How To Find The Best Interior Design Schools

In search of the best interior design schools to submit your applications to? A whole lot of variables help make up the high quality of a design training course, however if you are truly interested in checking out design schools standings, Design Intelligence Magazine, a monthly journal created through the Design Futures Council, has a yearly report of leading colleges in the areas of architecture along with interior design that are available to subscribing colleagues. Design Intelligence also publishes America’s Best Architecture & Design Schools, an advanced view of the best architecture colleges and also the best interior design schools and even applicable design training programs. Provided in this publication are interior design standings along with honors.

The very best interior design schools are receiving increasingly more application forms every year for admittance to their training programs which explains why the subject is so very competitive.

Currently there are lots of students making an application for a single position in a training course which might be limited in overall size stemming from very little staff members along with very little room. Besides, there are such large numbers of gifted participants that it typically depends on their student portfolios which usually show just what was undertaken in high school or perhaps trade school.

The best schools are normally those that have by far the most graduates and also the most impressive employment rank upon completion of training programs. Obviously it can be hard to get access to this specific content because it is generally thought to be private, nevertheless you will certainly notice high scoring institutions bragging about their graduating rank and this is often the best way to discover a really good university.

Usually the best schools aren’t only going to concentrate on the primary competencies required to do a job. They’re going to have a lot of mandatory programs that can help equip you for coping with the corporate environment for example like business values, marketing strategies, drawing plus much more. Most of these colleges are a lot like conventional four-year schools since you are likely to take requirement training courses such as sketching as well as color theory in order to take the key instructional classes in your desired concentration.

Non-academic criteria definitely play a huge role in selecting the best interior design schools for your needs.

Excellent colleges traditionally also give you internships or perhaps job positions at design companies, that would give you important on-the-job practical knowledge, and this also really should always be explored by every potential college student. The interior design college’s amenities together with services that will be supplied to college students for their use ought to absolutely factor into a future scholar’s choice when attempting to identify the best interior design schools.

Sharp applicants understand that selecting the very best institution for their requirements demands thoughtful deliberation as well as a great deal of study. Although submitted rankings of the very best interior design schools is often a very good place to begin, many other essential aspects really should be given equal contemplation.

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iPad Calculators: Soulver Vs Digits Calculator

Digits Calculator and Soulver are basic calculators designed for the everyday use. I use “basic” categorically as both calculators are nothing but basic. Both apps offer unique features and capabilities that will make your life much easier and more productive.

With all the free calculators found in Apple’s app store, I thought long and hard whether it was worth it to pay money for a basic calculator but I found both Digits Calculator and Soulver to be indispensable once installed. Digits Calculator is $1.99 and Soulver for iPad is $5.99. For most people I recommend getting Digits Calculator over Soulver even though the latter has more robust features. Digits Calculator is better for someone who wants a simple and quick calculator. Soulver is more for the person who is does complex planning. Having purchased both apps; I actually use Soulver more often but in my humble opinion Digits Calculator is the better of the two for most consumers.

Digits Calculator for iPad + iPhone

Digits Calculator by Shift Apps combines a large, user friendly calculator with a tape. As you enter your calculations Digits Calculator keeps track of your entries and calculations on a digital tape, much like a receipt when you go shopping. If you make a mistake you can easily go back and correct it with Digits Calculator. Simply tap on any entry you previously made and enter the correct data. All the totals are automatically recomputed! Digits Calculator also allows other editing features for your tape. You can insert a new calculation in between previous entries, copy, add a label, and comment on your entries. Once you are finished with your calculations, your tapes can be printed, saved as a file, and emailed.

Soulver for iPad

Layout &Usability

Soulver by Acqualia is one of the few calculator apps that take advantage of the iPad’s unique features and large screen size. Soulver for iPad combines a calculator with a notepad allowing you to solve complex calculations seamlessly.

Soulver supports both landscape and portrait mode. No matter which screen orientation you choose, you will find the Soulver screen layout much like that of a French Door Refrigerator. The bottom of the screen has the input panel where you can switch between a QWERTY keyboard, special functions, and a calculator pad. The upper region of the iPad screen is divided into two panels. The larger left hand panel is used to write out your calculations and the right hand panel displays the answers instantly. Soulver also keeps a running total of all the lines in the bottom. This makes keeping track of expenses for bathroom remodeling or planning your budget for the next vacation seamless.

