Posts Tagged ‘Culture’

This post is the final post that will primarily focus on my time in Italy and all of the introspection that I did while I was over there. To start off I would like to thank all of the people there who helped me with my roller coaster of emotions: Camelo, Dane, Justin, Matt, Brent, Britta, Sofia, and Cecilia. Thank you all for being there for me when I was not at my best and for bringing me up to my new best, I want to thank you all of all that you  guys have done for me. Next I would like to thank my teachers, Darryl and John, for being great professors and instructing me in ways that greatly helped me with my designs and growth as a future architect. I would like to thank our providers, Mirko and Eugenia, for being there to help us with adjusting and for giving us so many great opportunities. Emily and Inga, pretty much the only friends we made over there, thank you so much for being our friends, and for being my friend. And finally, I would like to thank my parents for giving me the opportunity to be able to go off and travel and grow as a person this semester.

Now though, my final analysis of Italy. Italy is a country with a rich history, wonderful food, slightly lazy people, and the best coffee you will ever have. The city of Urbino was a great place to work and study in with its strong history and great atmosphere, even though it was a college town. We were able to use the city as a template for our designs and figure out what it all meant in a historical sense and in a modern way as well. The architecture is unparalleled there and I wish I could go back and live in those cities for the rest of my life, but I first need to learn Italian so I don’t piss off as many people. If any of you want to travel to Europe in general, I recommend Italy, but not just the tourist places that you will go to. Make sure you go to all of the less known cities and really delve into them, even if it’s just for a day. Do it. All of our day trips while we were there were just amazing, and were some of the best times that I had during my time in Italy.

During the course of trying to actually get down all of my thoughts and critiques on Italy, I have come to realize that it is nearly impossible to describe everything that I have done, experienced, seen, felt, and so on that I am unable to continue critiquing Italy. All I can say about my time is there is that it was the best time of my life, and I would love to go back for any reason and experience it again. It has changed me and returning to the states now I have come back a new and better person from everything, so much so that I will once again be able to call myself The Architect.

Now that I have been back in the states for a week, I have experienced a few things that I would like to talk about. The first is trying to find a new home, ie, trying to find an apartment in San Antonio so I don’t live out of my car while going to school. It has not been fun because even though I am a full time student, that means I am over-qualified to rent most of the apartments in the downtown area, meaning I have to keep going farther and farther out. I get really annoyed by that, that I am over-qualified just because I am a full time student, that my money is not good enough to get me a room somewhere so I can go to school more cheaply. No, instead I have to go farther out where the rent is higher and thus making the apartment less viable for me. So the apartment wars continue.

I have also taken up to seeing Tori on a fairly regular basis now, and actually went out on a real date with her, which was one of the best ones I have been on in the past five years. We’ve watched movies, talked for hours on end about anything and everything that comes up, and we don’t talk every day about nothing, which keeps our conversations interesting and the “spark” there as well. Though I don’t think that was ever a spark, I lit a wildfire at the first go. All I know is that regardless of what happens, I have one of my best friends back, I am the least nervous I have been in a decade, and I have smiled the most in the last week than I think I have in my entire life. I know that whether I am at my highest or my lowest, I am the most insufferable person to be around and interact with. My standards are the highest they’ve ever been, both for the people around me and for myself to live up to, and they are the greatest challenges I have ever given myself.

I am good. I am the Black Knight. I am The Exile. I am The Architect.

Whatever the risk, still onward.

