This year, the focus is on focusing.
Originally I had planned to take one test a month, and leave BDCS and SS to the end with some study time. Change in plans, I am taking Structural Systems in two months, and I have made enough work-life rebalancing so that things are still in equilibrium while the loads are realigning. I have reduced work to be only my day time worry, and not take midnight oil anymore. I have set clear boundaries on when I can be reached, and when I can be expected to respond. Till I finish the Structural Systems, work will be secondary. Originally I had planned it during summer, but who am I kidding, with two kids on summer vacation, I won’t be able to focus and sit down for a couple of hours of dedicated study.
Boundaries- setting them and learning to respect them before I ask others to respect them.
After sitting down with a calendar and thinking how to plan the next few weeks, and the mom life, and the entrepreneur life, I figured the best time to test would be in March, and after figuring out contingencies, and spring breaks, and minimum days, and carpool days, it’s going to be March 30th even though I might be ready to test around mid-march. That’s the way an Archimom’s life works. Balance your top priorities with your top obligations and duties, and the tasks you lovingly take on. I will be working in the mornings, and studying in the evenings while the kids do homework. Oh, I took Twitter and Facebook off my phone. I can consciously not share what’s on mind, and not respond to what’s on other people’s mind, but I am addict to those articles especially the new convenient way of reading them on the Facebook mobile app.
Oh, and I am an Associate AIA again, and a part of AIA Orange County!
I used to be an AIA San Francisco more than a decade ago, and being a new mother, never attended those beautiful meet ups they had. I am hoping things will be different this time, and I can be more actively involved with the architecture community. Last month, we did attend the lecture “Architecture beyond Earth- The International Space Station” by David Nixon. By we, I mean us, as a family. I was a little apprehensive taking the eight year old, but the kid knows how to sit through a piano concert ever since she was three. It shouldn’t be hard. Also, it’s payback time- I have sat through my share of motherless Disney Princess sagas for all these years, just to please them!
I joined a study group! I know, I know.. I talk a lot, and I will lose the task on hand if I get someone to chat with, but maybe these motivated people will help me stay on track. It’s a nice group. I haven’t met all of them yet, but I have a feeling I will enjoy doing this together. Actually I am taking Structural Systems before anything else because of the group. We will all be taking that test next. I did get a head start dusting off the books my mentor at my old firm had given me. Someday I will share pictures of the tons of books he gave me- it’s a good reference set of books every architect needs. I am doing the ground work brushing up my Sin-Cos and Tans, and my stress and strain basic knowledge.
IDP- that’s another thing! After my supervisor finally signs off my last thirty hours, I will be finishing three of the four modules, a 100%. He is dealing with a few personal and professional hurdles, and as much as I would love to see my request for verification approved and hit that 100%, I have to wait patiently for the last few invoices, and that last request. Fingers crossed, and hoping for the best. It’s distracting sometimes not to have everything in control, but at times like these, I am thankful I have husband to have my back at least financially. I love being an independent business woman, and all other parts of my business, but I don’t like sending reminders about outstanding invoices. Especially the ones that are overdue.
For the hours that we can’t always get through traditional employment or the type of firms/ projects we are aligned with.. I did an exercise for core hours using “Emerging Professional’s Companion”. I used it for Business Operations. The process is self explanatory. Visit http://epcompanion.org/ if you want to accelerate your IDP process a bit. Also, I took the monograph test, and that added 16 more hours. Social media has been a great help to in getting support, and more ideas, and getting a mentor. Yes! I found my IDP mentor via Twitter, when I tweeted a query to NCARB and AIA National. Architects are very active on Twitter, and it seems to be the chosen one of all the social media!
But there was a disappointment.. I have 120 hrs remaining in Bidding and Contract Negotiation, and another 120 hrs in Construction Cost. There are a 65 remaining in Construction Observation. I can only get less than 40 hrs in each discipline through Emerging Professional’s Companion exercises. Of course I can get the supplementary hours done, I still need a total of 1294 hours to complete my IDP. But, I wish there were more avenues to get these hours fulfilled. I might look for a temporary employment with a General Contractor to learn Construction Cost, Bidding and Contract negotiation and Construction Observation.. All together it’s a summer worth of hours. I won’t get distracted with that until I finish the first round of testing. Or at least I will try not to.
So, from February 9th to April 10th, the focus is on focusing, and staying on course with all other things.