies (yay)! If I calculate correctly, I have to set a 6:30 alarm for my 9:30 class. I gave myself a lot of extra time because I tend to loaf around in the mornings. Sometimes I just... sit.

Anyway, the school posts will probably be few and far between this year. This is partially due to the fact that I am taking 'Physics for Architects' which will probably butcher me. But if I pay attention in class, I think I have a fair chance of making it out alive. Funnily enough, my physics class is first thing in the morning... kinda like my high school physics class. And we all know what happened then, right? Breakfast and crossword puzzles. Those were fun.

I also realized that this semester I'll be pursuing 14 credits, but my classes last 17 hours a week. If I can recall correctly, I was doing 17 credits with a 15 hour week during my first semester at Mount Holyoke.  Huh.

I don't know how to feel about the new semester. It feels weird in a weird way.

13 July 2013

Isn't It Funny to See How Things Turn Out?

William Arthur Ward once said "If you can imagine it, you can achieve it; If you can dream it, you can become it."

One year ago, I was excited to be preparing myself for my first year of college and the "beginning of the rest of my life," as I so aptly called it in my head. I had this idea that once I left my house that August, I would never be returning to live there. Rather than return home for winter and summer breaks, I would spend my time studying abroad, taking summer classes, or volunteering abroad. I would only return home for Thanksgiving, and that would be that. The cycle would continue for the next four years until graduation, when I would find a job and an apartment.

But look where I am now: enrolled in a city school which I would be commuting to from home for the next four years.

No matter how many times I iterate Ward's quote, I can't help but think of the single obstacle that stands in my way: Money. If I could afford to buy a plane ticket to Paris, believe me, I would. I often find myself basking in overly ambitious plans that idealize the rest of my life. There are infinite ways to enjoy the time I get to spend on this earth, but are any of my grandeur schemes actually plausible?

I'm stuck in a rut. I barely pay attention to what my parents have to say, but when I do, it regards big things.
--Can I get an apartment with my friend in the city?
--Why not?
-We're poor.
I shouldn't be seeking my parent's approval, right? Wouldn't college be more fun spent living with your friends even though you're all dirt poor in comparison to living at home and commuting to school every day? I calculated how much time I would be spending with the MTA every month and it comes out to about 80 hours of commuting.

If I spent that 80 hours working near where I would potentially live by my school, I would be able to scrape enough to make rent with a roommate or two. Throw in a couple more working hours on the weekend, and I'd be able to afford food.

So what's stopping me?
I think it's society.