Checking In

Checking in for a bit… Sorry I’ve been away for a while.

The shoulder is doing okay, although the doc is a little concerned about my range of motion. He may want to do another procedure on me, in which they put me under, and then wrench my arm around to break up all the scar tissue, and then give me lots of painkillers. It actually doesn’t sound too bad (I’m told it’s a quick recovery), but doc wants to give the physical therapy more time to work. I see him again toward the end of the month.

In other medical news, a couple weeks ago I broke a tooth, so I’ve been in and out of the dentist’s office getting a gingivectomy, crown lengthening, and a crown build-up around one of my molars, way in the back. Eventually I’ll get a crown back there, but in the meantime I have a mouth full of stitches and I’m in a lot of pain.

My roommate has informed me that he’d like me to move out by the end of August, which is fine by me since I’ve been plotting my escape out of this hellhole anyway. I had been trying to save up money to go through a broker and get my own apartment in a non-shitty neighborhood, but I’ve pretty much had to empty my savings account to pay for all this dental work. Unfortunately, it looks like I may have to move into another share situation for a few months until I can build my savings back up.

In happier news, next week I start a six-week medieval stonecarving workshop hosted by my church, the great unfinished Cathedral of St. John the Divine near Columbia. It should be an interesting course, and I’m hoping I’ll have portfolio fodder to show for it. Last summer I was learning all about cutting-edge theory and generative design at GSAPP; this summer I’ll be kicking it old school with a mallet and chisel.

I’m happy to report that our multi-year restoration project at the Cathedral is almost complete, and has hit a major milestone. Back in 2001 we had a severe fire that destroyed the north transept, and let to a huge cleaning and restoration project that has had various parts of the cathedral buried behind plywood and scaffolding for years at a time.

One evening late last week I had to make a trip up to the cathedral to retrieve something from the acolyte room, and while there, I decided to poke my head into the crossing for a minute. (This was after the church had been closed to visitors for the evening, and there’s nothing quite like having such a space all to yourself for a few moments.) While there, I was thrilled to discover that the huge wall separating the nave from the crossing has begun to be removed, and that the south aisle of the newly-restored nave is now open while much of the temporary barriers are being removed.

Here’s a photo I snapped with my iPhone:

This is the first time in over two years this space has been open to the public, and it was a huge thrill to see the space again for the first time since I moved away from NYC in 2004. There’s still a lot of work to do (later this month the crossing and Great Choir will be closed off so that all 8000+ pipes of the organ can be re-installed), and we’ll have a huge re-dedication service on Sunday, November 30th. There will also be a public “open house” that week for those who don’t feel inclined to attend a religious service.

Yesterday I met up with my former critic from last year’s Columbia summer program for a couple drinks… Just so happens that he’s now the director of the M.Arch. program up the street at City College. We chatted about my grad school plans, and of course he tried to sell me on City College. Not that he had to try very hard, mind you; City College is already very high on my list. But he also strongly recommended that I apply to Columbia and Harvard as well (both places he has taught at), in addition to a couple other programs. He offered to write me letters of recommendation, and he wants to meet up with me again soon to look at my portfolio.

Not a bad drinking buddy to have, huh? He might even be doing the stonecarving thing with me at the cathedral; he seemed very interested and I gave him the contact info.

I haven’t really kept in touch with my fellow students from the Columbia summer program, but apparently two or three of them will be starting at Harvard this fall, and another will be starting at Princeton. I’m thinking that summer program was probably the smartest move I’ve made in a long time… Hard to believe it’s been almost a year already.

In other school-related news, I still plan to finish up my BA degree next year. There really isn’t much left for me to do, so I’m hoping to spread it out over the next 12 months (but knowing me, I’ll most likely goof off for the first 11 months, and then work nonstop to finish everything during the last month).

A few days ago I got a letter from my college at DePaul University, informing me that I had received a Student Excellence Award for a project I had done last year. I was invited to an award luncheon that takes place tomorrow, but unfortunately, the luncheon is in downtown Chicago and I’m in NYC and unable to make the trip right now. I wonder if they’ll FedEx the plaque to me?

That’s all for now…

Leave a Reply