Soulver is like doing math on paper as your work is visible at all times. With Soulver you can go back and change any line. Soulver is unique in that it allows you to use words alongside your numbers, so your calculations actually make sense. The App does not execute calculations based on the words you type; words are just an optional reminder and commenting feature that helps you remember what numbers go with what calculation. (For example, Concert tickets was $25 x 3 )


Soulver automatically saves your work and allows you to create files for each set of calculations. This allows you to switch from planning this month’s budget to planning next year’s vacation within a few taps of the iPad. Because the developer created Mac and iPhone versions of Soulver, you can sync with other Apple devices.

Advanced Features

Some of the unique features are that Soulver can convert currencies and manipulate percentages simpler with 14 dedicated functions. In addition there are 14 percentages functions so you can easily calculate sales tax, tips, take discounts, and more.

Scientific Functions & Variables

While it is not a dedicated scientific calculator, Soulver does have complex functions you can use. Soulver includes log, square root, factorial, mod, trigonometric functions (sin, cos, tan, etc.) and more. In addition, the app allows you to solve for variables.

Programming Factions

If you are a computer programmer or computer engineer, you will love Soulver as it supports HEX and Binary conversions and calculations.

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15 Motivational Songs For Overcoming Obstacles

Motivational songs for overcoming obstacles are BIG songs. Packed with motivational messages and power-filled orchestration they are the kind that get you up and going at the gym even though you are tired. They are the ones we hear at the game when there are a few seconds left on the clock and the score is tied. They are the songs used in television and film in musical montages when the lead character finally faces his challenge and proceeds despite the opposition.

Motivational songs for overcoming obstacles are important because they uplift, inspire and, excite. A steady “diet” of them can keep you feeling confident, strong, and ready to take on the world. They are so effective, they’ve even supported whole movements that brought about great social and political change.

Like the US civil rights movement. A whole assortment of leading artists of time wrote and produced some of the most motivational songs for overcoming obstacles ever. Everyone from James Brown to The Jacksons contributed to this rich body of music that serves as the soundtrack for the advancement of colored people everywhere.

1. “We Shall Overcome” sung by Mahalia Jackson is the most popular protest song that became the key anthem for the US civil rights movement.

2. “Wade in the Water” sung by the Fisk Jubilee Singers is a song that many internet sources and popular books claim to contain explicit instructions to fugitive slaves on how to avoid capture and the route to take to successfully make their way to freedom.

3. “Pick a Bale of Cotton” by Leadbelly is work song that was sung by workers to coordinate timing to pick a bale (480 lbs.) of cotton.

4. “Say it Loud, I’m Black and I’m Proud” by James Brown is notable both as one of Brown’s signature songs and as one of the most popular “black power” anthems of the 1960s.

5. “Lift Every Voice and Sing” sung by Kim Weston and written by James Weldon Johnson, was named the Black National Anthem and became the official song of the NAACP.

6. “We’re a Winner” by The Impressions was written and produced by Curtis Mayfield and was a #1 song of the black pride movement.

7. “Redemption Song” by Bob Marley is considered Marley’s most important piece of work, with lyrics derived from a speech given by the Pan-Africanist leader Marcus Garvey.

8. “Can You Feel It” by The Jacksons was written by Michael and Jackie Jackson on their album Triumph and was an international chart-topper in 1981.

9. “Aint No Stoppin Us Now” by McFadden and Whitehead is a celebratory song to honor black achievements, and became a number #1 hit selling over 2 million copies.

10. “Fight the Power” by The Isley Brothers is a protest funk song from 1975 that inspired Public Enemy to release a hip-hop version of their own in the late 1980’s.

11. “Man in the Mirror” by Michael Jackson is one of Jackson’s most critically-acclaimed songs that hit number one and was re-released in the UK after his death.

12. “Fight the Power” by Public Enemy serves as the political statement of purpose for the group and is their biggest single.

