Week 1

It's hard to believe that this past week was a) only 5 days long and b) the first week of school. I was thrown so many new concepts, and was assigned so much work that I haven't had a chance to enjoy... anything really.

My classes are pretty rough. I'm taking 5 courses: Contemporary Design Approaches, Construction Systems, Structures, 2nd year Design Studio, and Youth and Teens Online (which is a high level sociology class.) So far I've had to do 70 pages of reading about the sociological history of childhood, 36 pages of readings of architectural theory, made devices to capture/photograph light, which I then needed to diagram, and a worksheet on forces distributed in trusses. In addition to this I had non-"required" things to do, like attend computing sessions to learn how to use Maya (which I still don't understand) and attend Architecture school picnics and sports team social events. These things would otherwise be enjoyable, but I haven't gotten used to dealing with the stress. Part of my mental issue might be that I have been taking into account everything that has been assigned to me, even if it isn't due for weeks. It still compiles into my mental to do list.

I was saying these things to Maggie the other day, and she responded with a quote from Perks of Being A Wallflower:
“And even if somebody else has it much worse, that doesn't really change the fact that you have what you have. Good and bad.”
This made me feel a little better about complaining, because I chose this path. And I chose it for a reason. But sometimes it just gets hard and I need to get it off my chest, because the only other people who are also going through this are my architecture friends.

And let me tell you, I've got some awesome friends here.
Perhaps I'll leave that for another post though.


College: Round 2

I'm back in New York, and ready to conquer another year of school.

It's been an adventurous and busy past couple of days, and I finally have a bit of time to share what I've been doing with it! Who knows when another free opportunity will come again, they all say that second year of architecture school is the hardest.

First of all, instead of flying to Upstate New York -which I usually do- myself (and my family included) flew to Boston. It was a) A much cheaper flight than usual b) an excuse for my parents and sister to really see where I go to school and c) a really good idea. Boston is fantastic.

Needless to say, I rather enjoyed this city. The perfect mix of quirk and prep as can be exuded by a city. We ate good seafood, delicious Italian food, went shopping, got a more durable version of this poster for my dorm, walked through the city to Boston Commons, saw Harvard and Berklee College of Music, walked some more, and we were just the most touristy tourists. (I definitely had my camera strapped to me wherever we went. Super tourist move.)

And after a three hour drive, we made it over to RPI, I unpacked, organized, saw some friends and organized some more.

And classes start tomorrow.

Let all hell break loose!

(In addition, thank you all who commented on the last post, Living. I really loved hearing your take on my thoughts!)


So I got a text message from Amy the other day. Here's what it said:
"I was talking to my mom last night, I don't remember what about exactly, but I do remember telling her that "Everybody needs to take lessons in how to live life from Dillon." 'Cause everyone totally does, and you rock."
This might have been the kindest thing anyone has ever said to me.
And it started to get my mind churning about why such a thought even occurred.

And I honestly couldn't figure out why.

I suppose it's hard to look at my own life in comparison to others, well, since it's my life and I'm unable to observe it from the perspective of an outsider looking in. I don't think anything special of the way I'm living my life - only that i try to do exactly that; live it. I decide on something and I do it. Sometimes I procrastinate to get it done, like any other person. I like to be organized and consequentially plan out my days, in which I might decide on more "somethings" that any other given day.
I'm rarely spontaneous, but love spontaneous people.
I get too dedicated to things I involve myself in, and tend to put more stress on myself than necessary.
I try to enjoy little things. A sip of sweet tea. Reading. Sunlight.
Traditions feel like a part of the past, while creating the future, and I enjoy the nostalgic qualities that they produce.
Dressing well is a part of my life.
As taught to me by my lovely mother of mine, it takes the same amount of energy to be mean as it does to be nice - so why not be nice?
I don't like to disappoint. Myself or others included.

Also, compliments tend to go farther than you think.
I'm not quite sure how, but I have come to be admired by my style (which by no means am I flaunting, since most of the time I don't really like what I wear and feel like I look ridiculous wearing) and certain people in particular are overwhelmed when I say something nice about their clothing. One friend in particular I posted on a photo that I liked her dress. Months later, during the first time I saw her, the first thing she told me was how happy that comment made her.
I must have high standards.
(I do have high standards.)

