Thursday, June 12, 2008

What to do, what to do...

Let me pose to you this hypothetical scenario. Let's pretend a guy named Tom was giving serious consideration applying to a make-believe school of architecture, at a make-believe university situated in the make-believe city of Las Vegas. Tom is having difficulty making a decision because he is uncertain about this coarse of action on many levels. Perhaps the biggest befuddlement for make-believe Tom is whether it's prudent to judged an entire career in a specific field by the classes that ultimately yield a degree in that same field. See, our hypothetical Tom isn't sure he might enjoy the classes, but thinks that after graduation the career itself might be considerably more creative and satisfying than the courses he took in the make-believe school.

So, what should Tom do? If he begins to work towards a major in architecture but doesn't like some of the courses, should he stick to it nonetheless in the hope that the subsequent career that follows might yield the opportunity to be creative, contributive, and (to some degree) autonomous? Or, if he finds the path to a degree in that field monotonous, intricate, and challenging, should he bail out immediately and conclude that the classes are a prelude to the career?

Tom has not made up his mind as to what specific field in architecture to follow. This has no bearing on the scenario put forth. Either continue with the degree program because it gets better in the real, day-to-day, outside the classroom setting, or abandon all efforts because the classes are a foretaste to the career itself.

By the way, the only commonalities that the Tom writing this post has with the Tom of the hypothetical scenario are appearances, DNA, and very, very similar aspirations. I just don't want you to get the two of us mixed up.


Thom said...

If you can handle the math and physics part, and enjoy designing and be creative, I say go for it.

I can say that I would enjoy being a minister, but not necessarily enjoy OT exegesis.

Tracy said...

Ummm.. Pray Tom Pray.. and I'll pray for you too!! Sorry I can't give you more advice:(

Adrienne said...

Call up the architect of your choice and ask them if you can spend some time in their offices observing.

That way you'll have first hand knowledge of the day to day in the job. If it looks like something you would want to do then you will just have to suck it up and take the required courses.

Terry Nelson said...

Tom, do you have Multiple Personality Disorder too? Cool.

George from Seinfeld always wanted to be an architect too.

I'll pray for you to discern.

Tom in Vegas said...


Yep! Lots of math in one form or another. I think I can cope, however. We'll see.


Thank you so much:0) Prayers are probably the best thing I can do right now.

Auntie A-

That's an excellent idea. I'd have to first select a specific field within architecture then find an architect/ firm that would allow someone to explore at close proximity to them. I think the closer I get to school the more those opportunities will surface.


LOL! I just saw the Seinfeld episode "The Stakeout" a couple of days ago. Maybe I should call myself Art Vandaley. LOL!

Shirley said...

Tom, Adrienne has a good idea, and I would like to add that boring classes will be a small price to pay for a rewarding career. Pray to St. Joseph on this, and I will pray to him too. Also, I expect you to build a magnificent Cathedral some day, one worthy of soaring sacred music!

Mimi said...

Hey Tom--

I am an architect (so is my husband), and we would not trade it for any other profession or job in the world. Not only is it fulfilling for all those creative juices coursing through the veins, but it is also really cool to be able to tell people "I'm an architect" ;-)

Some of the best times of my life were spent in architecture school with all my buddies, going without sleep sometimes for an entire week or more working toward project deadlines--what fun! Yes, really. And 24 years later, I still consider most of my classmates as good friends. And don't let the fear of Structures and Mechanical/Electrical Engineering courses steer you away from all the fun. You'll have your buddies to struggle alongside with you, because they all hate those classes just the same as you. You will learn that it is a matter of "embracing the cross" with those classes--tell yourself you love them and you will get through them OK. And, once you start practicing architecture, you'll have resource books and consultants to turn to for those aspects of the projects, so it's not really a worry.

All the best to you in your decision!


Rita said...

Does this Tom like Las Vegas more than you do? He'd have to like the place in order to stick living there for the length of an Architecture degree.

Whatever this Tom does, he should do it for God and the Church, I presume he is a good Catholic boy?!

Tom in Vegas said...


How kind are you!! To pray for someone is the best thing you can do. Thank you for your prayers. I will need them:0)


I think I just made a new friend! I think God put you in my path for encouragement, knowledge, and steam to push forward.

Your words have energized me, and left me feeling a career in architecture is within my reach. Is there a blog you maintain where I can pester you with questions related to architecture? Let me know:0)


Like Shirley wrote, I would LOVE to someday be in charge of building a great cathedral. A part of me WANTS desperately to be involved in a project like that, but another part of me feels undeserving of such a task.

For now, I have already selected my fall semester classes, bolstering my prerequisites before applying.

paramedicgirl said...

Yes, Shirley is right! We desperately need good Catholic architects to build Cathedrals that elevate the soul to God. Tom, what are you waiting for??? ;}

Mimi said...

Mimi is my daughter's blogger name got changed when we put a site up for her using my account and I can't figure how to change it back without changing her site!!

I had a blog for a while, it is still up, but not a whole lot about architecture on it:

I am on facebook as "Gette NM" (Gette is short for "Georgette")
Or you could use my email address, I look forward to chatting with ya!

God bless!

Cathy_of_Alex said...

Prayers here! Adrienne gives sound advice, listen to your auntie!

Katie Alender said...

Maybe check out some of the textbooks for the courses, and see if any of them are interesting. It sounds like a very big decision! I don't blame the other Tom for asking you to help him decide. And how nice of you to protect his identity!

portal said...

schooling always's not always a preview of the career to come.

but - if you like NOTHING about the courses then that could be a sign! hahaha....

what about getting a job once you start school as an intern or assistant at am architecture firm to see if that career pans out to be as free and autonomous and you think it does.

I'm a big believer in that sort of thing.

good luck!