Last Friday after school I drove up to Nashville, arriving just as the rehearsal dinner for my friends William and Hanna’s wedding was ending. All of us guys went out to a bar for a while, and even though a couple of us have moved out of Nashville by this point, the stories and jokes kept on like none of us had ever left. Saturday afternoon was the beautiful, small wedding with close friends; when I’m at these events attended by a lot of my old friends, I always have to look around and wonder how I’m so lucky to know these people. I think the relationship we have with each other is something authentic and special, and it always reminds me how everything in this world is connected and a good life is based on developing and valuing those connections.
Sunday I met a fairly new but especially valuable friend for lunch at a place in Nashville neither of us had been to yet. This friendship is one of those fortunate coincidences; she went to another university in Nashville while I lived there, but I’d never met her until I went to Boston last fall to visit a friend of mine from school. This new friend is now back in Nashville, which seems to be very much her home right now. As I get to know her more as time goes on, I realize that she’s one of my favorite people. I feel like she sees things differently from anyone else I know, and she might have more to teach me than anyone else. She’s interesting. While she’s in graduate school her job is to work with Food Security Partners of Middle Tennessee, trying to get better bus service to healthy food options in impoverished areas of Nashville. Food is one of those things that we probably don’t think about that much, but people living in poor areas usually have access to even basic grocery stores, and must make do with fast food and convenience stores. This in turn causes their health care costs to go up and their quality of life to go down. You can read about a grant they just received HERE even though this isn’t exactly what she’s working on. If you live in Nashville, please try to help this organization out if you can.
So my friends are growing up and doing great things. I wonder sometimes if I’m doing the same or not. I still believe that architecture is what I should be doing, but it gets frustrating sometimes. My thesis can be a little discouraging because I’m trying to quantify something that’s more about ideas than data, and I don’t really know how to go about that. Some of the other thesis topics deal with things that are able to be researched, counted, and tested, but mine seems to be about something that’s more about emotions, thoughts, and theory. If I were doing something like build a better wall or produce less waste on the job site, I feel like that would be easy because I could just test and experiment until I reached my goal. But how do I take something like film editing and montage and make it quantifiable? How do I even represent it? I know that doing all this film study is going to make me a better architect, I’ve already learned things about rhythm, movement, and juxtaposition, but “I know it’ll make me a better architect, but I don’t know how to show it” doesn’t look good on a pin-up board. I think sometimes that I’m barely treading water with this topic. I think I’ll figure it out eventually, at least I hope I will, but I feel like I’m behind on it.
Anyway. Tomorrow night I’m driving to see David Bazan play in Chapel Hill. Maybe that kind of experience will jar me out of my thesis funk.
Be good to people. Thanks for reading this blog.