Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Yeah, It's been a month...

It has been a month since I last posted and for that I am very sorry. But it has been a busy month at that. For all my quick readers, here is the quick recap:

- Grad school is a train wreck 99% of the time. More work was assigned than any human can accomplish in 24 hour days.
- Therefore, I slept very little.
- In order to complete my first semester of grad school, I completed: 4 provisional U.S. patents, 2 final projects and 2 final papers resulting in over 200 pages of submittals...
- After a month of ridiculous school hours, it paid off with all A's!
- I am taking a month off from school which includes visiting Lou and Meg, taking pics of Gade Clay and catching up on some reading I have been meaning to do.

Now for all the committed readers...

First, grad school. This initial semester of grad school definitely showed me what I was and was not made of. I am so thankful for the opportunity that AU College of Architecture, Design and Construction has given me: full ride, job and a top 10 education. But, holy cow am I paying for it. I have caught up on sleep since I finished with final projects but I don't think my mind has caught up.

We did quite a few big projects this semester in school. I learned the ins and outs of 3D high definition laser scanning. I got a crash MBA in two weeks designing a residential/commercial building for Boston on the Big Dig. We used my laser scanning, digital modeling software, a CNC machine and concrete to show AU that we could fabricate the custom terra cotta pieces on Comer Hall that need to be replaced in a fraction of the time. Our class assisted Industrial Design senior students to design 17 different products for the construction industry; my name is on 4 of those patents. And finally, with the help of Cordova, AL city council and mayor, we designed several options for Cordova, AL's new city hall. And that was just for our Studio class. We had two other classes...

It was a whirl wind and I am hoping the next two semesters will be too.

Although there are several fun events that I could post here with matching photos, I want to do something a little different. Yes, I will post these fun events with pictures later so, stop pouting Lou.

For some reason that I am not quite sure of, I keep getting asked about studying abroad and my after thoughts. And since it is the reason I started this whole blog thing, I wanted to share some recent thoughts.

First, I had an undergraduate student (that still feels weird to say) ask me a few reflective questions about my trip:

Q: Had you been overseas before?
A: I had only been to Jamaica and the Grand Cayman's before signing up for the Europe Study Abroad trip.

Q: What was/were your favorite part(s) of the trip?
A: The experience of backpacking through Europe is truly a once in a life time experience. I would not trade that experience for first class seats in an airplane and would do it again in a heartbeat. We also got to pick two of our destinations which produced a true sense of responsibility and freedom. 

Q: Did it change your outlook on the world and your major?
A: Absolutely. My major was displayed in a world context like if had never been before. If you let it, traveling will help you grow as a person, allow your aspirations to look beyond the four walls of Auburn University, and provide you with the ability to seek change.

Q: Did it live up to your expectations?
A: The Europe Study Abroad trip went beyond my expectations. If each student set their mind to getting the full European experience, AU BSci would welcome back 15 different students than they sent off. I truly felt like I took full advantage of the opportunities the professors set in front of us and made a few more on my own.

Q: Would you recommend a study abroad experience to other students?
A: Keep up with your blog; I go back and read mine often. Find a small, yet powerful camera and take pictures of everything. Pack lighter than you think you will need. And be willing to open your mind to get the full experience; leave Auburn in Auburn.

Q: Is there anything specific that you want to say about the experience that these questions did not capture?
A: There is no other program at Auburn University nor school in this country that provides a program like this. Every student that can, should seize this opportunity to study abroad. It truly changed my life.

Second, someone recently asked me what my dream job would be. Definitely travel writing. That came from my Europe trip and this blog. I enjoyed every word I wrote in Europe and someday, I hope to continue taking you all with me as I travel. I will let you know what National Geographic says about my application... bahaha.

Lastly, another person asked, if I had one piece of advice for anyone, what would it be? Travel is the only thing I could come up with. In the U.S., Europe, the world. Just get out and go somewhere, do something new, experience more than your circumstances.  Most people would say something along the lines of spend time with your family, read a good book, stay healthy, and the list goes on. I think finding out who you are outside of common surroundings will help you appreciate all those things in a way you normally wouldn't be able to. But if you can't travel, I will carry you with me. Every step of the way. I promise.

No, I have no clue where I am going to be or what I will be doing in August. I could be anywhere doing anything. Stayed tuned. Keep it loose, keep it tight.

1 comment:

  1. Adventure were really great. There's no doubt you enjoyed a lot.
    There is lot to plan before you leave for the country where you going to study.

    Study Abroad in US