Future Landscapes
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Copenhagen

School grumbly

But first: took the offending hard drive to school and borrowed IT's tools to remove the teensy screws. Came home and carefully installed hard drive and new RAM. Put computer back together. Put in install discs. Got a flashing question mark.

However! After much frustration and fruitless attempts to get things to work, Jed distracted me with Mad Men. And that's when I got my super duper brainstorm of thundering triumph. I had to partition my hard drive first. Then the install discs worked like charms.... well they're still installing. So we'll see. [Edit to add! Everything is installed cleanly and I now have a gleamingly pristine ibook with CS4 and plenty of space to operate. How happy am I? SOOOOOO HAPPPY!]

So. We had such a good start to the semester, remember? I was happy. Satisfied and content. But architecture school strikes again.

Two of the main instructors at our department decided to leave on 'stress leave.' One of them was the former head of our department, and our main instructor this term. Excellent. So all of their duties have fallen on the brand new instructor, Jesper, who hasn't taught here before and now has to juggle all kinds of adminstrative duties alongside teaching. Then there's our other 'instructor'. I hesitate to call him such, since he also teaches at 2 other schools. The AA in London and ETH Zurich. He flies between these three schools every week. And so he is not really invested in our projects at all.

The problem here is that since we handed in our programs on September 24, we haven't heard or seen our instructors in over 3 weeks. Last week we got emails every day saying that one or the other instructor would be in to talk about our projects. And after waiting several hours with nary an instructor to be seen, we'd later get emails saying that 'other things came up' and they couldn't make it.

It wasn't until Friday that one of them finally managed to come speak with us. It was Deane, who hadn't read either our programs or our school blogs, so we had to spend the majority of the time updating him on what we were doing rather than discuss design ideas. Almost a complete waste of a desk crit.

And here's where it gets juicy. We get an email last night saying that they (the instructors) are 'concerned about the progress of our projects' and think we need to 'speed it up.'

Rings a little hollow, doesn't it, coming from instructors who can hardly be bothered to remember what our projects are, let alone show up to talk about it.

You know, we are masters students, yes. We don't need our hands held. But the vast majority of my class are first years who are new to this school, this city, this 'culture' *cough*, and this teaching style (the 'hands off' style, as I like to call it). Many students are incapable of being self-directed in a situation like this. They need constant guidance and consultation.

And those of us in final year... though now we 'know the drill' and have come to accept that no one is going to be around to prod us along, we still like to have professional input. That's kind of what we pay for here.

Is it really too much to ask for meaningful interaction with our 'instructors'? Guess so.