So, long contemplation made short, there is no reason that you too shouldn't feel like you're living life to your fullest. Just DO, however it is that you DO.

Honesty & Communication

Two things that people have a hard time combining.

There is a definite difference between honesty and meanness, and a person should be aware when they are both delivering and receiving something involving the two. It's all in the intentions. Coming from a utilitarian perspective, I believe strongly in the consequence of an action, rather than the action itself. (Obviously I consider my actions in a moral way like most people do, I'm just trying to state that I am outcome oriented.) Now, when we begin to look into an honest remark and a mean one we can see where the difference lies. In this scenario I am considering honesty not necessarily as a good or bad comment, but rather an issue that may arise, and has a need to be addressed. An honest comment is usually made in order to bring an awareness or observation to the recipient so that a change can be made - there is something that the person intends to create an outcome for. A mean comment doesn't consider the outcome. It considers the immediate diction at hand and doesn't allow for a suggestion. To them, it's a fact.

I'm not sure what it is about us ("us" being the human race in general) and not wanting to hurt feelings any more, but increasingly we are a weaker society. We avoid confrontation. We hide behind our technology. We embrace being alone. We need to get honest.

This is all arising from a conversation I overheard today, so I'll set the mood. I'm at the pool working (as usual) and my mother also happened to be at the pool, swimming laps. After she is done swimming, she comes up to me, telling me what a parent of a swimmer on my team had been saying for the past hour; that he is unhappy with the coaches (one of which is me) for countless reasons, his daughter isn't getting enough help he says. It's a vital time in the season for help, he says. These things only begin to upset me. He says these things to the guards, he suggests things to them that he thinks would benefit his daughter. They have no say in these matters. He asks one of the guards* to help his daughter with something, since she hasn't been receiving enough help with it. He later proceeds to ask said guard why he was not the coach this year, right in front of me. His daughter is 8. It is their first year on the swim team. I have been coaching her age group. I've been giving her private lessons for her technique.

And this is how you treat me.

It's not the fact that he said all of these things. No, that doesn't bother me. It bothers me that he goes behind my back, gossips to my employees (I'm the Assistant Manager, pal), and gossips to other parents about his issues.

What are they going to fix for you? Nothing. They are just going to embrace your negativity and spread it like wildfire. Eventually, I'm going to have all the pool patrons outside of my house with pitchforks and torches.
Well, not really.
But do you understand what I'm saying now?

Your honesty is going to the wrong person, and is becoming something negative because of it. I would gladly listen to you voice your concern; what parent doesn't want the best for their child? I am not going to be offended. And if I am, I'll get over it eventually. I know what you want differently now and I can try to adjust. These types of things happen daily, whether we are the ones refusing to confront another - or the ones witnessing and participating in unproductive banter. Obviously there are somethings that you just can't tell a person. Of course don't go and tell everyone exactly how you feel about them. And inevitably, some people will be offended, and might refuse to understand your honesty and interpret it as negativity. But we live in a world of people, so whats the point of all of these people if we're not going to interact with them?
I'm thinking of a time -in between my sophomore and junior years of High School- where I had a serious issue with one of my best friends. She did something that I thought was so insulting that I straight up told her how awful she was for doing it, and how I couldn't believe in her actions. At this point in time it was the cherry on top of her carelessly-rude-actions sundae. She told me that we would never talk again.

She got over it.
She's my best friend today.

Part of me thought that she would understand where I was coming from and apologize, which she did. The other part of me thought we would actually never talk again. And I think I would have been fine with that. Now, you're probably thinking "You awful horrible man!"but consider this; we became friends again because she changed. If she hadn't had changed I would not have been able to deal with her antics, and consequentially probably would not want to be friends with her.
At this point I'm re-reading this last paragraph and thinking how much of a jerk I sound like, but it really got her thinking about where she was mentally, and how she had been treating people. This anecdote is rather melodramatic, but I'm sure we've all had a wake-up call regarding ourselves as an individual.

So be honest. Communicate more. In a friendly matter of course. If you feel like talking to someone... DO IT! Even if you don't know what to talk about, or if you think you might be bothering them, just do it anyways.

That's all folks.
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