-The Architect

I began my second to last week in Italy today by sleeping in and just taking the day off for the most part. When I finally get out of bed, I play XCOM for a while, trying to really improve my tactic skills. Over the course of the day, I started to get the urge to form a paintball team that would focus on tactical infiltrations and extractions. Where everyone would be in constant communication with each other through the use of a headset system or something. I feel like the whole thing would be a great way to blow off steam and improve our minds with the use of strategies. We could make a whole ordeal of the thing, turning it into a monthly occurrence where everyone gets together and performs their roles. I think it would be a great, albeit expensive, time and tradition to create. Besides that, I managed to talk to Maggie before she headed off to do her scavenger hunt again; we mainly talked about travel for the brief moment she was online, but it was still nice. I managed to read through the history and theory readings for Monday, only to find that the first one was really weird with how it phrased and displayed the “anti-city”. Darryl also told me that while I’m in Rome again, that I have to get tickets online for the exhibit that I want to see, so that was nice that he was looking out for me. I had to cancel my Thanksgiving plans to travel to Viena so I could have more time to work on my project and be able to render it. I’m hoping while I’m in town that I’ll be able to make those purchases I’ve been putting off, like getting my bowler hat and a hoodie or something with “Italia” on it, and a poster of Raphael’s mistress that they have here in the city. I’ve been feeling like I want to get in some boxing or punching bag time when I get back to the states, really just let everything out right now. Of course, that also plays into my fantasy of finding of girl that likes to fight and ultimately turns fighting together into foreplay, but of course that is merely a fantasy. Not my best one, but one none the less. I am also remembering why I exiled myself and the goals that I wanted to accomplish while exiled in Italy, and, fortunately, I have accomplished many of the goals I set out to. Worked through the recent problems I had in the states, my own addictions, my introversion that I have, stopped biting my nails, eating healthy, and making lasting friendships with people. It’s been an amazing time and I’m excited for when I get back to San Antonio and can tell the rest of my friends there about everything that I did here.

Rise and shine, it’s time to endure another history and theory lecture. They aren’t that bad, but they just don’t resonate that much with me at the moment; they don’t have much material that I particularly agree with. Also, Cecilia brought her boyfriend by the studio after class, so that was fun to watch (not). I’m trying to get better, but having that around is really counterproductive for me because it just reminds me of my codependency issues and the fact that I am currently alone. Then, during studio, I got the green light to continue with my project in more detail and figure out how the actual structure for the whole thing will actually work. After a bit of work in section, which I think look really cool, I have more or less figured out the logistics of how it all works. The rest of the night seems to be descending into beer, movies, and hopefully some actual design work, or at least some reading for history and theory. Though, it will probably just turn into me playing some more XCOM and trying to really get a hold of the strategy involved in it. On a more internal level, things are going iffy at the moment. I’m kind of lonely and have been for a while. This is partly because I have chosen not to participate in group TV watching, and because I have been trying to talk to some of my online friends more. Problems with that are that I am looking for a romantic relationship, and using the internet box doesn’t really convey that well. Now, while writing this, I can feel my anger building, and I’m not enjoying it. I’m starting to really consider taking up boxing now, or at least having the chance to punch something. I just want my life back.

Tuesday, we went out to the main piazza to meet everyone, and get the Italians mad at me again because I still don’t know enough Italian to really make a difference. We went and sketched some statues that they had plaster molds of in one of their historical offices or something. It was kind of weird. Especially when the photographer came in and started taking photos of us while we worked on our renders in the room. I did mine in “sephia” ink, even though it was just burnt senia. The day went well though, I managed to get a kebab before heading back to the studio to continue working on my project for the semester. It is turning out pretty interesting. Besides that, not much else happened besides my usual conversations with people. Though it does seem that most of my friends from Houston don’t take initiative to go and talk to me, so that’s really comforting, but hopefully that will change when I get back to the states.

Wednesday was our last history and theory class for the semester, thank God. It was very lack luster because most of us were really tired of the material and we were all really tired from working most of the night for our final pin-up. I feel like every time we have a “last pin-up” that it isn’t really the last pin-up. Afterward we had our pin-up/desk crit thing where Darryl basically told us how our structures really needed to function and be drawn. Though, it was annoying when Britta spoke; I think mainly because she has becoming increasing annoying to me, plus the fact she thinks she’s a know-it-all. Other than that, the rest of the day went well and I managed to get some rest in.

