The first day for the fall 2016 ARC-250 Survey of Architecture class at Forsyth Tech was Friday August 19, 2016. This was also my first day in the job as an adjunct instructor at Forsyth Tech. I am really excited to have the opportunity to continue to be a part of the FTCC Architecture program; a program that I graduated from in 2015. The first assignment I gave my students is to build a personal website and tell the class a little about themselves. I want to have something to show as an example for them, so here’s a little something about me.
My first attempt at college was at FTCC in 1990 when I enrolled in the Automotive Body Repair program. I don’t remember much about that time. I assume all of my raging hormones caused my brain to avoid the chore of storing those memories away for me to access later. My brain had better things to concentrate on in those days; hot and fast cars, motorcycles, and women. That’s not to say that I had access to anything more than magazines on these subjects, but I did spend a lot of mental energy concentrating on them. I was a “C” student then; and I was clueless about so many things. I had a rough spring in 1991, and after repeatedly getting strep throat, my doctor suggested that I quit either school or work. I quit school. I waivered back and forth on the wisdom of that decision for years, but now I’m sure I made the right choice.
During my career in the electronic security industry it began to dawn on me that I needed more education, although I had no clue as to what, or how I would make that happen. I started signing up for skills classes at GTCC and FTCC to learn Excel and AutoCAD, management skills and other things I felt I needed to know about. Next came enrolling in the Fire Protection program at FTCC and taking one or two classes per semester as I continued in my career. In 2009 the career had a major course correction when I defied my employer by using all of my 5 weeks of vacation to take a very intensive 5 week Basic EMT class. I earned EMT certification, but I lost my job in the process. It took me a few years to bounce back from that, but in 2012 my view of what I needed to do when I grow up finally began to come into focus.
I had an opportunity to work alongside DeEtta Famiano, a designer and recent graduate of the FTCC Architecture Program. We received a commission to build a scale model of the arch that you will soon see erected on Highway 52 near WSSU.
DeEtta and I were competing for the contract for the model, but lucky for me we decided to collaborate. I watched as DeEtta and her crew of designers, most of them her former classmates at FTCC, used AutoCad and Revit to generate computer models that could send commands to a laser cutter to create all of the intricate pieces that I would have had to create by hand. I immediately realized the value of the knowledge I could learn in the architecture program. I signed up for the next semester as quickly as possible.
Spring of 2013 was my first semester in the Architecture program at FTCC, and I have loved every minute of my time there. I am continuing my college career at Salem College where I am pursuing a BA degree in Design with a focus in Architecture. If you are one of my students and have read this far, I hope you will see that I am aware of the struggles you will face in your college career. It’s not always easy, but if you have chosen the right path for you it is totally worth the struggle. If you have not chosen correctly this time I hope you will continue to look for the path that you will be passionate about.