“It’s funny how being alone affects a person. I rushed to catch the shuttle today in vain. It broke down at WPI on my way to Clark, so I figured it would be 20 minutes late to the stop at 11:something. I left class early, at 11:35 – :37 actually – but in vain. Waited until 11:50 knowing my making it to architecture on time would be completely hopeless. Either I walk through the freezing horrible wind 2 miles for the 3rd day in a row or I’m 20 minutes late to WPI. Great choice I have to make. I’ve tried to walk, but the mere thought made me want to cry. I loathe Park Ave normally and this is even worse. That’s when I started thinking about being alone. Basically… I have no friends and no life. Why am I usually so OK with this and suddenly it starts bothering me?” Benjamin Franklin said, quite truely, “Whether real or imaginary, pain is pain and pleasure is pleasure.” Here’s the question: who would have thought that, after writing that earlier today, my day would actually turn out pretty darn good?
That’s what I was feeling after missing the shuttle. Not real happy, huh? Well, here’s what happened after. At 12:25 I was inside Clark’s theater hoping to stay warm because 32 degrees is NOT warm… at 12:25 the shuttle pulled up! I dashed outside and hopped on, the only student on the bus, in complete shock and amazement. How had he done it? Some way between 10:44 when I got dropped off and 12:25 when I got on, Bob the bus driver actually had shaved 21 minutes late time off his route. I was impressed, and told him so. Well, only one other person got on the rest of the 35 minute ride, so Bob and I got to talking. He’s fairly friendly and makes a point of asking the names of his regular (polite) riders. He did this with me a few weeks ago, maybe a month ago, and it kind of perks my day up to have him tell me personally to have a good day.
So we talked, and it turns out he’s a Christian who attends a Covenant church just past Holy Cross! How amazing, and how cool! I also learned he was an accountant, that he has a daughter in college and an 8-year-old that he and his wife adopted. He told me about his connection to Seattle – everybody around here has one, but usually it’s very far-removed as Bob’s was: his wife’s brother in law was a minister at a Covenant church in Seattle briefly. In any case, not to be boring with too many details or anything, not only did I get to Architecture on time – I held the door for my Prof as he was just rushing up as I arrived – but I got to actually talk to somebody new, nice, and who isn’t Ian or Luke! Not that Ian or Luke are boring; just sometimes you need to shake things up a bit, and so this was pretty cool.
Perhaps I’ll write more later, but frankly that’s about all my day is looking like here. I am going to try to scrounge up an architectural critic and a building in Worcester I’ve seen to squeeze into my paper, which has happily reached the minimum length of 8 pages, though it doesn’t actually cover all the requirements yet. This is turning out to be one of the hardest papers I’ve had to write this semester, namely because I know so little about architecture. It’s interesting, but hard. Hopefully my argument isn’t complete crap. Here, tell me what you think:
I have to say how much influence past architecture should have on radical, anti-eclectic architects and normal architects in general. Also I have to have a historical building and a Worcester building that illustrate the topic, as well as an architectural critic who spoke to this problem. What I do is go through and talk about H.H. Richardson, McKim, Mead & White, Root & Burnham, Frank Lloyd Wright, Le Corbusier, and Mies van der Rohe, showing how all these architects – the best architects of the early 20th Century – relied at least a little bit on architectural antiquity. My argument is that they innovated, not duplicated: they extrapolated from historical architectural precedents and, because they produced some of the most fantastic buildings of the first half of the century, it probably is a good idea for people to allow their knowledge of historical architecture to influence them, too. Is that too weak? Distilled down, “Because they did it, and they’re really really good architects, it’s probably worthwhile to do.” That’s the best logic I could come up with, the examining examples and using them to extrapolate from. I don’t know. Hope it’s OK; right now it’s the very best I can think of, and if Uncle Gerard has emailed me I can’t get it b/c Fergos seems to be down entirely. Dang.
– KF –