Thanksgiving was kind of fun because I didn’t have to do anything that day so I was able to sleep in until noon, at which point the guys knocked on my door and invited me to lunch. The day continued on with only a few things of interest coming up. While at dinner with everyone we discussed Eugenia constantly saying that if we stay here that she’s sorry we’ll be missing turkey and the food that normally comes with Thanksgiving. We also discussed that the girls would be completely screwed when they got back to work on their projects because we have at least 12 drawings, each on has to be drafted and rendered. Four of those drawings have been done for the most part, but still, that leaves the rest of the drawings for them to do over two and a half days. They aren’t going to make it. I continued talking to some of my friends online and got drunk on vodka (partly by accident) and eventually just passed out on the couch in the studio. I was kind of surprised because for a while before I passed out, I thought I was going to throw up at some point.

Friday was very lack luster, I slept in again, missed lunch, and basically spent the entire day working on my project. There is so much to do in these next few days that it’s pretty ridiculous, that we have started to take bets on if anyone will finish early or not.

Saturday, work.

Sunday, work. Also, the girls made it back and are conversing about their trips instead of buckling down and getting to work. I think it’ll be funny when Wednesday comes around and they are all running around franticly trying to finish their projects while the rest of us run around at a much slower speed. Also, hopefully Sarah will get her postcard soon. I can definitely tell that I am starting to get nervous; I’m starting to nibble my nails now, not bite them, but definitely getting close to it. I’m trying to keep it back and manage my time wisely.

Whatever the risk, still onward.

-The Exile

We set the stage with many millennia of history, ruins, stories, lives lost, wars won, emperors, peasants, scholars, culture, and, most importantly, architecture. We step back, glancing up at the piercing sun, squinting slightly as we recoil from the harsh glare of that which is now obscuring our view of the meeting place. We see that business continues as usual here, that men are discussing policy, while others peddle fruits and other wares, and that there are those who merely wander through. We are dwarfed by the structures around us, forcing us into awe of their majesty. We come to realize why we are here, and more importantly, where we are now.

We are in Rome. All times of Rome meshing into one coherent culture that we can experience even today if we choose to travel. My commentary on Rome for this matter will focus primarily on the current city of Rome, but I will be referencing the past for a few of the points that I will make to illustrate the complexity and power of the city. We begin our look at the city by analyzing the overall structure of the transportation system that is most prevalent for my experiences, the metro. We used the metro to get to the general vicinity of whatever we were going to go see, because you could not get too close to it due to the fact that when constructing the metro in Rome they build about 10 feet, then hit ruins that need to be excavated and evaluated for their worth. Because the metro only takes you so close to what you want to see, you are forced to walk through the rest of the city and experience all of the joys, wonders, and annoyances that Rome has to offer.

The first joy is the fact that the metro is easy to use to anyone who has a map, if you have one then you are good to go for your stay in Rome. Once you leave the metro, you have many options for what you could do next: grab a cappuccino at a local bar, wander around looking at all of the monuments and ruins, grab some pizza to walk around with, visit a fountain to relax at, or go around shopping if you like. Most of the time, we chose to get a drink at a bar and then continue on to our tours that we had planned with our professor. The wonders of the city are all around you because the entire city is many layers of ruins upon ruins upon future ruins. It’s all a great tapestry to stare at for years. The annoyances start with all of the annoying gypsies trying to sell you something useless at every corner. Every turn you make, there will be one there, trying to sell you something stupid, and they will continue to try to sell you stuff even after you’ve said no a million times.

Now that we have navigated some of the streets for the most part, we find ourselves wondering about how this city still functions in modern day society. Well, for the most part, it stays true to its old roots and keeps the Italian style of life strong. The only real addition that I feel has been made to the city is the addition of the roads to accommodate cars and other modes of transportation.

