As a little treat to myself I splurged on a designer bag in celebration of getting licensed. My boyfriend was in the store with me watching as I carefully surveyed the bags with the salesman. Once I picked out My Bag, Matt observed so many emotions come over me he said it was like a two-hour chic-flick in thirty seconds! My thoughts ran from “Wow, that’s a lot of money!” to “What the heck am I doing?” to “It’s such a beautiful bag.” to “This is a part of the professional woman I want to become.” Then I heard the salesman say, “You deserve it.” I somewhat ignored that statement considering its source. This guy doesn’t know what I’ve been through. He probably was told to use that phrase when women start pacing back and forth to calm them down and secure the sale/commission.
Side-step to another story; my parents just built a house together. It is their dream house. A nice, modest custom home on a beautiful site nestled in the Black Hills of South Dakota. Their home is the product of hard work and dedication for many years. Clearing the site above an abandon silver mine took months of tree-cutting, dirt-moving and rock-picking. I saw my parents sketching floor plans on graph paper for about two years before they got serious about a set of construction documents. This structure started to reflect my parents’ values and dreams. My mother would send me giddy emails of the construction. Whether it was foundation being poured or the framing going up, she was experiencing the physical manifestation of her goals. Seeing the house finished and watching how my parents use it, I couldn’t have designed a better home for them if I was asked to. They are so comfortable and proud of their home and they should be; they deserve it.
It’s essential to have a physical manifestation of achievement. This isn’t just me trying to justify buying an expensive bag, that’s a done deal. This is me saying that with celebrations of accomplishment, a physical memento of the moment in your life will be treasured so much more because of what it celebrates. These are the sorts of emotions our clients go through when building significant structures. In architecture we are lucky enough to see drawings come to life and became real, physical spaces. And we know these spaces, down to how big the kitchen will be, represent something. As architects we experience the arduous process of design and construction, so our enjoyment and pride of the finished product is most certainly deserved.
I’ve decided to keep tabs about the last steps of getting licensed. We hear so much about IDP and AREs, but what REALLY happens after those are done and submitted to NCARB? Is a blood sample needed? A personality-test to see if I have the correct type A, hyper-organized-yet-creative character? To be totally honest, I have no idea what happens next in the process. NCARB gives the final okay and then what? I have a sneaking suspicion that I’ll be forking over quite a bit of money but how much that’ll be I have no idea. I’ll keep you posted.
A week ago I submitted my final IDP hours to NCARB via their newest reporting system “the e-EVR.” My exams were completed in January 2010, so those have been locked down for a while now. My plan is to call in to NCARB every week or so to check on the processing. Not that the “nagging” will help but it gives me a sense of contributing and it helps temper my anticipation. See, I told you I was a type A.