Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Long time coming

Well this has certainly been a long time coming (as the title would lead you to believe.) I have now had almost two full weeks of classes and I am now getting ready to go on our first study tour (where we will be going to western Denmark also known as Jutland) for the next three days. Where we are going I couldnt tell you other than Arhus [Are-hoos] (the 2nd largest city in Denmark (and yes I do realize I am typing an unnecessary amount of sue me)) but it should be fun. 

So far class has been good. Since my last real entry I have had two sessions of my two lecture courses. On thursdays starting at 8:30 am I have Sustainability by Design which is a course about sustainability and how it is done in Denmark and how many of those strategies can be used throughout the world. So far it has been a bit boring but you know what? not every class is a winner. And honestly I dont know what else would be more interesting. It feels a lot like review so far because we did a lot of this stuff last year in my environmental control systems class but that class got all kinds of screwed up over the course of the semester what with a new professor ever week in the beginning and then a mechanical engineer who didnt even really believe in the necessity of sustainable design for the 2nd semester. So hopefully i will learn stuff. 

after that class I have a three hour lunch break basically and then my next class which is European Urban Design Theories which so far has been awesome. Lots of reading but lots of it is stuff I learned in my previous history or theory courses so so far it has been review as well. BUT every time we meet we get to go on a two hour field trip to different parts of the city and see what they have done that is working and not working from an urban design and city planning standpoint. very fun and interesting so far. This last week we went to a place called Orsted [Er-stead] which is on Amagar [Ah-mar] that is a new city that is being built in phases. So far it is not working. All the buildings are spread apart really far and the central metro (subway though out there it is raised above the street for some odd reason) track makes the street like 100 feet across so it all but kills all the street life. Also there is a GIANT mall out there and there was a regulation that while it was being built no other stores could open in the neighborhood. So they are JUST now getting a Netto (grocery store) but it, like all the stores in this city / country closes at 6 or 7 pm so if you need anything like groceries or even just toilet paper you have to get on the metro and ride into town (15 minutes) go to the store and the go back home. That area has a lot of problems. Sadly this is where all the beautiful new architecture is going up.  So that is that class though. Very fun. 

For studio this last week we had a small (though in my case not so small) project where we had to research a building we are going to see on our spring study tours (to Sweden and Finland) and then build a large scale model and give a presentation on it. We had the Jyvaskyla [You-veh-skay-lah] university auditorium which was kind of cool. We worked in groups and while I didn't love my group we did work pretty well together and got it done on time. The building itself is kind of boring (at least from pictures) but has some cool elements. It will be fun to actually see it in real life versus just reading about it and looking at small black and white photos. yesterday we got our next studio assignment which will last until we go to Sweden and Finland in March. We are doing a small urban infill community center building. The site is pretty small (32' x 29') so that will be challenging but it should be a lot of fun. I need to either embrace this as a normal semester (kind of hard since i only have four classes and only have to go to school 4 days a week) and put my heart and soul into school OR I need to remember that I just have to pass these classes because they wont effect my GPA and as long as I pass them I will be fine and I should just enjoy my time here and my last semester as an undergraduate. That being said...I hope studio isnt too stressful. I hate feeling like I am not putting enough time into a project when I dont stay in studio all night all the time. It is not good for my health and isnt realistic for the real world either. oh well. 

my fourth class (and this is a new one because I was on a waitlist for it before i left and only just got in on friday) is an architectural watercolor painting class. This one should be fun (hopefully) but so far has been hard. Water color painting is WAY different than painting with acrylic which is what I am used to and liked a lot. I hope I am able to get the hang of it and come to enjoy it. I have only had one class period so far so I am not really able to judge it yet. But it was fun and we are supposed to do a couple more paintings while in Jutland this coming weekend. 

I am sorry there are not many photos in the blog itself but it takes FOREVER to upload a single picture to the thing and so I find it better and less frustrating to add them one at a time after it has been written. I will also be posting pictures to Picasa again soon and try to organize the ones i have posted before so that they are a bit easier to go through. Finally...i promise to try and update this more often. It is hard for me to write in here because i really dont like to just sumarize what i do because it is weird to write what i did after i have done it (if that makes any sense) but it is a good way to inform all of you back home what i am doing here so i will try to keep this up. Alright. have a good day.

andy out

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