Quantity surveying: first day at school

I started school yesterday.

Because architectural techology and quantity surveying both "sit" under the same department and in part, we even share some of our classes, then for the introductory day - yesterday - they had us all in the same room. Easier and more effective, I guess.

Part of the introduction involved meeting most of our tutors who would tell us a bit about themselves and what they were going to teach us.

One of those guys was a man who would teach architectural technology students manual drafting, as in, creating building plans with a pencil, on a large drawing board, on paper - as opposed to AutoCAD or ArchiCAD which is drafting on a computer screen and is taught by another person.

It's one of those classes I would be very interested in taking, except I can't - not this year, anyway. I have other classes at the same time, and I am trying to keep school to minimum this year anyway whilst my son is only just settling into school and could do with my support; but I will probably try getting onto it another year. I have passion towards manual drawing (I had very basic classes on that in high school, and I still "doodle" houseplans in my diary when I sit in doctors' waiting rooms and such) and besides, the guy who teaches it came across like a very cool character!

He was introduced by my main tutor as a guy "who is probably the best you could find in Southland and Otago", and he sounded like that, too. Picky, strict, but with a sense of humor.

I liked the guy straight away.

Which is why in the end of his talk, I asked him: so, say I show up on Thursday morning and my class isn't on that day because Graham is ill or whatever. Would it be acceptable, given that you guys will be right next door, that I come join your class for that day, given that I am at school anyway and haven't got else to do? 

I assured him that I understand the concept of him being there for the actual enrolled students, so even if I did join I wouldn't be allowed to bug them. (But would it be okay for me to drop in? You know, sometimes? See what they do, maybe learn a thing or two?)

His answer made me laugh.

He said that, sure, as long as there is a spare board available and I don't disturb the class, I am allowed to drop in. However - and that's the bit that made me grin, and then laugh - I may not enjoy it very much because being a quantity surveying student my brain probably works much differently to the ones of architecture students.

He said - and he grinned whilst saying it, too - that if buildings were designed by quantity surveyors rather than architects, we would live in cities of box-shaped cubes. They're easier to build, and cheaper. There would be no Sydney Opera House, he said, and no *mentions two other buildings I am not even aware of*. They're two very differently approached disciplines, and require people with two very different approaches. A quantity surveyor is there to keep the projects within budget and effective, an architect is there to bring passion to our living environments.

Quantity surveyors need to be very good with math, he said, so I may not find the drawing board very enjoyable; but I can try if I wish.

I laughed. "Thanks for that!" I said and he laughed, too.

I bet I will drop in more often than he expects me to.


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