Monday, June 20, 2011


This past weekend I spent 3 full days at the ARE Structural Systems Workshop that David Thaddeus teaches. He is a professor at UNC-Charlotte, and he travels all over the country teaching this workshop that is meant to help ARE (Architecture Registration Exam) candidates PASS the Structural Systems exam. This is one of 7 exams that must be PASSED in order to become a Registered Architect. Until then, like me, you are considered an intern. I have been an intern for 12 years of my professional career. I have also been very, very, very slack in completing my exams, but the list is long of reasons and excuses. BUT, the catch is that they give you 5 years to complete the exams, starting on the date that you PASS your 1st one. It's called a 'rolling clock' because you lose the exam that you PASSED 5 years earlier and the date shifts and you have to re-take whatever exam falls within a 5-year-period of trying to complete them all. You may think, 'wow, well that should be easy', who could possibly take 5 YEARS to complete 7 exams? That would be me. Sad. Well, technically my 5 year 'rolling clock' rolls over in November.

I have PASSED 3 exams, which leaves me with 4 (2 of which I have failed previously). I forgot to also mention that if you fail an exam, you actually have to wait 6 months before you can take it again. Silly, I know, but I guess they want you to ponder the material for another 6 months, to be sure you understand it before taking it again.

Let me recap. It is June, which means November is in 5 months. So, I have 5 months to complete 4 exams, without failing any! It has taken me 4 years and 7 months to complete 3 (actually 4 because I did PASS the LEED exam too), and I have failed just as many as I've completed! YIKES!

Back to the Workshop...
     Friday      9:00am - 7:00pm (10 hours)
     Saturday  8:00am - 8:00pm (12 hours)
     Sunday    8:00am - 7:00pm (11 hours)

Of course there were bathroom breaks and lunch breaks mixed in there, but for the most part it was an intense 3 days, with lack of air conditioning and a couple of fire alarms thrown in for fun! Oh happy day.

Thought you may enjoy seeing a couple of sample pages from my notes from the weekend... don't worry, I don't understand it either! And the colors are a code for studying: red=compression, blue=tension, purple=bending, shear=green, and grey=deflection.

The big news of the day... I've scheduled the exam! I am taking it on July 5, so I'll have the long holiday weekend to cram in everything that I don't get to in the evenings between now and then.

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