I will finish this brief analysis of Rome with just one thought: Saint Peter’s. Everyone should visit Saint Peter’s whether or not they believe the same way or not, the space is one of the most daunting spaces you will ever experience when it comes to religion. My professor railed me once for saying that many cathedrals, churches, what have you, are supposed to make you feel small and insignificant compared to the powers and grace of God. He believes the exact opposite of that and proceeded to completely disregard the conversation about Kahn, and instead voice his own personal views on the matter while shutting down that one statement I made. Experience St. Peter’s and you will definitely know what I am talking about. You will not feel close to God and it does not make you want to be close to him if this is what is meant to be brought about in his name. I won’t get too much into the religion aspect of this, but St. Peter’s is an experience.

We now look at the city of Rome and how it is dealing with architecture in the modern era of society. We went to see a few modern buildings in the Rome and found that they were either not well received or underused for the scale of them. The MAXXI is barely used and isn’t even finished as the original concept had intended for it to be, it’s only half done if anything. Designing in such dense areas of history now is becoming a great challenge. Do you try to mimic the past? That’s hard because most people don’t have the formal teaching to use classicism correctly. Do you try to contrast to the past with a very modern structure instead? Well most of those aren’t well received because they are so out of place amongst everything else that the city has. Walk two steps and you trip over a church, forum, coliseum, or other great structure; so having some giant white monstrosity next to it, doesn’t seem to make much sense either. Do we try to fuse both together to create a more dynamic structure that embraces both the past, present and future? Personally, I think this is the most appropriate way to go about designing in places such as Rome. I personally think the works of Carlo Scarpa should be looked at by anyone fortunate enough to design within Rome, that way you may make a more informed design choice.

Whatever the risk, still onward.

-The Exile

Sunday evening I started unfriending people I don’t talk to or never have talked to, and also started looking into my travel plans for the Thanksgiving break. While going through my friends list and pruning I came to realize so many things about people, one of which was that anyone who was in theatre was just fucked up afterwards.

Dawn of the whatever day, 40 days remain. That’s right, I only have a bit more than a month left in Europe before I make it back to the states and start my next chapter. Though we must now continue to analyze Europe and all of its effects on me and how I relate that back to western society. Our first history and theory class with just Daryl was today, and we looked at an author who was neither an architect nor a scholar, and thus was an annoying pompous ass in all of our opinions. Once we managed to get through the discussion and Daryl pissing me off about roman numerals (he wouldn’t let me see the damn numbers long enough to read it and said mean things to us for not knowing them [I was the only fucking person who could get the damn thing!]) we made it to lunch and then on to measuring the site for our exhibition project. While we were measuring the site it began to rain, but Daryl just pulled out his umbrella and watched us freeze to get the ruddy dimensions. Afterwards I managed to grab a cappuccino with him and discuss part of the future Rome trip. Once we made it back to the studio we all got together to discuss our form diagrams that we were working on and get a sort of grasp on what we were trying to accomplish for our project. After we made it through class we all went to dinner and then I spent the next 6 hours talking to Tori, and finally going back to my room at 1am.

I found some extra blankets last night to keep me warm because it has become near freezing here (not kidding, last night was 37°F) and in a room that has spiders and cracks between windows, walls, and doors, you kind of need them. So I finally rolled out of bed and got dressed in time to make it to my watercolor class where we sketched and rendered the library below our studio. The process was alright, and of course my render didn’t turn out quite the way I wanted it to, but it wasn’t the worst thing I’ve produced while being here. I’m started to feel a bit alienated from the rest of the people, and I think it’s because I’ve been having some fairly intense moods recently. Cecilia is still an annoying bitch, Sofia’s views confuse me, Britta is a quiet neutral party, Dane is always nice, Brent is more of a sarcastic ass than usual, Justin is quiet as always, Camelo is less talkative and social than he was before, Matt still has an annoying personality, and I keep having extreme moods that persist for the entire day. I am either antisocial and get annoyed and mad at everything everyone does, or I’m light of heart, but quiet, or I’m apathetic to everything around me. And then while I was applying shadow to my drawings I came to the thought that my father is getting older and may not be around to see the man I become and the accomplishments that he would be proud of. I guess I’m just starting to doubt everything that I’m doing and if I can actually get it done for it to matter the most to me. Pair that with the constant cigarette smoke clawing at my will power and we have a great cocktail at the moment for me.

