Interlude in Cochrane

IMG_2590I spent the last two weeks of November on a travesía in Cochrane, a small town in the extreme south of Chile. This was a trip I had been dreaming about ever since I first learned of the School of Valparaíso in the fall of 2010. The chance to participate in a travesía remains beyond words. So I give you images. Continue reading

Seven Stages of Discovering a New Reference

A few years ago I attended a two-day academic writing workshop that changed my life. Dr. Leslie Jarmon’s advice on outlining was genius and a technique I still use. But try as I might, I cannot “close the gate.” One of Dr. Jarmon’s key recommendations was to set a deadline for reading your references and once that day came you had to close the gate and ideally never open it again. In principle I have absolutely no problem with closing the gate. Though I enjoy squirreling away references like any good researcher I am resolute about deadlines. But in practice it is impossible to close the gate. Continue reading

Even a Brick Wants to Be Something

I caught Indecent Proposal (1993) the other night right at this masterful part. Though this film focuses on infidelity, honesty, and forgiveness Woody Harrelson’s turn as an architect is unforgettable because of this scene. Suddenly, the narrative shifts from a one-night stand to one of the best musings on creativity in any film I’ve seen.

Great architecture is only gonna come from your passion. And even that won’t assure you a job. Louis Kahn died in a men’s room in Penn Station and for days no one claimed the body. Look at that. Is that beautiful? The money men did not weep because the great ones are impossible to deal with. They’re a pain in the ass because they know that if they do their jobs properly, if they just this once get it right, they can actually lift the human spirit, take it to a higher place.

What is this? / A brick.
Good. What else?/ A weapon.

Louis Kahn said, “even a brick wants to be something.” A brick wants to be something. It aspires. Even a common, ordinary brick wants to be something more than it is. It wants to be something better than it is. That is what we must be. Continue reading

Gifts and Such

I’ve been stuck in college for such a long time that I’ve finally run out of music. Last week I went back to 2000 and the Bs of my iTunes archive. I’ve circled back to Badly Drawn Boy. Continue reading