I feel like I’ve been saying this way too much lately, but GOSH, I’m being a terrible blogger!!!!!
However, at least it’s not for a bad reason. I’m doing a lot of stuff!
And since I haven’t been blogging enough lately, I’ve decided to write a post sharing some of that stuff with the world! Yay!
For those who don’t know, I’m a Brazilian architect studying in São Paulo. This week (Wednesday, specifically) was one of the most important due dates of my semester long project. Which means I was a ball of stress that came very close to exploding. But then everything was fine in the end. For this project, I was given a small terrain to work with located in a famous street here in the city, called Rua Augusta. Inside that terrain I was asked to design a bookstore that somehow fit in with the environment.
This project has been really cool because I absolutely love the vibes in that street. The night life is amazing, and there’s something nice about it during the day as well; a kind of shameless simplicity that is oddly contagious.
Once I’m done with the project, I’ll post some pictures of it here.
Another project that was due this week was for Urbanism class. It was a lot of work, but so, so interesting. What we had to do was divide ourselves into eight different groups. Each group would be assigned a block inside a larger area of study to analyze. How to analyze it? Go all the way there and check it out! Literally what we had to do was go building to building, house to house, asking how old each establishment was, how many floors they had, how many apartments per floor, that kind of stuff. We discovered so many things by doing that, and met some really interesting people. I had more fun than I thought I would :) After that, we had to convert all that information and put it on several maps of the area, and all that jazz. So profesh haha.
I was selected by the government (along with thousands of other Brazilian citizens) to work during the elections this year. What happens is you get this really super official and scary letter saying “YOU HAVE BEEN SELECTED. NOT SHOWING UP MEANS YOU HAVE COMMITTED AN ELECTORAL CRIME. BLABLABLA. DO THIS. DO THAT. OBEY.”
WOOP WOOP. Yeah. I was really angry about this at first, but it was actually not that bad. Despite having to wake up at 6:00 a.m. on a SUNDAY to be ready to work at 7:00 a.m. all the way to 6:30 p.m., the whole thing ended up being kind of fun.
The people who are selected to work in the elections are called “mesários”. What we do is we are divided in thousands of groups, each assigned a voting room that’ll receive an average of 350 voters throughout the day. Our job is to make sure those voters, a) vote, b) sign the official booklet to confirm their vote, and c) that they get the “receipt” that proves they’ve voted in case they get called for by the law (because in Brazil it is mandatory to vote). Usually each mesário gets a distinct job, but in my room, we did a little bit of everything to make the day less boring. One person stays at the door, letting people in one by one, checking their documents to make sure they are who they say they are, that kind of stuff. The rest stay inside making sure people sign the official booklet, punching the people’s voter I.D.’s on the little machine so they can vote, and then handing them their receipts when they’re done. The entire time, we’re strictly forbidden to name any politician, and if anyone asks for help when they’re voting, we are only allowed to guide them through the process. If, say, they forget a candidate’s number, we are never, ever to inform them of anything, for we could be accused of forcing them to vote on someone, thus, committing an electoral crime.
I personally enjoyed staying at the door the most, because I could talk to the people in line and distract myself. Anyway, it was a long day, but totally doable.
I did mention this in a previous post but I’ll say it again: I started boxing this month! And God is it exhausting. But I don’t mind, because I’m getting super fit, which means I’ll be looking good for the summer! I was so out of shape!
In college, our professors are always encouraging us to explore the city, to go check out expos and interesting architecture or what not. My friends and I have been really trying to do that.
This week, we went to two cool places.
Kinoplex, in a neighborhood called Itaim, is a sort of open kind of street mall. It’s considered an important concept in architecture, because it’s all about making the ground level area of buildings open for the public. It’s what architects like Les Corbusier loved doing (Les Corbusier is quite an important figure in modern architecture). Anyway, so we went there to check that all out (me again, because I’d already been there). We ended up watching a movie called And So It Goes, which I’ll talk about later this week on Film Wednesday, but I’ll already say here that it is AMAZING. Loved it so much.
The other place we went to is what used to be the Matarazzo Hospital, located near Avenida Paulista, the most important street in São Paulo. There, several artists made use of the macabre, creepy feel of the abandoned, asylum-looking hospital to create quite a quirky expo. My friends and I expected a bit more from it, but it was still very interesting.
And that’s that. All those things took up a lot of time, so I took yet another break from blogging. But this week will be incredibly chill. I have no major assignments, and also, THERE IS NO CLASS ON WEDNESDAY. HELLZ YEAH. Such a relief, seriously.