Tuesday, August 26, 2008


Anyone who has been around me lately has probably heard me complaining about my job. (sorry.) Which leaves even me wondering why I keep working there.

Back when I decided to go to grad school for architecture, I decided that I wanted to do something different. I wanted to help people, not just design fancy things for fancy clients.

Fast forward a few years to my first year of grad school. A professor invites me to a conference called "Structure for Inclusion." Guess what I learned? People actually do help people with architecture. Amazing!

Since then, I've learned of several organizations and fellowships that exist for this purpose. I've even been to Africa with one such organization.

So clearly it's entirely possible to make this happen. I should remember this and not lose sight of my goal. I know this.

What's stopping me then? Experience for one. Most positions with these organizations require about 5 years of experience (I have 3) and management experience. The two that I'm most interested in are headquartered in San Francisco. I've always lived here so moving that far away would be pretty huge.

Beyond that, I think I just get disillusioned with an average day in the architecture world. It's very driven by developers who have lots of money but very little taste and by bureaucrats who wield power by enforcing rules.

Despite all my complaining, I know there are several things keeping me at my current job which will benefit me if/when I do make the jump to the next step: doing projects for non-profits, participating in AFH competitions, heading up Canstruction, taking 2 weeks off to go on an emi trip, and piles of management experience that I shouldn't have had yet.

Even though this is several years off (and even if I never do large scale architecture do-gooding), I'm trying to make a point to not let all the every day junk get me down. So if you hear me complaining, please remind me that there is a point to all the craziness.

Sunday, August 24, 2008


I've lost my sense of balance lately.

Until a little over a year ago, my life was always heavily weighted toward school and school related activities. Even with grad school being so consuming, I still felt more even than I do now.

For the first time in my life, there is no obvious next thing. In school, I knew that the end of a semester would be packed but there would be a break soon. Besides, someone else had planned that for me. Who was I to argue with a few days off?

But now my time is my own. Even my work schedule is more or less up to me. Yet I don't take advantage of it like I should.

Instead, I tend to swing between extremes. One week I'll work too much, not see or talk to people at all, completely forget to visit with God, never make it to the gym and not eat a single meal that isn't a sandwich. The next week will be the total opposite.

The result is that I'm exhausted. I don't even feel human some days.

What I've got to learn to do is balance my life. There are some things that I have to do and a whole bunch more that I want to do.

Some of the things that I "have" to do are all in my head. I get stuck there sometimes and usually need help getting unstuck. That seems to be what's really throwing me off balance.

With balance comes order. I like order. The lack of it is making me crazy.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

High School Jeopardy!

you know you're watching high school Jeopardy! when the category title is "Really Old Movies" and the answers are Goonies and ET.