(There were so many moments this past semester where I went through stuff and thought it would be absolutely great material for blogging. But of course I was too busy at the time, and now I don't really remember what any of those moments were... sorry)
I think its still worth reflecting on this past semester. It's possibly been the most physically and mentally challenging season of my life. Before coming I didn't hold too many expectations for the GSD, but I (along with many other GSD-ers, apparently) was surprised by the great community and just how helpful people in general are. As with every other time I've moved to a new place, i came in apprehensive about being able to meet new people and develop new friendships, and.. I guess I was surprised once again.
As a student with an architecture background, I think most of my experience at the GSD has been based on a comparison to what I experienced in undergrad at TCAUP. I actually have a list of the things for which I think each place has been better. I realize, that my experience of the GSD has been a completely Inge based experience, but after this one semester the thing I think I appreciate most about my experience at TCAUP now that I look back at it is the respect for the student and a certain openness to ideas. The GSD is full of biases which are sometimes hard to look beyond, but perhaps the strong stances are part of what makes the GSD such a great place for architectural debate. The subject matters I've started to think about here that I never even considered at TCAUP can be summarized in one word: "polemics". The development of ideas that create some sort of architectural debate, responding to precedents and dealing directly with architectural language. I'm still struggling with how architecture in all of its architectural language glory communicates and finds meaning with a "layperson", the eventual occupant of a building, but hopefully that is something I can continue to wrap my mind around over my next three years here. (Oh goodness... three more years of this? haha.)
I also think it's great that the GSD offers a diverse array of ways to participate at the GSD. Activities/student groups range from yoga to ballet to Japan to inflatables to real estate... and the speakers and special guests who are in and out of the building every day are phenomenal.
On the other end of things, it seems like the GSD knows how to have fun (inside the GSD!). Or at least... a few days fo fun. Initiation. The other initiation-like thing. Ping-pong tournament. Stuff. Beer. Dogs.
But really it's mostly painful. You know, good pain... some unnecessary pain. I don't think I've gotten so little sleep for a project ever. Maybe the fact that my studio professor pulls an all-nighter at least once a week and was around studio giving us descrits until 2am more than once would be the biggest clue-in to the culture around here. I did manage to make myself home cooked meals all the way up until the final review (when I purchased my very first thing from the Chauhaus and had to sneakily look around to figure out where to pay so I wouldn't look so lost), but things like a laser sign up at 10 am which people started lining up for at 7-ish the evening before really messed with my sleep schedule. (I got in line around 2 am after needing to be at the GSD until midnight the night before to catch a slot to use the lasers)... also the feeling that I was constantly starting over on my projects instead of slowly working to develop one thing over a period of time. Those would be the unnecessary pains.
It's been quite a ride, but I'm looking forward to a period of rest over this holiday season.
My ride home just arrived. Happy Holidays!