Midway through the week and my mood is still like a yo-yo at the moment. I’ve been stuck with my designs for the exhibition space we are supposed to design for the city, so I’ve been going crazy. Besides that I’ve been trying to not be as mean, but failing at that, and talking to a few people online.

Thursday was mainly a work day, except for the fact that we all went out and drank in the city. This made me confirm the fact that I am not a party person and going out on the town is definitely not for me. After I went back early I posted on Facebook that I did not enjoy my time out, and this then sprung Cecilia taking it upon herself to “correct” it and make sure the future people who come don’t get the wrong impression. This mostly boiled down to her saying I’m not fun and am boring. Well she needs to mind her own fucking business and quick harping on my personality and mood at the moment or else she’ll finally hear all the shit that I keep back out of courtesy.

Today was mainly sleeping in and doing a bit of studio work, but we also managed to go to the cemetery to do some much needed sketching and relaxing during our studio time slot. Other than that, I think my anger is getting away from me, I’m going to need to find some kind of physical outlet or things might not go well for the rest of the time that I’m here.

Today was the day of the hike that everyone else took, so I was able to stay at the studio and get some much needed “me” time. I got some good design work done and now I have the overall concept statement for my project: The Floating Room. I think it’s going to turn out really well if I can manage to get the floor plans to work out. I’ve also been talking to another girl, and she seems really cool. We like a lot of the same things and she doesn’t give me stupid three word responses. It’s actually really brightened up my mood, which is good for the rest of the studio as well, that way I’m much less of a dick. Besides that I just kind of relaxed and ate oreos for most of the day.

Continued conversations with Sarah today, things seem to be going really well. I really like talking to her, she has something to say about all of the stuff we talk about, making it much easier to keep the conversation going. I’ve also had a long day or working on my project; I am starting to fix some of the problems with the design, but I don’t know what all I’m going to show the architects tomorrow for my critique. Things seem to be getting more focused as we start getting closer to the end of the semester, and it’s beginning to make posting harder because I have less to think about or talk about because I’m getting tunnel vision for my project.

Whatever the risk, still onward.

-The Exile

Another long time since my last update and there is plenty to get out there for everyone to read. Since my last post, we have been working on a contextual building for the city of Urbino off in one of the back streets. I basically finished it today, but that is without adding the shadows to it because I think it would just mess up the whole composition of the work. I really enjoyed how my elevation render turned out for this project, the windows really make the project pop off the page and come alive. The rest of the drawings are alright, the plan came out fine and so did the detailed elevation drawing, but the perspective did not come out the way I really wanted it to, but that’s partly because I don’t have the skill and partly because the technique I tried didn’t work with my skill level.

We went on a week-long break and all travelled around Europe hitting Amsterdam, Paris, and Milan for the most part (one group also went to Munich). We first had a seven hour delay in Bolonga where we just kind of looked around the city and then went to the airport to get on our really cheap flight to Brussels. Once we made it to Brussels though, we had to rent a car and drive to Amsterdam, which was our original plan, but it turned out to be more complicated when it came time to return the damn thing. After getting into Amsterdam, we all explored the city and picked up a few rent-a-bikes and then broke off into two groups: one would go have fun, and the other would teach me how to ride a bicycle. After that day of fun, we broke off again and I went out into the city on my own and just explored the place, which was really cool, until I stumbled into part of the Red Light District, at which point I turned around and went back the way I came. It was just kind of depressing there. Our last day in Amsterdam was spent shopping and trying to recover Camelo’s phone, which he had lost on one of our tram rides.