13. “Jesus Walks” by Kanye West was not only on of his most popular songs, but was well-received by music critics who praised “its compelling sonic atmosphere and boldness in its open embracement of faith”.

14. “Hold On” by Wyclef is the Haitian-born musician’s plea fans to support his non-profit organization and help the victims of the Haitian earthquake by texting ‘YELE’ to 501501.

15. “Move On Up” sung by Beninoise singer-songwriter Agelique Kidjo also features Bono and John Legend is a motivational song used to uplift the people of Africa. Although, it was originally written and performed by Curtis Mayfield in 1970, several other well-known artists released subsequent versions that are equally motivating.

So stand up and get ready to get motivated to overcome obstacles. This playlist is empowering no matter what color you are. It will touch you, resonate with you at your core, and make you MOVE! The legacy of this music lives on.

Any obstacles in your way? Just, let the beat and the rhythm set the pace and allow the message in the music help you over and above all obstacles that come your way…

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How To Use Google Finance To Track Stocks

Tracking the stocks you have invested in is important if you want to realize continued success in the stock market. If you effectively track your stocks, you be able to make sound decisions suppose you want to make any investment changes. Several websites are available that can assist you in doing this. Some of these are the NASDAQ website, Yahoo! Finance, and Google Finance. This article focuses on the Google Finance, which provides adequate information for tracking the performance of stocks.

After signing up for Google Finance account, on the front page, you will see a chart giving a summary of how the market performed that day. This is a good place you can use for gauging the overall trend of the market. It is worth mentioning that if you have any type of tool that tracks the performance of the market, you may just stop at the front page. This page also has links to articles of some important news for the day.

If you scroll down the page, you will find that the performance of various sectors of the stock market is also included. This can assist you in having a quick glance at how your preferred sector performed for the day. For example, if you have bought stocks in the technology sector, you will be able to assess very fast how the sector is performing over time.

In any case you want to check the performance of an individual stock, you will type the ticker symbol for the stock or the name of the company in the search bar, and you will be directed to a page containing all the information you need. For instance, if you are looking for information concerning Google, you will type GOOG (stock symbol) in the search bar and you will get all the details you require about that stock.

The page of the stock you need information on has a lot of beneficial details. Primarily, the page has information on the stock price and how it was traded that day. You will know whether the value of the stock is either increasing or decreasing. Furthermore, you will also know essential information about the company. For example, you will know its number of shares and the EPS. In summary, this page gives all information about the stock in one place, and this makes it invaluable for tracking the performance of online stocks on the internet.

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Medical Billing Codes – How They Work

Medical coding is the process in which medical coders assign numerical codes to medical diagnoses and procedures in order to bill insurance companies for reimbursement for healthcare services.

For medical billing and coding, there are three main coding manuals, which contain all of the possible codes that a medical coder can include on a claim for reimbursement. They are:

• ICD-10: International Classification of Diseases, 10th Revision, which refer to diagnosis codes.

• CPT: Current Procedural Terminology, which refer to procedures and services performed on the patient.

• HCPCS: Healthcare Common Procedural Coding System, which refers to the rest of the miscellaneous supplies and medicines supplied to the patient in the healthcare setting.

Coders combine these three sets of codes on insurance claims and then send them to insurance companies for reimbursement. Here’s what they’re used for:

• ICD-10 diagnosis codes are used to explain to the insurance company why the patient came in for healthcare services.

For example, the code J02.9 represents the diagnosis pharyngitis, or sore throat. When the coder places the code J02.9 on the medical claim, it tells the insurance company that the patient was seen because they were complaining of a sore throat.

• CPT, or procedure, codes, tell the insurance company what procedures were performed on the patient on the day that they were seen.

For example, the code 99213 is used to represent a typical office visit. When the coder includes the code 99213 on the claim, it tells the insurance company that the medical provider performed a mid-range office visit.

• HCPCS, or supply codes, are used to represent all of the other miscellaneous services or supplies given to a patient on the day they were seen.

These codes are not always included on a claim form because they include supplies or other services that are not included in the CPT book, such as ambulance transportation or durable medical equipment.

