The Studies (part 2)


Part 1 can be read here

It didn’t take long for me to realise that “Not doing a damn thing ever again” was harder than it seemed. Especially when it became apparent that this pandemic was going to last longer than the predicted two weeks, I had to come to term with the fact that “Never doing anything again” is just not a sustainable long term plan.

Maybe this would have been different if I had lots of children, a huge extended family and a gigantic amount of friends, but I don’t. Then again, even if I did, most people have other things to do with their lives than entertaining somebody who’s decided to never do anything ever again. If I wanted to or not, I had to figure out what I was going to be doing with my life.

Thinking of something new to do wasn’t easy, as I am a person of limited interests: cats, classical ballet, zines and other magazines, exhibitions, concerts, ceramics, and Funda (an online real estate market place); that’s pretty much it.

What also didn’t help, was me being near-catatonic with fear that I would catch Covid and end up severely sick. Despite all this, I finished up a large work related project, and had a fit of insanity where I joined a writing group. Twice. Let’s just call it a relapse. I also took a couple of online classes to try and keep myself together.

Thirteen months into this two week pandemic, I finally got my first vaccine. Turns out thinking about your future is a lot easier when you’re not constantly fearing for your life.

And so it happened that while reading the weekly ARCAM newsletter, I thought: “If I could do my life over again, I’d become an architectural historian”. Despite being quite certain that you’d have to had studied architecture to be able to do that, I did a google search. It turned out that my English BA wasn’t so useless after all: I just needed to do a minor in Architecture and Construction to be eligible to do an Architectural History MA. Another option was to do a General History pre-master, but I was afraid that that would not give me sufficient specific architectural knowledge to do the MA.

The decision to do the Architecture and Construction minor seems to be a good one: I’ve already passed three out of five classes, currently finishing up class number four before starting class number five in two weeks. This study year is moving at the speed of light, partly because the 8-8-4 system remains a very tight schedule, even part time, but also because… everything is organized? I am not spending 40 to 60 percent of my time trying to manage the logistics of my studies, I can just dedicate myself to the content. What’s also different, is that, after a life of unsuccessful overachieving, I nowadays do the bare minimum. Though that’s still taking a bit of getting used to.