The ABC’s of Architecture – Meet the class

Zoomer Class

Let me take this week to introduce one of the most important and significant factors of my new life – my fellow classmates.

At present there are 58 of us; 4 have dropped out and some who had taken time off have returned. Most are in their 20s, a few in their 30s and one – me – in his 40s…okay, okay late 40s! Most are Canadians with a large percentage from the Western and Atlantic provinces and a solid number of global representatives, specifically from Kuwait, Dubai, Iran, Thailand, China, Ecuador, Chile, Bahamas and the US.

The programme is very much based on a “learn-from-each-other” approach. Our time together is intense and the sharing of skills and information crucial for our mutual advancement. Competition exists, of course, but it’s a healthy competition that keeps us all on our toes and it’s truly remarkable to see the regularity in which fellow students unhesitatingly go out of their way to assist one another. Remember, we’re on very tight deadlines and usually overworked and tired. So it is a remarkable and praiseworthy act of generosity when someone takes 15 to 30 minutes of precious and pressured time to explain or show something to someone.

Of course it’s not always Shangri-La. Group work, for example, is taxing with everyone moving at their own individual pace. Some students are more disciplined, have a stronger work ethic and understand the fundamentals of deadlines, while others simply do not. This week’s History presentation on Florence’s Ponte Vecchio – A Public Space – was a perfect example of some of these forces coming to bear. What followed was a bit of friction which made for some awkward, heated exchanges. But, knowing we’re going to be together for the next three years means you work it out! This of course resulted in longer late night hours and unnecessary additional stress, but in the end it came together. We all pulled it off successfully.

I realize a little more each day how much I’m learning from my fellow classmates and how they are contributing to the overall reawakening of my senses and renewal of my long dormant eagerness to learn.

Technology is their norm and I’m happy to reap the rewards from their expertise and ease. But, on a less obvious note, I’m finding other important benefits: Their eagerness to get started in life; their anticipation of travelling the world (I can remember when I, at the age of 23, had not yet taken a transatlantic flight); their spontaneity and curiosity; their rush to embrace new ideas, new art and new music (some I might mention being re-mixed, re-releases from my earlier days); and their optimistic view that they will change things is really quite infectious and starting to erode some of the jaded areas of my life.

But now, there’s no time to linger… it’s on to the next deadline and another group of students!

Meet this week’s History group :

Name: Phil, 20

From: Grimsby, Ontario

About: Third youngest student in the program; creativity abounds; “cool” is “crisp”

Name: Natalia, 27

From: Santiago, Chile

About: In addition to a solid knowledge of French, she’s fluent in English, Spanish and Italian; a genuine old soul

Name: Eli, 27

From: Halifax, Nova Scotia

About: An avid cyclist; technically strong and great with numbers; engaged to be married!



by Réjean G. Beaudin