After Amsterdam, we took a train to Paris, where we met up with the guys and talked about our travels thus far. While we were in Paris, we stayed at some guy’s apartment that he lets travelers use some times. It was a really nice place, with a kitchen and working wifi which was really helpful whenever we needed to figure stuff out. While in Paris we hit all of the typical tourist spots, which were all amazing in their own special way, though some were better than others. We met up with some people from Rice that had spoken to the girls in Italy once and wanted to meet up, though they seemed slightly surprised when they saw Camelo and I there. We all had a really nice dinner while in Paris with them, which felt great because we hadn’t had a real sit down meal since our first night in Amsterdam. Before Camelo and I headed out of the city to go to Milan next, we hit up a local bakery by our apartment and got a lot of bread for the upcoming train ride. I got a bunch of croissants and a cookie before we ran to the train station.

Our train to Milan was a sleeper train, which was a new experience for us, but was one with mixed results. We made it to Milan around 5:30 in the morning, but during the train ride we were woken up by customs asking us what our nationality was and we didn’t get to see the Alps while we were on it. Milan was a beautiful place, and we had so much time to explore it all, though most of the buildings that we wanted to see either weren’t open to the public or didn’t exist anymore. We also did a small amount of shopping while we were there and to keep us away from our hostel. The hostel was interesting, it was run by a bunch of Chinese people who had at first lost our reservation, and then after half an hour found it. You also could not plug anything in to charge if you wanted to still have the lights on, and the shower could not be controlled, you had scalding hot water for bit, then freezing cold water for a bit. Camelo and I left on Saturday so we could have Sunday to ourselves and just relax and regain our strength after the long trip.

We made it to Pesaro in just enough time to catch the second to last bus to Urbino, which meant that we could get dinner at the cafeteria and not have to pay for a meal for once! We also caught Emily and her friend getting on the same bus, apparently they had been in Pesaro all day and were just heading back, so it was nice to have someone besides the usual group to talk to about stuff. Once we made it back to Urbino, we spent the rest of our time sleeping and using the internet, just relaxing and enjoying our time to ourselves.

I have been using eHarmony for a while now and things are looking just kind of subpar at the moment. I had been talking to one girl, but she stopped replying, and then I was talking to another girl, but she doesn’t seem to give the kind of responses that I’m really hoping for, but she did say she was shy, so we will see what happens with that. I also got a message back from Vicky, which was nice, I think it means that she doesn’t completely hate me, I think. And to finish things off, I think I might quit Facebook. Partly because I don’t give a crap about 99% of the things that go on there, partly because the people that I do talk to are only a text away, and partly because my ex-girlfriend is on there and she is still happy.

Every time I see these kinds of things I start to feel that I want to just start new, fresh somewhere else far away from here. Somewhere that no one knows who I am, and what I’ve done, somewhere that I can forget my past and just have a good life for once. I think it’s still because I need to find the person that will help me get over everything, but also because I hold onto things too much. I really need to be able to get over things and just let go of all of this crap, but of course I’m always more invested in things than everyone else is so it’s harder for me to just be free of everything.

I am still The Exile, in a foreign land, trying to gain greater vision into society and the human condition, but the exile is still a man. A man with feelings, desires, hopes, dreams, and ideals. The Exile is a hard position to be in; I must be impartial to things, look from the fringe of society and nature, endure what no one should have to endure. I can be thought of as the Giver, the one citizen who is chosen to take on the hardest part of society so that everyone else may live peacefully. I see the difference in societies, between borders, classes, races, creeds, and other bounding elements that persist. And within the society, there are smaller societies that exist, making up the larger, but with their own unique traits. Italy, as a society, has a unique feel to it, what with its more laid back personality traits and overall contentment with life. The smaller societies, or the cities, have their own feelings. Take Venice, for instance, a tourist city with generally unhappy residents because they live in a place that is so frequently visited by tourists. This constant flow of foreigners is a constant irritation and disruption to their daily lives. If we look at another society in Italy though, for this instance Urbino, we see that they love foreigners and are overjoyed to have them in their city, sharing their lives and history with everyone that comes to visit. The society, of a country, is interesting to peel apart and examine the subtle nuances and traits that they all have within them.