Medical providers only bill for CPT and HCPCS codes because they represent actual services and supplies given to the patient.

Each code is given an individual charge, and is separately reimbursed by the insurance company. This means that providers don’t bill for and insurance companies won’t pay for diagnosis codes.

Due to the nature of medical coding, it is easy to accidentally (or purposely) code for the wrong things. This is considered fraud or abuse and is a very serious offense, which can be punishable by fines and even jail time.

Because of this, it’s important for coders to create safeguards against medical coding fraud and abuse.

A good education in medical terminology and proper coding also helps the coding process go much more quickly and allows coders to manage more clients.

Usually, doctors code for their own claims, but medical coders have to check the codes to make sure that everything is billed for and coded correctly. In some settings, medical coders will have to translate patient charts into medical codes.

The information recorded by the medical provider on the patient chart is the basis of the insurance claim. This means that doctor’s documentation is extremely important, because if the doctor does not write everything in the patient chart, then it is considered never to have happened.

Furthermore, this data is sometimes required by the insurer in order to prove that treatment was reasonable and necessary before they make a payment.

Often, the doctor or hospital will have a pre-determined set of commonly reported codes, called a superbill, or encounter form. This is a billing form that includes all of the commonly reported diagnosis and procedure codes used in the office.

This helps the doctor and medical coder report the correct codes. This complex medical billing software allows the medical biller to send the claims directly to the insurance companies.

Insurance companies base their payments on the codes they receive from the medical provider.

The codes reported tell the insurance company which treatments were performed on the date of service, the day the doctor saw the patient. The insurance reviews the codes and the patient’s benefits, and determines the payment amount.

The codes reported also allow the insurance company to quickly deny payment based on treatments that are not covered. Insurance companies will also deny claims if they are not coded correctly, according to the rules of the ICD-10, CPT, and HCPCS manuals.

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The Superficial Expectations of Music and Art

Some individuals mistakenly believe that the sole purpose of music is to either cheer up or relax people. This is a rather superficial and airy-fairy misconception about music and art in general.

It is often said that art and music nourish the human soul. This is true. But it is sustenance that creates nourishment, not the sugarcoating. Human beings, by nature, have a complexity of thoughts, emotions and feelings. The purpose of aesthetics is not to put one into a blissful la-la land of fluffy bunnies, sunshine and rainbows. It is to impart a message and create interaction between the artist and the listener or viewer. This may include even being provocative or dark. It includes whatever it includes to communicate a message at an aesthetic level, which is the closest level to the human essence. The communication is a true one; it goes deep; it impinges; it doesn’t scrape the surface.

The point is not whether or not an art or musical piece creates happy, uplifting moods. It’s whether or not it communicates and causes interaction with the viewer or listener, thus imparting some sort of message. And this can consult a variety of moods, tones, feelings, emotions, etc. But the thing is that whatever the mood, tone, feeling, emotion, etc., it is all done at the aesthetic level, that higher level carrier wave that hits home to the human soul. THAT is what is truly nourishes the human soul.

Tchaikovsky’s Symphony No. 6 “Pathétique” has a haunting melancholy that can deeply evoke the listener. It isn’t musical “comfort food” intended to lull one to sleep. Hieronymus Bosch’s “The Garden of Earthly Delights” painting is not meant as a décor piece like an armchair, aquarium or flower arrangement. It is meant to provoke thoughts and feelings, daring to tackle otherworldly and surrealistic themes. On the other hand, imagine a dramatic movie portraying Jesus Christ tranquil and smiling during his crucifixion while impaled and bleeding. It would be quite depthless, not to mention ludicrous.

And a human being is not depthless. We are sophisticated, sentient and aware beings. We are not superficial by our true inherent nature. Yet some of us have been degraded with false ideas perpetrated by our society into considering that we are. We are capable of a much higher level of communication and confronting of life and the universe. And music, art and other forms of aesthetics are means by which to help elevate us to higher levels of existence.

