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grad student for a week

January 12, 2012
plane and section drawing practice using bell peppers

Have you ever played, “Fortunately, Unfortunately?” Well here’s how it goes: one person begins a story in the form of a sentence. Then another person continues the story beginning with the word fortunately. The next person (or the former person, if only two people are playing) continues with another sentence beginning with unfortunately, and so on and so forth until the story ends, fortunately or unfortunately (the latter is usually more funny, unless it’s true). Which brings me to my story…

A few years ago, I decided to go back to school. Fortunately, in-state tuition at junior colleges is inexpensive, as I needed a few prerequisites. Unfortunately, severe budget cuts made classes very difficult to get into. Fortunately, my name was drawn from a hat, not once, but three separate times, allowing me to add the necessary classes. Unfortunately, when applying to the programs, those same budget cuts prevented my acceptance.

Fortunately, at that time, I was working with a friend who is a landscape architect, who encouraged me to change direction and look into landscape architecture programs. Unfortunately, university application deadlines had already passed. Fortunately, I called the University of Southern California on a whim, was informed that there was space in their program, and was encouraged to apply! Unfortunately, upon being accepted, there was not much time to find the money for tuition.

Fortunately, USC’s Landscape Architecture program offers a free media workshop prior to the start of classes. Unfortunately, I had not taken art classes in quite some time. Fortunately, neither had anyone else in the program.

Unfortunately, despite the opportunity to work with USC’s Landscape Architecture Department and the amazing efforts of Lauren Matchison and Rachel Berney to help with the financial burden, there just wasn’t the means to continue with the program. Fortunately, I had a wonderful time participating in the media workshop, I learned a few things about architectural drawings, and I obtained a copy of Photoshop at a very discounted student rate.

And so, unfortunately, it seems that my quest for higher education ended in 2011. But, I have to say, I have certainly learned a lot in the process. I actually like the sciences (who knew?). I can ace a chemistry class (with a lot of hard work…let’s be real, I’m still a right-brained girl).  I became aware of my capacity, and also my limits. And I learned a little more about what I want to pursue, about not always doing what is practical, and what I want to be when I “grow up.” I guess we’re never too old to learn that. Fortunately.

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