Again, I am The Exile, The Architect in training, The Lover with no love, The Traveler with no destination, The Man with no soul. I say to everyone out there, to be an architect is a joy and burden, one that a person does not choose lightly.

Whatever the risk, still onward.

-The Exile

So this post is to apologize for not posting like I should have been, but I have not had a single free weekend since I’ve been here. So to make up for that I will be giving a brief overview of everything I have done of interest since my last post. So to begin I will start with the fact that I joined eHarmony and have been trying to see what is out there in the world of online dating and what not. So far I have put myself out there for a few times and trying to see what happens. So far I have seen that a couple people have some interest, but not as much as I was hoping.

Besides that I have been to Venice for one of our free weekends. It was a great time, but it really is the Disneyland of Italy. It was full of tourists and a lot of angry Italian because there were so many tourists.

Weekend after that we hit the Tuscany region. We stayed in Siena, but also travelled to Florence, Pienza, and another small town. Over the course of the trip, I went to a wine tasting, enjoyed life, got drunk and lost the keys to my hotel room, and feel really embarrassed about the whole thing.

Whatever the risk, still onward.

-The Exile

The week starts off well with my history theory class going smoothly with little discussion and more of a lecture instead. Once we finished that we went on to starting our studio project for our classical courtyards, which we were all really worried about because none of us really know how to use the orders properly, so most of the rest of the day was spent working on that. On the way back to the dorms that night I was talking to Sofia and told her that I was planning on get drunk on the 21st. She asked why and I told her it would have been my anniversary then, and she told me that whatever thoughts I have I should write down to just kind of get them out of me. We’ll see if that actually happens or not though.

Today was an early morning for me since we had to go into town to meet up for our watercolor class. I went out early and grabbed some breakfast in town with a cappuccino and then sat down to start sketching one of the buildings in the main piazza. Though every couple minutes, more and more delivery trucks would park in the way, obscuring the bottom portion at first, which was alright, I could still work on the upper part. That was until a truck parked a foot in front of me and blocked the entire thing so I couldn’t sketch the thing at all from where I was. After a while I just moved and then gave up and waited for everyone to show up so we could head out to the mausoleum. Once we got to the mausoleum we did three hours of watercolors before we finally headed back into town for a quick lunch and then head back to the studio for our first Italian lesson. The lesson dragged on, and I don’t particularly like non-formal teaching for this kind of subject, it doesn’t stick very well. After that though, some of the people went to the travel agent to buy tickets for our trip to Venice next weekend that we are all apparently taking. I knew they were planning a trip, but I didn’t know if I was included because I usually work while listening to music, so I don’t hear most of their discussions. It was nice that they included me though, because I do want to go and do things. The night again descended into working on our courtyard projects before I called it a night at midnight here (first one to go to bed, I think that night) and headed back to relax and indulge my internet needs.

Not much happening stress wise so far this week, I’ve kept up with all of the readings that I’m supposed to be doing and I’ve been productive with my studio project. So I was kind of able to slowly work on my project and still finish early compared to everyone else right now. Though now John comes in and tells us we need to layout our shadow lines, but that only makes things more difficult for me because of the weird geometry of my building and the fictional sunlight. We are using a fake angle for the sun so we can cast interesting shadows, but most of my project will be in shadow save for the columns themselves.. We have our first official field trip starting tomorrow to the Veneto to study some architecture there for most of the weekend. I still need to figure out what media I’m going to use though, do I want to use my consistent felt pens or my new toy, the fountain pen? I’ve also been thinking about romance and relationships more recently, not so much my previous one, but future ones and the past of other ones instead. For the future ones I kind of muse over the ideas of an Italian fling, or a French relationship, but I don’t have much hope for those. And I just kind of fall back to thinking about my actions in the past to other people who cared about me and how that kind of burned the bridges with them. I don’t need those people in my life, but I would like to have some in my life at least a little bit, because they were good company and good conversation most of the time.