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Connection – The Engine That Drives the Baseball Swing

One of the most difficult aspects of learning the rotational swing is developing and understanding what almost all instructors term as staying “Connected”. 10 years ago hanging around the baseball and softball fields this term was a virtual unknown among most coaches and instructors.

So, what is connection? Why do I need to stay connected coach? As children we grow up and our intuition tells us that when we pick something up be it a fly swatter, a yard stick, or even a little toy hammer like dads and we swing it, we take our hands to the object we are hitting. This is natural instinct for all young humans. Even if it is the coffee table we just left a mark on and Mom and Dad don’t have a happy look on their face. Learning connection is counter intuitive to what all of us have learned as children.

In the world of the rotational swing connection is the engine that drives the ball hard. You will hear all kinds of debates on the internet web blogs and sites on linear and rotational hitting methods. Even among those rotational purest there is debate about which method is best. None of those purest ever debates about connection. It is probably the single thing that they all realize has to happen in the rotational swing.

So how does connection work and how do I know if I am connected in my swing? As the hitter sets up in their stance lets assume that they are in a good athletic position and that they have the bat in position ready to take a swing. They are tilted forward in their stance knees slightly bent. Bat is positioned at a 45 degree angel in their hands or across the ear hole of the helmet. In short cutting the helmet in half if your viewing them from their back arm side. Or the catchers view of the hitter.

Depending on where you’re at as an instructor with that particular hitter, they might take a stride, or they might not take a stride. One of the first things I do to a new student that comes to me is stopping the stride for a period of time. I do this to help them develop better rotation methods for the swing. Most students who come to me suffer from what a good friend of mine terms “Rotational deficit”. If you take the stride away and teach them how to rotate first then you will see immediate results in quickness and power to the ball. This, in my opinion, not only applies to Rotational hitting but Linear hitting as well. Having taught and used both methods I feel pretty comfortable in that statement.

Now I have a hitter that has good hitting posture and decent rotational skills but is disconnected going to the ball. Disconnection takes on many forms in the rotational swing. I will touch on those a little further down in this article. For now I will state that Disconnection is leak that breaks the rotational engine. It bleeds off power.

As the hitter initiates the swing to the ball they are focused on the first point where they are going to see the ball. I have heard many a coach state watch the hip. That view being the first point of getting a good clear look at the ball. As they initiate the swing they go to toe touch. This creates linear movement towards the ball. At the same time the hands are moving back towards the catcher.

(I am talking about an advanced student in this example) At foot plant the back hip fires (As I teach it) against a firm front side flexed leg. The knob of the bat then initiates the movement of the bat as the hips and the bodies’ core start to rotate. The core of the body is now driving the swing. This is THE engine of the rotational swing. As the back arm starts coming around with the rotation the arm starts moving around into the slot. The arm needs to be away from the body and the hand and forearm are stacked on top of each other. If viewed from front with a tee in front of the hitter, the rear arm would be parallel to the tee. This would be as another hitting instructor who is a good friend of mine describes it. When the bat gets parallel to the ground during the swing this is the Bat Lag position.

At this point in the swing the knob of the bat should be directly perpendicular to the axis of the hitters spine. If I stopped the swing right there and took a pencil and placed in on the knob of the bat pointing towards the hitter it should be in line with the belly button. This defines a CONNECTED swing. The arms are not moving but are just holding on to the bat letting the core rotation drive the swing into contact. The other key here is holding that position as LONG as possible during the rotational portion of the swing into contact. The barrel and weight of the bat force the wrist to un-cock creating a whipping effect through the hitting zone into contact with the ball. The engine of rotation combined with the batter being connected and the wrist un-cocking is how the best hitters in the world drive the ball hard in today’s game.

Disconnection – The Engine Breakers

There are many things that can occur during the course of the swing that will cause a batter to disconnect or break the box as some instructors call it. The “Box” being the front arm angle that maintains a “Set” position with the bat over the shoulder. When viewed from the front of the hitter it would appear as if they have a box formed with their arm and the bat.

They are:

  • Taking the hands to the ball.
  • Dropping the back elbow to the inside (Close to the body) as a first move creating Bat Drag.
  • Dropping the hands then going to the ball.
  • The bat not being parallel to the shoulders at contact with the ball (Created by all the above)
  • Casting the hands.
  • Throwing the front shoulder open too soon.

