Right after passing the board examinations, I cannot forget what my long-time practicing architect/ contractor dad told me: “Forget everything you learned in school.”
Well what was all that hardship for then? The recent post on Arch Daily “UK Report Says Universities are Failing to Prepare Architecture Students for Practice” raises the sentiment that I had as a fresh grad. This is why I structure my classes differently. It’s basically the disillusionment of what real practice of Architecture is in the country. I try to close in the gap between theory and practice as much as I can. This is why I try to bring in speakers who’d be willing to share their knowledge in my classes. The world of architecture is so diverse and there’s just so much theory can do to prepare students for the real deal.
One of the best feedback in my class was: “Ma’am, fourth year na kami. Bakit yung mga sinasabi ng speaker ngayon ko lang na-gets?” (Ma’am, we’re already in fourth year. Why is it that I only get this topic/ subject now?) Well that’s why I’m teaching. Let’s bring relevant education in the halls of Beato!
It’s quite sad to hear about some of my friends both from higher and lower years than me get disheartened by the realities outside the world of academia because “This wasn’t the world that was promised to me”. I was trained to be a designer, a highly paid and respected professional able to do anything and everything with my pen and paper (and computer)! Well dears, whoever said that this profession would be a shortcut to riches and fame? If you want money right out of the bat, you better get out now.
It’s a great thing that a lot of my friends actually want to help. All you have to do is ask! Many of them do not even ask for anything in return. They just want them to have a better experience after these kids graduate because they themselves would’ve wanted someone to guide them or tell them of what they really needed to know.
These are indeed hungry minds and just equip them with the right things: inspiration, courage and the right direction — they can achieve great things! They’d even start giving you more than what is required and exceed your expectations. That’s what I want to see: the change in their eyes, minds and hearts after just a semester with you as their mentor.
“I want to have a life-affirming job.” – Ma’am Sylvia Clemente (one of my most favorite profs ever)