what A.R.E. you willing to do 

i still have the original

I may be the oldest of my group of fellow bloggers (or awfully close), as it is hard to believe I took the Architectural Registration Exam over twenty-two years ago, but the details of that week are still fresh in my mind. Continue reading “what A.R.E. you willing to do “

what A.R.E. you willing to do 

and so it begins…

I was refreshed to finally read about someone preparing to take the exam that wasn’t bitter and angry at the world, NCARB, their University and the rest of the known world because they chose to be an architect. I understand the complications, air of injustice to the piles of paperwork and system in place to test and license architects. However, that is the system that was not developed in an arbitrary fashion, but by professionals over time with thought and intent.

It’s not perfect, but it just is.

I try to be patient and empathetic to emerging professionals, but with so much whining about titles, the ARE, and the IDP, I lose my patience quickly. I went through the same IDP process, paperwork and time and then took my exam in 1995, on paper (not etched in rock with chisels) and for four days straight. The test was ONLY offered once a year. It was so intense I got a nosebleed during the final hour of the 12-hour design exam (which was drawn by hand on paper). I don’t complain or make excuses, but now celebrate that I challenged myself to a difficult task and passed all sections…first time. I wish more young architects would embrace the challenge more than whine about this seemingly insurmountable hurdle. It’s supposed to be hard. That’s why we call ourselves architects with a badge of pride and the utmost of responsibility. It’s an honor and a duty all the same. Sometimes I am so humbled I can’t even speak.

Please read this young architect’s blog and be an encouragement to them as they have set their mind and energy on a very difficult but tremendously rewarding path. Those of you who are already architects need like me to come alongside these emerging professionals and cheer for them if nothing else.

If you have some wisdom that goes beyond trite clichés, that couldn’t hurt either.

photo is from Siddie Nam’s photostream on Flickr (used under the Creative Common License)

the artichoke's guide

I’m starting this blog as a personal study tool for the A.R.E. with the hopes that others will stumble upon it and find it useful/share their wisdom/voice their frustration/celebrate their victories. I’ve only just begun the marathon that is the A.R.E. which I’ve decided to embrace after months and months spent thinking about how I wasn’t going to take it (even though I continued to track my IDP hours).

What changed, you ask?

1. After 5 years in the real world, I feel like my brain has finally recovered (I hope) from the insanity that is/was architecture school.
2. 4+2 years of school (read: debt) means that I feel the need to make those degrees (read: the money I’ve spent/am paying until 2023) worthwhile aka I didn’t go to school for 6 grueling years to have someone else with the same degrees stamp my drawings.
3. I’m a competitive person…

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and so it begins…