I hope this article has given you a better idea of what the term connection means in the context of the rotational swing. I strongly suggest you see a qualified hitting instructor to help you become better connected with your swing so that you too can learn to drive the ball hard to all parts of the field. That is what connection is all about in the rotational swing.

This picture shows an example of a connected swing. Arms are in the power L position and are driven by the core rotation. The bat at contact is on a slightly upward swing plane.

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The Minimalist Millennial – How to Save Money After You've Done the Obvious

Do you feel strapped, no money for fun, or for loved ones, or for new things, even though you have a job? Does it feel like you've done everything, but you're facing austerity from now on?

Now wait, maybe it's not that bad. Is there waste you haven't noticed, though you've cut back on lattes and take lunch to work? In 3 years, even being careful, my pockets still have holes in them.

Where do you look next? To start, do you believe that 'You get what you pay for'? Fillet minion tastes better than hamburger, an heirloom tomato does too. Does this project universally, to clothes, cleaning products, perfumes, activities? Maybe- it's time to reassess your views.

Take clothes. Walking into that expensive / trendy store, you pay for the convenience, like those cute blue handbags in the mall window. Next season, on clearance, that look's old. Value shoppers know – the basics, black, white, navy, tan, maroon-and what looks good on you, never go out of style. For the season's color, one belt or scarf should do.

And what about shopping in places not chic? While visiting the upscale area of ​​my city, with a friend from out of town, we were waiting for the art movie theater to open. We stopped to browse at a posh boutique next door. As my friend and I sifted through racks of $ 100 t-shirts in disbelief, the employee made small talk. She commented 'I love your sandals'. They were from Walmart.

Which brings up the point, will people know if that snazzy shirt / pants / shoes is from Walmart etc, if you pair it with something expensive, unless they shop there? And what about the Goodwill, the one that services an expensive area? Finding a $ 1000 Ralph Lauren suit for $ 7, another friend said he gets compared to James Bond, certainly for that British cut. And garage sales in affluent areas-the heck with vintage stores!

Now proceed to what you eat. Do you shop upmarket healthy food stores? I buy organic produce, shampoo and supplements at some- but I don't buy everything there! I've met people who look down on Aldi, but I also know bodybuilders and yoga teachers shopping there. A non-profit group called the Environmental Working Group publishes two lists, 'the dirty dozen' about produce loaded with pesticides, the other 'the clean 15' in which you can safely buy conventionally.

Eating simply saves too. A crock pot of beans for cheese burritos, omelets, veggies steamed garnished with butter and parmesan, or a Costco cooked chicken and fresh fruit for dessert are easy and healthy.

And natural cleaning products cost pennies. Baking soda, vinegar, lemon juice and hydrogen peroxide serve surprising purposes. For instance, mixing vinegar and dishwashing soap, left for a ½ hour, really cleans that filthy fiberglass tub. And a vinegar soaked paper towel replaces artificially scented dryer sheets. No need for harsh expensive chemicals.

And lastly, for entertainment, what gives you a good time? Is it a novel experience, a chance to escape, a challenge? In examining my life, what I remember about travels, the events, the spectacles are not what I was witnessing as much as the people. What did I learn from them, impart to them? How did we react together that made me feel a part of a larger world?

Connection, how do you generate it? The answer, largely forgotten, you get it by giving -, not a tit for tat, you give of yourself generously. Organizing a games or a movie night at home for friends is inexpensive. The games serve as icebreakers, the right movie starts conversations. Becoming an organizer in a club or a meetup, helps create community.

By varying my consumer habits, I afford quality. I buy steaks and enjoy travel with careful planning. Can you do it? Ask yourself, for each thing you buy, if there's a cheaper but equal alternative? Save where you can, so that you can spend where you need to, and you just might find- that you can afford a rich and satisfying lifestyle too.

