I first got an inkling that architecture was probably not my destined career when I was a young child playing with blocks. I would carefully put what I thought was a pretty good semi-vertical structure together, only to have it fall apart when my brother kicked it. I figured if I was going to become an architectural immortal I had better learn to erect structures that wouldn’t fall down.
I tried Legos. This worked much better, because they had tiny little holes and tiny little pegs and they stuck together. They also looked a lot more like real bricks than those little kid blocks did. I was confident that I was finally going to discover the elusive secret of indestructible building. I put something together that had everything: walls; roof and holes for windows.
Along came my brother with his foot and down came my house. I knew I would get in trouble if I killed him, so I satisfied myself with sitting on the floor bawling my eyes out until Dad came into the room and told me to shut up or he’d give me something to cry about. I already had something to cry about and didn’t want anything else, so I shut up.
I really couldn’t blame my brother. He was a Legos genius himself, and he was probably offended at the sight of my unimaginative little pile. He once took his Legos and made a perfect scaled-down model of Notre Dame Cathedral, complete with gargoyles made of Play-Doh. He brought it to school for Show and Tell and got six gold stars from the teacher. He was all set to send it to the French government as a gift from America, but he never did. I, too, have a foot and I know how to use it.
Although my dream was relegated to the back of my mind, I never gave it up. I continued to practice the art of designing buildings, and even put together a sort of portfolio with drawings like this:
Being able to take criticism is of the utmost importance in any career. I have been told often (often being practically every day) that I can’t draw. Architects have to be able to draw, among other things. This kind of criticism is not the kind where people try to encourage you to go on because you really have a lot of talent that just needs some developing so your true genius can come through. The kind of criticism I get on my building designs is more along the lines of, “You suck at this. Find something else to do with your life.”
Well, it was a nice dream while it lasted. Maybe I’ll just be a writer instead.