It's about the journey

Just as you thought CSINext may have flat lined, it is still very much alive. We just had our November Chapter meeting and the next one is scheduled for January 19th. But I’m mainly writing this message to share a long journey that ends with “very good news”.

It was June 1988; I sat for the Architectural Registration Exam for the first time. I took Material & Methods and the Mechanical & Electrical Systems sections. Late October I received the results and had passed Mechanical & Electrical. It was a good start but more work and studying needed to be done. At the time in Arizona they spilt the nine part exam into two divisions. The Architect-In-Training (AIT) and Professional exams. The AIT was all of the multiple choice sections except for Construction Documents & Systems. With a five year time limit on passing, I needed to finish by 1993. I sat for the two Structures and Material & Methods the next couple of years. At the end of 1991 I had only passed two sections. Unemployed and trying to figure what is next. I left architecture to do software programming. This lasted for about a year and I found myself without work. Since there didn't appear to be any real opportunities in Phoenix, the family and I moved to Dallas.

Fast forward to 2002. After 10 years back in the architectural field my boss begins to push that I need to get licensed. I contact the state of Texas for an IDP application. At the same time I find my old file from Arizona. Looking at what is required to go through the IDP, I take a shot at calling the Arizona board of technical registration. As expected everything has expired and I need to fill out a new application. It took almost two years to collect all of the information and resubmit. From that point it is another six months to finalize all of the required details.

In late 2006 I finally get my candidate ID number to begin testing. Just at about the same time I got quite involved in CSI, and delay studying for almost a year. The news comes out that NCARB is changing the exam format. So I buckled down and began studying. I scheduled three sections, Construction Documents (I figured it was gimme since I just passed my CDT) Material & Methods and Mechanical & Electrical for April and May of 2008. The first results came in about three weeks later and I had passed. So that grandfathered me for the next year under the old format of the exam. While I was at the convention and an institute board meeting, I found out I pass the other two sections.

I had three down and five to go. So then I schedule my design vignettes about three weeks apart. The key was to pass the vignette Building Technology, otherwise the following June it would become 4 exams, basically starting all over. Good news was I passed it along with Site Planning. The long vignette Building Design was the first section I did not pass. Followed by both of the Structural sections, which I also did not pass. Then came second sitting six months later for Building Design, I knew I nailed it. And sure enough I received the passing letter for it. The only sections left were General Structures and Lateral Forces. But I got caught in the transition of 3.1 & 4.0. it took 5 months to get my new authorization number. And in October of 2009 I sat for the new Structures exam. The format was tough with fill in the blank and multiple guess. I didn't pass on the first try. So in the spring I took Thaddeus prep class at SMU, shortly followed by taking the exam a second time in April. The score was better with minor deficiencies in Lateral and Seismic, but once again, no go on the exam.

It was becoming frustrating, but in August I received yet another authorization letter. There was only one weekend free in October and the next option was late December. With only two more opportunities I could not pass up my October date. So I scheduled it for October 16th. The week of Thanksgiving rolled around and I still did not have the results. So in a brave move I called the State for the results. They had just received them from NCARB on Tuesday and I asked if it was good news or bad news. I was told it is very good news.

And now for something completely different…
In 1995, a National Aeronautics and Space Administration employee bought six plastic owls at Wal-Mart to protect the space shuttle from woodpeckers.

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Monday, 05 December 2022