Saturday, June 26, 2010

excuse me, but its maestro now

so i have been pretty much AWOL from the world for the past 6 months (3 years quite honestly)- but with good reason. the past 6 months have been crunch time for me in my educational pursuit. my LAST 6 months of formal education. my last 6 months in my grad program- and yes it was intense to say the least. for the past three years i have been running through a gauntlet. i have been wrapping up my architectural thesis and i can now safely say that i have reached that light at the tunnel and it has never felt so good. for a while that light was so faint, and possibly a figment of my imagination especially during times of intense mental, emotional and physical breakdown due to lack of sleep and nourishment. at times i wan't sure if it was the light of day or an oncoming freight train. but alas, i have made it, bruised and broken, but with a subtle smile half cocked and proud.

its a rare day that i boast, i am not the type to want any piece of the limelight or attention. but after this experience i have earned my stripes for some bragging rights. it has been a struggle- a constant battle of balancing life, work, school, church. it has all been on my plate and i have only been able to concentrate on one at a time- school usually trumping it all. i worked harder than i ever have in my life- even on my mission i was able to sleep- and most of the time i pulled it off. for those of you who don't know, my thesis project was an aquarium. i designed an aquarium in North Embarcadero to help create a better connection between downtown and the ocean. i have a whole shtick i could go into, but quite frankly i am sick of spewing it out. (if you really wanna know it, come over some time and look at my 200 pg thesis book- its all in there).

the project was fun, challenging, annoying and like any true designer would say "if i had more time, i would've done XYZ..." but apparently it was good enough to be put on display at my school- yup. my "Urban Aquarium" was chosen as one of 7 projects, out of 70 to be put in what's known as the NAAB room- basically the shrine to excellency. this is the room that they took us to the first week of thesis year and said " this is the go and beat it." its a room that big timers and head honchos of architecture accreditation councils look at to make sure the school is producing excellent work. i was pleasantly surprised that my project was chosen to stand among some of the greats of NSAD. so yeah, i'm awesome. recognize.

being done with grad school, i would be a total tool if i didn't give credit where its due. i am amazing, true, but i would have never been able to make it through on my own. there has been my own personal team of supporters who have been cheering me on the whole time. so in true tone loke style my top 5 list (in no particular order)

5. my parents have been super stars- always encouraging, constructively critiquing, helping glue together architectural models, editing drafts. they have been solid, patient, and giving. thank you is not enough of a sentiment to express my gratitude for their help.

4. my buddies at school- we thrived and fed off each other, pushing each other, learning together, and struggling together. without them, progression would be limited and apathy would be too. the world of architecture has some amazing talent coming its way.

3. my family- siblings and in-laws: they have always encouraged me and been impressed with what i have done. whether they really were impressed is beyond me, but they always knew how to feed my ego. and after all, whats an architect without his ego? my sisters have never fallen short to tell me how proud they are of there baby bro. miq even drove down with jules battling LA traffic late fri night and sat to see me for just a couple of hours! my mother and father -in-law have done the same. jon and mary have been supportive and have taken good care of erika, while she has been abandoned and taken the back seat to school. ryan and jose have always been excited and impressed of my hard work and even came to my showcase. thanks for showing your support guys. clint and josh have been there too with support and rally caps.

2. my friends- old college roommates, new friends here in SD. they have been awesome, even though i have been awol. my friend mario called me everyday at 7:30am of finals week to pump me up and help me finish strong. what a bro! my buddies from BYU, have always encouraged me, and showed interest in my work. i really have the best friends in the world. the best part about it is the fact that even though i have been totally out of it for 3 years, anytime we get together its like no time has passed at all. they are good examples of hard workers who have excelled in there various fields, which help make me push harder in mine.

1. the etrain. erika has been so solid and so supportive to me through this whole thing. it wasn't always easy or pleasant, but she has stuck with me and helped push me along. she was the one the lit a fire under my butt way back in 2006. she always encouraged me to pursue my passion, to take a chance and seize opportunities. she has been alone many nights, days, weeks- with nothing but buster to keep her company. she has been lax with my hygiene- which is very impressive because she is like her dad- everything must be "sano." she has been upbeat and positive through each project that came my way, always applauding my efforts and designs. she has been patient with eating next to balsa wood models, holding conversations about architectural theories and jargon. she has known when to come and embrace me with positivity and when to leave me be. she has been fun and exciting, and a breath of fresh air after long finals weeks. she is my rock, she is my joy and the reason why i do it all. i love that blondie!

of course i couldn't have done it without help from the Lord- this journey has been rocky and there were many a night i spent on my knees pleading for help, inspiration, guidance and strength. literal miracles occurred- from fixing crashed hard drives, to solving complicated design issues. He clearly has had his eye on me, through it all and has given me so much help. from softening hearts of critics and jurors, professors, all those times i drove downtown with one eye open, after being up for 36 hrs straight- giving patience and empathy to my family and friends. i have been truly blessed.

so be on the look out for the rebirth of the blog guys. I'M BACK!! (and badder than ever)

-loke out!