Saturday, March 06, 2010

Had a nice grip on my life 'til you twisted my arm

ah, how life twists and turns and weaves and bobs. the "pals list" is cleaned up. for the most part, i removed people who don't post anymore. in a few others, i removed people i just don't read anymore, and i suspect don't read me. it was a little painful removing krissie. i've no idea what happened to her. i actually had her on my fb as a friend as well, and she is no longer there either. gringa, if you might shed some light...? i kept a few around for a bit longer to see what the authors do next. soon hopefully i will venture back out into the blogsphere and see if i might find some new "pals" to be interested in. but lately i have been too busy and stressed and here's why:

warning: long whiney ranting blog to ensue. proceed at your own risk.

when i signed up for pictorial drafting, i knew it was going to be a hand-drafting class.

what i did not know is that the class would be 50% interior design students, the majority of which have never drafted in any way shape or form, and 50% drafting and design students, most of which have only drafted on the computer. furthermore, i did not know the teacher would be disorganized and ramble for literally an hour about things that will not be useful ever, not even in the drafting job market. i did not know that she would not bother to teach us any hand-drafting techniques whatsoever, but rather; would give us our very first project to accomplish as a group in hopes that we would just pick up the necessary methods for properly hand-drafting.

i did not know that the teacher would give us our first project on the very first day of class, and that we would start project number two the same day we turned in that project, and project number three would start the same day number two is due, and so on through to the end of class. i did not know, that when i say, "this aspect of this project doesn't make any sense, and should be changed" the professor would hide behind "i didn't come up with the projects, i just teach the class" and leave us to flounder with some requirements that seem almost contradictory. are you not the teacher? is it not your class? can't you step up to the plate, make a command decision, display some guts, and say, "fuck this lame-ass project, we're not even gonna do it"?

i did not know i would spend literally every weekend, and most weeknights, since starting the class, at the kitchen table with vellum taped to a piece of foamcore, carefully and painfully mapping out floor plans or elevation drawings by hand with a t-square.

here's why it is so much more frustrating than your average, run-of-the-mill drafting class with way too much homework and a disorganized teacher:

first, the class is an elective. i didn't have to take this class. i could've taken vector graphics, or pro-e. i chose pictorial drafting because i needed to have a full time course load to get the full amount of g.i. bill each month, and this one worked with my schedule. if i could travel back in time, i would tell the then me "no way, dude, you don't wanna do this."

secondly, the teacher is a career interior designer. and the other teachers of this class are as well. which means that not only will i have to draft stuff by hand, but i will be required to design things. and not just design these objects (most recent, a kiosk like you find selling cheap jewelry and shitty cell phones at the mall), but wax lyrical about what kind of carpet or paint i might use and why the color of the plastic chairs will bring out the gold that is in the... whatever. i am not an interior design student. i will be an autocad operator. i will draft the things that are given to me. i will not decide what cloth the furniture should be upholstered in. and yet, i need to do that for one of my projects.

third, and perhaps most important: hand-drafting has moved from the ranks of necessary job description to art form. the analogy i keep using is this: let's just say you are having a great party. all your friends show up, everyone is having a wonderful time, all the guests are laughing and playing and enjoying themselves. you want to capture this moment to remember always.

now, you wouldn't call rembrandt or dali or van gogh and have them come over to paint you a portrait of the good time your friends are having at your party. that's ridiculous, it's ineffective, it's time-consuming. you would grab your camera and take a (or several) picture(s) and download them to your computer.

with the advent of computers, and computer drafting software, hand drafting has been rendered obsolete. despite how the professor goes on and on about how she thinks it will impress our future employers to see carefully hand-drafted plans; and how she thinks it is just easier and faster to hand-draft an idea rather than doing it on the computer, hand-drafting is a waste of time. in something like a half-hour, i had successfully drafted out (in 3-d, no less) my kiosk idea on autocad, so that i would have an idea to work from when i am hand-drafting the different elevations of my kiosk. it takes nearly a half-hour to get my vellum taped down properly and all the tools i need to do the task out and ready to go. forget all about actually laying a pencil line down.

this particular kiosk project pisses me off to no end. here's why, o my beloved non-existent readers: initially, the teacher said she wanted us to "design" a kiosk. in my sardonic, flip kind of way, i decided i was going to make a space-kiosk to sell tang to the astronauts of the international space station (i actually kept saying the mir space station until one of my friends said, "i think they blew that up." "no way!" "yeah, don't you remember taco bell put a big target out in the ocean, and if the mir hit the target everyone would get free tacos?" "what?!?" and yes, as it turns out, he's right on both counts), and eventually moon base alpha and then colonies on mars. i was very excited about the idea, because i wanted to use the millenium falcon and elroy(from the jestons)'s little space scooter as my main design inspirations. it was a project i was actually excited to get behind.