Early morning for all of us today, we had to get to the meeting spot for our trip to the Veneto so we could all catch the bus. Our first stop in the region was Verona, which was just one of the most beautiful places I have ever been. We started our tours of the city starting with the Arena which is beautiful just to see how much of it is left to see. After that we saw a few churches and then made it into a school building which had some wonderful frescos in it, though the tour was really long because they had some school official lead us through the entire school, which wasn’t architecturally relevant. The city was so alive during the day and then when we got the night to ourselves we were able to find a couple bars and gelaterias where we spent some time. The gelato place we went to had some really good stuff and a cute girl who worked there had an interesting tattoo on her hand of a musical score. After gelato we all sat around a bar and had a few drinks and talked about all of the things we had seen, but as the night progressed we started to just be more stupid and drunk (I was the first, but not the worst). The girls went off by themselves so we sent Matt with them to watch over them so they wouldn’t get raped or do anything too stupid, while the rest of us walked around the town. I had a pretty deep conversation with Camelo and the others about life and relationships and how I was dealing with things and how he had dealt with things and what he went through. It was all really good, also helped that we finished our deep conversation while lying on the banks of the river looking up at the stars. After that we all headed back to the hotel for the night, but Matt came back after a while and informed us that the girls had even more to drink after we all left, which I thought was just stupid. I knew I was already pretty drunk and they go and choose to drink more? Stupid.

The next morning we had our trip to the Castelvecchio by Carlo Scarpa where we would spend about two hours observing, sketching, and photographing. Before we went off to the Castelvecchio though, I got to see how drunk the girls had gotten the night before by seeing their reactions to the morning sun, which was one of the best things of the day for me. The Castelvecchio was just an amazing place, and even with those two hours to sketch and photograph, it was not enough to fully take in the amount of thought that went into the building. The number of lines and levels that you will experience in just the front entrance is astounding to try and grasp. It is hard to put it all into words about the experiences that you go through in the spaces that Scarpa creates, but the best one that I can think of is to explain how he placed an image of Christ. Scarpa also designed the placement of all of the pieces in the building, so that the building would create an even greater experience for those pieces of art. Scarpa placed a sculpture of the crucifixion of Christ so that when the sun was first out in the morning, it cast light right across his face, bathing the religious figure in pure light. It was breath taking. After we finished at the Castelvecchio we went on to Vicenza where we again explored the city, but when we got there we couldn’t go into the Teatro Olimpico like we had planned so we instead started our tours early and explored the city. On the bus ride over to Vicenza I started to rethink how I thought about my life and where I was in my life, I always would say that I was already 20 years old and I haven’t done much with my life yet. Now though I’m starting to think more in the realm that I am only 20 years old, and that I have so much to look forward to in my life and this is just the tip of the iceberg for me. While we were in Vicenza we had some free time so we all managed to do some shopping; I was able to pick up a new shirt and a scarf while we were there. Afterwards we all had a nice dinner and then explored the town a bit more before we all went to sleep for the evening.

We started our next and final day of our field trip by going to Palladio’s Villa La Rotonda to sketch and document the building. The building is actually quite simple in respect to the geometry that was used to create it and even for the detail work that was used on it. I was able to manage a few sections and plans of the building to help me figure out the different proportions that he used. Afterwards we went back to Urbino and all worked on our summaries that we had due Monday.

Sunday I finished my summaries, but ended up going to sleep for the rest of the day to catch up on some of my sleep after the long trip. Wasn’t a very productive day, save for the summaries, but it was a nice and restful one.

Whatever the risk, still onward.

-The Exile