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We’re All a Bunch of Phonies

I always gravitated to people who never aligned themselves wholly with a set of rules or principles of a sub-culture.

No one ever dressed like they walked out of a catalog. If you tried to peg down my friends by their clothes you would swing and miss 9 out of 10 times.

No one held an undying allegiance to a political sub-set.

No one was a hater about music, or art, or film. Everyone tried to encourage people even if it wasn’t your thing.

I think the one dominant thought process we all had in common was that if you looked like you fit in somewhere too much, you didn’t fit in with us. We liked the diversity in our group and we often talked about how we were the outcasts of other groups.

Stereotypes and blindly following things is something that is really common in high school and I’m proud to say that my friends weren’t those people.

When I got to college that changed though. There were a handful of perceived “difficult” studio instructors and the kids who believed, and often proved, themselves to be the best of the best took these professors on. They weren’t the best professors, they were just the ones perceived to be the best because they made their students work extra-long hours. I never cared much for this mentality, not everyone who took them bought into either. I worked plenty of hours on my own motivation, plus I had a job where I worked Friday through Monday every week for almost all four years of college.

I took the professors where I saw diversified projects; the above mentioned professors often had a group of indistinguishable projects presented at the end of the year. I liked professors who allowed the student’s hand to really show through, and I thought this would be evident by diversified projects. Maybe I was wrong but it made sense to me then.

I tried to stay me, or become even more me through each semester while I watched a bunch of my friends take on the complete persona of their professors in other studios. Architects tend to have a strong voice, and a scared student will readily adhere to any voice loud enough.

My school was so small that I couldn’t help make friends with people that had strongly held ideologies handed to them by their professors. And I, in turn, had to make strongly held counter-ideologies to hold my own ground, and probably try to make some people look foolish in the process, I am pretty self-obsessed.

As it turned out, my best friends in college either never went down the dark path or came out of it stronger than when they went in, and most that went in weren’t as transfixed with it as a lot of my non-friends. I just have a hard time being friends with anyone who takes themselves too seriously.

This is supposed to be fun, remember?