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Architecture Degree – Why You Shouldn’t Study

Architecture is a wonderful thing. We all use it, see it and interact with it every day, whether it be in our homes or the spaces we work and play in. Great architecture drives passion, awe and marvel in those that see it, inspires those that use it and brings security to those within it. We live in it, work in it, eat in it, play, move interact and experience in it. It’s through our relationships with the buildings and spaces (and partly due to Kevin McCloud) that our collective love affair with architecture grows, and every year the number of students wishing to pursue a career in architect increases.

Today, I want to try and convince the majority of those applying to university to study architecture not to bother. If architecture is your passion, your life long dream and ultimate goal, then read something else on habitables. If you’re on the fence and feeling over inspired by Kirstie Allsopp, then read on for our 10 reasons you should NOT study architecture.

We aren’t party animals, you’d be better off studying Law

The architecture student is a special breed of human being, they have to be to make it through years of late night/early morning study sessions, with only the dream of late night/early morning work sessions that pay to get them through university. If you enjoy a good social life, go do something easy like dentistry, cos quite frankly, you wont have time to socialise and fraternise whilst studying architecture (even if you do manage to find a free moment, we predict it’ll be impossible to find a class mate who isn’t catching up on last months sleep).

Brutalism isn’t a sex fetish

If you don’t know your Wright from your Foster, your Khan from your Ando, and you think functionalism comes standard on your iPhone, this isn’t for you. Architecture is about being completely and utterly absorbed in the built environment, understanding the great masters and their masterpieces. If you’ve learnt everything you know from Grand Designs, you’d be better off finding some other course.

Because you’re not on Grand Designs, and probably never will be

I LOVE Grand Designs, I just don’t think it should be the main reason one goes to study architecture. Grand Designs is about exactly that, grandeur, its special work, worthy of being on TV. the majority of architects don’t work on one off original works such as those featured, a lot of life as an architect is about hard work on smaller projects that require just as much attention as if you were designing the Empire State Building. I know it’s inevitable that after watching James Bond 95% of the male population dream of going to spy school – they soon realise they’d suck as a spy, clever boys.

I’m here to learn, why the hell are YOU here?

Attending tutorials shouldn’t feel like the morning commute; too many people, most of them smelly and hungover reading the metro. It’s meant to be inspiring, a chance to learn and interact with like minded people with a love for architecture (and an addiction to sleep suppressant drinks). The last thing any dedicated student wants is to listen to is the story of how you puked all over your sheets, which were subsequently eaten by your dog. Being an architecture student is hard enough without the distractions of the class idiot, GO AWAY.

Thanks to you, my tutors a tool

Thanks to all the drunks attending (or not attending but joining the course) the universities are taking on more staff to handle the increase in the students. Super? Not really. All tutors are not created equal, and unfortunately for every great tutor you encounter, you meet a couple of misguided souls intent on highlighting the construction qualities of cheese (true story). The less students means the retention of quality teaching and the trimming of staff fat. Please, no one should have to be taught by a man who believes its OK to leave final crits in the middle to go get coffee… bastard.

We are angry people, it’s the red bull man

Maybe that was slightly harsh, but by the end of the year, the architecture student body is made up of young people with a dangerous reliance to caffeine drinks, and tempers fray very easily. Seriously though, it is a really trying period in any architects career. The long hours, constant criticism and lack of sunlight lead to a collection of people on their last legs. Don’t take the decision to study architecture likely, its a serious commitment, and if you’re in, its all the way or not at all.

Can anyone spell bankruptcy?

My debt level for studying so far stands at just under £25,000, that’s a lot of money. It is however a debt I’m ok with having as it’s helped me to get to where I am. I’d sure hate to have that debt and nothing to show for it. The beautiful thing about debt is its not prejudice in the slightest. It doesn’t care if you graduated or not, it doesn’t care that you hated it and didn’t really want to be there. Debt will burden you no matter your reasons. Before you sign on that line,ask yourself: is this what you want, what you really really want?

Architects drive Mondeos’, not Mercedes’

It’s a well known fact among architects that the pay in our industry sucks. The only people who aren’t aware of this fact is everyone else. If you’re studying to be an architect because you think it will bring you a fortune, then you’re in for a shock. Architects reach their peak earning potential between the ages of 55-59, up until then you’ll earn a good, respectable wage, but it probably won’t compare to the lawyers, bankers and doctors you work for. Architects do it for the love of it, didn’t you know that?

