Thursday, January 31, 2008

One More Month...

One more month in which to finish the dissertation, given a goal of graduating this spring. Chapters 5 and 6 are almost done and 7 is coming along. In the ideal world, all three will get done by Monday. More probably, there will be some lag and 7 will get done sometime next week while I try to get 8 into shape.
Orion hasn't admitted to feeling sorry he's chewed on various cords over the past month, but he's been very pettable. Ms. Spots believes she ought to take precedence in all petting, but she doesn't push the issue too far.
I've been sitting in on an architectural theory course, which is its own form of adventure. At present, the undergrads are attempting to design temples based on the instructions given by Vitruvius. Some are assigned to do Doric and some Ionic, and this afternoon each group convened to discuss what they had figured out thus far. Since I'm not designing a temple (!), I spent the time flagging all the French translations I need checked before turning in the dissertation, but this allowed me to listen in on the discussion of the nearest group. There seemed to be uncertainty about what to do about the temple's corona. By the end of class, there were suggestions that perhaps the thing to do would be just to build a little marble temple rather than mucking around with a floor plan and elevation. Making one's own marble out of primordial silt seemed to figure strongly into this plot.
It all brought back memories of the time my friend Charley, who was an art history major, constructed a gothic cathedral in clay, with some input from me. As I recall, I suggested that it belong to adherents of the Albigensian heresy, as that might introduce interesting doctrinal variations into the construction and decor. I believe Charley went along with that, and that the patron saint was Martin since we were taken with the idea of his dividing his cloak to give to the beggar. (I am afraid we imagined Martin to be an obscure saint, which he was not. We could have chosen a much more obscure or local saint than that.) It was a most absorbing project, but the clay proved structurally unstable and the walls had to be propped up with cardboard in the end, alas.
The temple project also brought back recollections of having to do perspective drawing for my set design class. While I grasp the general principles of perspective drawing, and have for most of my life, our assignment required that we do our drawings with some sort of mathematical calculations (for the floor tiles and the vanishing point) that utterly baffled me. After wrestling with the project for some hours, I finally eyeballed where the floor tiles ought to be and gave up on the calculations.
The undergrads will be bringing in their completed temple designs next week. This should be interesting.

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5 Comments:

Blogger Julia said...

So the question of the hour is: how many chapters?

By the way, I always cheated on my perspective calculation too. I figured that unless I was actually building something no one would be harmed and the eye is almost as good a judge as the ruler.

February 01, 2008 10:02 AM  
Blogger Kristen said...

Julia--our dear Karla is writing NINE chapters! I'm hoping to eek out five.

I again bow down before you! Go, Karla, go!

February 01, 2008 11:37 PM  
Blogger Dr. Zaius said...

"It all brought back memories of the time my friend Charley, who was an art history major, constructed a gothic cathedral in clay,... It was a most absorbing project, but the clay proved structurally unstable and the walls had to be propped up with cardboard in the end, alas."

A metaphor for the Bush administration if I ever heard one, right down the the cardboard supports. this metaphor even describes what their feet are made of!

February 04, 2008 12:22 AM  
Anonymous Antikosmikos said...

I'm an Albigensian. I tired to read inconsistenced about the Faith of my Fathers! We don't have temples of any kind: any church is only a place of demons.

January 04, 2009 2:14 PM  
Blogger Karla said...

I won't try to defend my past (or even present) ignorance but will only say that at least I had heard of the Albigensians back when I was 19, and thought they sounded appealing.

January 04, 2009 6:57 PM  

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