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Showing posts from November, 2015

Signed, Sealed, Delivered

It's been over a year and a half since I started testing, but I can finally say that I'm done:  I passed the California Supplemental Exam (CSE) on Saturday.  (Don't make the mistake of thinking I'm an architect, though - until I get my papers back in the mail, calling myself an architect is still a criminal offense, as the license application itself helpfully points out.)  Here are a few thoughts about all that.

The Prep

As soon as I finished IDP, I applied for CSE eligibility.  That process took from August until October.  Once I was eligible to schedule an exam, I gave myself six weeks to study and scheduled for November.  I used the materials we had in my office:  the 2012 edition of the David Doucette suite of materials and the 2011 edition of the Archibald Woo study guide, plus some flashcards of unknown source.  I thought both sets of materials were underwhelming, to the point where I seriously considered going through them with a red pen and mailing the results …

On the Border: Part I

This past July, I traveled to the US/Mexico border with a group of folks from First Presbyterian Church in Palo Alto.  Our goal was to learn about what happens at the border, what it looks like there, and what, if anything, we should do about it, including whether to become a sanctuary for undocumented individuals (see Sanctuary Movement below).  We were a group of high schoolers, college students, younger adults, and older adults, and we were mostly unfamiliar with US border security and what life is like at the Arizona border; we discussed what we knew before the trip, and it was just things we'd read in the news.  Despite this limited knowledge, we were eager to learn more.

My own interest stemmed from my 2012 trip to Israel/Palestine, where visiting the wall was one of the most powerful experiences I've had.  The border wall separating the occupied territories from Israel is an architectural weapon, used deliberately and actively to acquire territory, restrict development…