then the teacher told us that we had to pick from a list of (rather uninspired and mundane) objects to sell.

well, smoothies were on there, so switch it to tang smoothies. problem solved. but then my kiosk has to fit into a 7'X5'X7' cube. bleh. then it has to have 42 linear feet of display. (i ask her, "if i have a smoothie shop, what exactly am i displaying?" "well, maybe you have to display the fruit or something.") it also, above and beyond the display, has to have 70 cubic feet of storage. (again, i ask why i would need that much storage in a smoothie shop. i am told that that is what i will have to figure out. i reply, well you can't slap a one-size-fits-all requirement on kiosks selling merchandise as varied as smoothies, ties, surf boards, and hermit crabs. she says again, "well, that is what you will have to figure out." i say nothing, but think, "i have already figured it out. i have figured out that all this display and storage space would be completely unnecessary in my kiosk, but that a human operator would sure appreciate the room to move around.") i actually contemplate just finding a kiosk at the mall that is selling something on the list (ipods or jewelry), measuring it, taking a few quick sketches, and cranking out someone else's idea and turning it in as my own, so strict is the rubric. and the teacher actually says that this isn't a bad idea(!!!)

comme ce, comme ca, o my droogs and only friends: my kiosk is actually going to be in a hallway of the international space station. the makers of tang have designed a revolutionary advance in the field of robotics called the "smoothiebot 5000" that will hover over the 84 (count 'em, 84!) cubic feet of storage and create your smoothie within the confines of its titanium belly. fresh fruit as well as canisters advertising the different flavors of tang that can be used in the smoothies will equal about 48 linear feet of display, and there is absolutely no way the teacher can complain about my kiosk as it meets all her requirements as delineated in the syllabus, and i get to do a project i can actually be somewhat enthused about.

just seven more weeks of this stupid shit.

darth sardonic

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Blogger twirl unabashedly said...

published author?

~i'm impressed.

AND you're funny.

now, ima gonna follow you.

5:01 PM  
Blogger darth sardonic said...

truth be told, the book isn't all that. and i published it through a small company in england. but ty, and glad you're here. i'll add you to my pals list soon.

5:43 AM  
Blogger twirl unabashedly said...

dont knock a very cool accomplishment.

have you heard of 'nanowrimo'? stands for nat'l novel writing month. goal is 10,000 words in one calendar month. theres a website/support group that does it every november. i'm intending on participating this november, and i dont care how horrid it comes out, i'll be super proud of myself if i manage to meet the goal.

as you should be.

...and, i'd be honored to be on the pals list. :)

8:30 AM  
Blogger Krissie said...

Nothing actually ~happened~ to me. So, HI. I just changed my FB account and apparently missed to re-add some important people. Go me. I shall fix that ASAP. And as for the blog, it's been relocated to Livejournal for a more interactive experience, sort of (made Gringa follow me over there, LOL). All in all, I'm still alive and very much online, just not here.

10:30 AM  
Blogger darth sardonic said...

well ty twirl, if you're bored and have 20 bucks to spend, the link for buying the book is in the sidebar. writing 10,000 words in one month? i aint so sure about that, lol.

well krissie can i link it here still? lemme know.

11:01 AM  
Blogger Gringa-n-Mexico said...

LOL Krissie explained I guess :D And yep, she's over on LJ, you might like it if you get time to read, she started puting up her own fic writing - steamy goodness :)

SO, DUDE! Your teacher sounds like some of my community college teachers! One was a park ranger out of a job that just happened to have a minor in history who got hired to teach history like, off the street or something. He didn't give a shit about teaching really, just liked to talk about his favorite history subjects and give us book work and tests. Nice. The best ever was my PTS'd out Vietnam veteran psycology teacher that made every one of our reports and half the class about the affects of war. I respect him for his service but I learned all of ZIP about pscycology. Then there was the sociology teacher who was African American - wait no, he said we had to call him black, who was obsessed with race relations and made the whole damn class about race. *Sigh* Sometimes I wish teachers could come with blank slates.

1:16 AM  
Blogger darth sardonic said...

gringa, yep, some people aren't meant to be teachers

3:20 AM  

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