Advising always seems to arrive surprisingly fast. It’s not necessarily less of a big deal now, being in grad school, it’s just different. In undergrad it was always hard because there was such a disconnect. You had to email your one, usually somewhat random, professor and try to work out a time to meet. They just go over the paperwork they have on you, and maybe, if you’re lucky, after four years they’ll start to remember who you are. The whole time it’s this huge strategy game of timing and sequence for what class and when.
Now, for the most part, all that seems to be eliminated. There’s a good working relationship with my advisor. There isn’t four years of courses I’m trying to map out, but only two that have been fairly structured for me already. This allows me to look more into my electives. I immediately thought of welding since I’ve been trying to find a time to do this since high school. I was discussing this with a colleague of mine, Nick, who it seems has similar sentiments. We decided to try and take the Metals class offered by the sculpture department on fridays. As it turns out though our fridays are booked with required methods classes. We discussed this issue with Jonas, the program director, and he offered to work out something with NextFab, a local machine shop, where we can go there to learn metalworking on our off hours. I am pretty excited about it.
The other elective I am going to take, or really the only elective now, will be the Public Arts for Real class. You can read the flyer below. What it boils down to is that the electric company here, PECO, is building a new substation and government law requires that they spend 1% of the budget on public art. This means there is a budget of $200,000 for this piece. I haven’t quite worked out the legal details but it seems like they’ve basically commissioned UArts to make this piece for them. UArts decided to make it a class and assigned it to a teacher and after that the sky is the limit. It should be very exciting with such a large budget and real applications it is an exciting thing to work on. With all the juggling and balancing that will be required between the city’s development board, PECO and the relevant communities, it will be arduous but in the end hopefully great because of it.
To go back to advising, it is still a big deal now, but for different reasons. Now it will be one of the main points at which we receive feedback on our progress. Which I’m not fearful of, but more excited to see where I’m doing well and more importantly where I can still focus more energy to improve.