When it’s all said and done, architecture is a passionate industry, full of dedicated individuals with drive and ambition. If you want to be an architect, welcome aboard. If however you’re being drawn in like a moth to a lamp, turn away, save yourself – this career will swallow you up and spit you out before you know it, and you’ll owe a lot of money for the privilege.

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5 Jobs to Fill to Build Your Website

Once you have a plan to build a website, you need professional help to develop the site. The range of computer professions is as wide as the range of medical professions. It is as unreasonable to expect one person to know everything about computers as it is to expect your podiatrist to do brain surgery.

One decision that will affect your developer choice is whether your site will be static or dynamic. In a static site, someone builds each page on the site. In a dynamic site, pages have a basic template and then programming fills in the content. For example, there are no developers sitting at Google creating each search page you ask for. There is a basic template for the search results and programming takes the results from a database, makes the page and sends it back to the viewer. One of the most common types of website programming is a shopping cart. The more your site depends on programming, the more important the role of the programmer is.

The following job descriptions will help you look for people with the skills you need.

Web Designer/Developer: a web designer is in charge of “look and feel”, page flow and how easy your site is for viewers to use (user interface.) Many designers have a background in creating print brochures, which is a very different environment from the web. Go to the websites the designer has designed. Check a) how appealing they are, b) how well they fit within their market, c) how comfortable they are to use.

The web designer may just produce a layout image, instead of a website. In that case, you will need a web developer to take the design and turn it into a web page structure. The designer has the graphic art and layout skills and the web developer has the technical skills to turn the design into a website.

If you are very new to owning a website, your designer may also act as a project manager to help you decide what you need to have on your website and manage the project until it is completed. This may include writing a development plan for your website, which discusses your market, what is unique about your company, what pages your site should have, special features for your website, and long term marketing and maintenance.

Copywriter: No matter how great the design is, without text about your product or service, the developer cannot finish the site. The development of many sites has been abandoned or held up because the developer was waiting for words to put on the pages.

Writing for web pages is somewhat different than writing for a printed page. It is more difficult to read a computer screen than a printed page. Viewers also have different expectations from websites than from printed materials. Paragraphs generally need to be shorter and simpler.

If you don’t already have written materials, or if you don’t like to write (or you don’t write well), you may need to hire a copywriter to create your online text. Again, read samples from the copywriter’s work to make sure that the writing is well-written and interesting.

Graphic Artist/Photographer: your web designer may not have the skills to create logos, specific icons and illustrations for your website. In fact, your web designer is more like a layout artist that takes pieces and creates a unified look and an overall plan. If your web designer isn’t an illustrator, you may need to have a graphic artist create the specific elements the designer needs for the site.

Bad photos make a bad website. You can make bad photos better, but you can never make them great. There is nothing that can replace high quality photos for your website. Having a professional photographer is the best solution, but, if you are going to take your own photos, take photography courses and learn how lighting and perspective affect how people interpret your photos.

Programmer: special website features, such as a shopping cart, online gallery, forms, etc are created with databases and programming. This is a skill beyond static web structure, and requires programming skills. There may already be software written that will match your needs, or that can be customized to fill your needs, but you may still need a programming to find that software or install it.

If the programming on your website is very extensive, your programmer should also offer to create a software plan. It is very expensive to make major changes to programming; so, the more nitty-gritty items you figure out ahead of time, the more you will save in the long run. Watch for upcoming articles specifically about web programming.

Webmaster: this is the person who keeps your site going after it is built. When you need a new page added, a photo switched, prices changed, etc., that is the task of the webmaster. If your webmaster is contract labor, instead of an employee, you need to keep in mind that that person has other clients. Your work may be put on a list and not be done for several weeks. The best thing you can do is have someone on staff, who has the training to make those urgent changes that can’t wait.

Plan to spend a couple of hours conversing with each of the people you are considering. Those conversations will help you understand both the person’s knowledge and more about the construction process of your website.

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