Thursday, September 30, 2010

The New School and A Piece of National News

After a lengthy (and largely unwise, on my part) hiatus from schooling, my club has successfully enrolled me in a college, which is nice for a number of reasons, the first being that it's more age-appropriate for the 3 graduated seniors that make up our clubs. The school is simply titled School of Interior Design. It's housed in what would probably be some kind of apartment building otherwise over four floors and one other workshop setting. It's nice and clean, and the spots that are dirty are dirty in a "we're working here" way rather than a "we are too lazy to put trashcans in our schools" kind of way.
The classes that we take in the first semester class are Drawing and Painting, Color Workshop, Studio. TRD, IT, History, and Structure.
Drawing and Painting and Color Workshop are quite self-explanatorily titled classes that basically involve me painting things. I have now been wishing that I hadn't avoided all art classes like they were some kind of poisonous animal throughout my entire school career. To put it bluntly, I really suck at painting. I like it fine, and at least I'll get better at it. It's a new thing to be learning, so that's good. The professor (or the sir, as they call it) is a really awesome guy. He has a cool beard and sunglasses that he usually wears to cover up an eye injury from an accident. The only mark the accident has left, however, is that half of the white part of his right eye is red, which to me only adds to his badassery. What is also awesome about this guy is that he's a lot like MacGyver (if you're not familiar with this classic 80s show, find it on DVD and catch up - it's terrific). Forgot your easel today? MacGyver Sir, as I have taken to calling him, willing just whip you one up out of toothpicks and a piece of thermocoil. Also he's quite a good artist. So while I display an ineptitude that has likely never been seen before in these two classes, I quite enjoy them.
Another Sir teaches Studio and Structure. I'm not exactly sure what the stated purpose of studio is, but right now we're working on a complicated project that started with us randomly drawing a bunch of lines and boxes on a sheet of paper and will culminate with us creating a 3D model representing something that developed from the original drawing. It's kind of cool but a lot of work, and again I have absolutely no talent in the subject. Still, I like the Sir so it's allright. Structure is like physics and math - the numbers and calculations of architecture. I like it because the math is pretty basic and I know how to do it and Sir is really impressed with me when I know something like Newton's Laws or the Pythagorean Theorem. I think I could do ok in that one.
TRD and IT involve using a parallel (basically it just helps you draw straight lines) to do "drafting", which is the name for drawings of designs of things. It could be one specific piece of furniture, or a birds-eye view of a room, or whatever. The problem is that the Ma'am for that is very very focused on extremely minute details of whatever project we are doing, and if she doesn't like the work that you just spent two hours doing, she has no qualms about ordering you to do it again. So these two bug me quite a bit.
History is ok - they learn a lot of the stuff that I learned in AP World about ancient civilizations, but then they have to do things like memorize how wide the alleyways were in the Indus Valley city of Harappa from 5000 years ago. How these type of rote details will ever help us in architecture is beyond me, but hey, at least there's a history class here.
I definitely like it better than the other school - the professors remind me of the college professors I know back in town. They are cool folks who trust their students, and for the most part, the students return the trust with a maturity that wasn't present in my high school experience. Interior Design is far from my forte, and I think the teachers will soon become exasperated with my extreme incompetence, but I'm learning skills that I really wouldn't have an opportunity to do anything with at home, and that's the whole point of this exchange, right?

Ayodhya is a site in India (I really don't know where it is) that is purportedly the birthplace of Lord Ram. I'm sure that most of you aren't familiar with him, but he's really really important. It wouldn't be a stretch to call him an equivalent to Moses or someone like that. Jesus probably would be a stretch. The Ramayana, one of the two seminal Hindu religious epic poems, is the tale of Ram. His stature in their religion is exceedingly great.
For obvious reasons, there has always been a temple there, but back in the day (1700s or so), the Mughal Empire (an Islamic dynasty) smashed the temple down and built a mosque there. Then the British came along and the issue was not resolved one way or another. But ever since 1949, there has been a legal battle raging about whether the Hindus should be allowed to have a temple there, or whether the Muslims should have a mosque there. For 60 years this pitched battle has been raging, and today the Allahabad High Court made a decision.
The tension leading up to this decision was incredible. Extreme rioting and violence was predicted all over India no matter which way the decision went - and nobody was really able to predict what the decision was going to be. At the site today there were nearly 200,000 security personnel on hand to stem the potential tides of rioters. The state of Maharashtra, where Mumbai is located (one state to the south of me) was completely closed. Nobody in or out. Cell phone signals were shut down in some areas. It's nuts.
What the court apparently did was release a 10,000 page verdict. They made it so long so that it would take a really long time to decipher what it's true meaning is (and it's going to be something very simple). Hopefully the Hindus and the Muslims will cool off and no blood will be shed.
This case is a big deal. The potential for riots is keeping home from school for two days. Well, on that front I'm not complaining.

There's some serious unrest on a lot of fronts here - Ayodhya is just an extensin of this. I might post something on all of that unrest next time. But for now, in the spirit of the Brazilian bloggers always writing something in Portuguese at the end, Challo.

1 comment:

  1. Dude, your art teacher sounds so cool. I just keep imagining a really chill indian guy wearing sunglasses all the time.