Wednesday, January 28, 2009

A New Toy

For Christmas this year, Kim and I bought a new digital SLR camera: a Canon Rebel XSi. Although we have had the camera for a while now, I had not really had much time to play around with it until this past weekend when I went with my photographer friend Ken to shoot around Yale. Ken also shoots with a Canon, so I enjoyed getting a few pointers from him to get me back into the swing of shooting with a SLR (I used to shoot with an old film SLR many years ago). I have always enjoyed photographing architecture, and I look forward to many more years of enjoyment with our new toy.

I just so happens that Ken beat me to the blogosphere with his description of our excursion--you can check out his photographs on his blog.  Below are posted some of my own photos for your perusal.  Enjoy!

Beinecke Rare Book Library

Master's House at Trumbull College

Berkeley College

Harkness Tower


The Book & Snake

Stoeckel Hall

This Day in History: Jackson Pollock's Birthday

Today is action painter Jackson Pollock's birthday (b. 1912-d. 1956).  Although I have not always been a fan of Pollock's work, he was instrumental in the evolution of abstract expressionism, one of my favorite painting movements.

Google honored Pollock today with an image of one of his paintings on their search header.  Clicking on the painting resulted in a number of interesting internet hits, including this really cool website.  Now you too can make your very own digital dribble!

On another note, the 2000 movie Pollock, starring Ed Harris, is well worth renting if you have not seen it already.  In addition to the movie's artful dramatization of Jackson Pollock's rise and demise, the music by Jeff Beal is quite stunning, successfully capturing the frenetic pace of Pollock's art and life.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Four Down, Three to Go

This afternoon I took my fourth ARE:  "Building Design & Construction Systems."  I think this was probably the hardest of the tests I have taken so far because the range of topics covered was very broad and so it felt difficult to prepare for.  Also, there were three drawing components to complete in 2 hours 45 minutes, which felt a little tight.  As with the other drawing components I have taken, when you get near the end of the testing time, you have to make a decision:  do I nit-pick and play around with my proposed solution to make it better (and risk submitting an incomplete solution when the time runs out!), or do I leave it as it is, even though it may include minor mistakes.  I have chosen the latter option each time:  it is, I think, far better to have a complete solution with a few mistakes than to have one that really is not complete at all.

Although I did feel the test was fairly difficult, I left the testing facility feeling comfortable if not confident in my performance.  However, like the other two tests I am awaiting scores for, I will hold my true celebration until receiving my final score in the mail, whenever that may be!

Each time I get nervous about the tests, I have to remind myself that I do not have to overperform, I simply have to meet the minimum requirements.  I am generally not a "minimum requirements" kind of guy, but in this case I am just trying to power through all 7 exams as quickly as I reasonably can.  Next up, "Building Systems" in February!