Drafting a Dream House

 I always liked plans and lists and papers of that sort so when the opportunity arose in junior high to take a drafting class I signed up with all due haste. As it happened the drafting teacher was also the wood shop teacher so I had couple of classes with him. In drafting we learned the very basics and then he turned us loose on the coolest project I may have ever done in school to that point – we got to draft our dream house. That was the whole assignment for a couple of weeks was just to draw whatever ridiculous house we wanted and we would get credit. Well, a class full of thirteen and fourteen-year-old’s mostly just render grotesque monstrosities completely lacking in any design subtly or the basic provisions for indoor plumbing, heating or electricity. Actually that is not entirely true we all were issued a template of standard architectural symbols and one of them was a urinal. There is nothing more alluring to the mind of a young male designer than to pop a urinal in a alcove or nook somewhere near the entryway and also in the den. Our class was, with a single exception, all boys so once the idea was out in the air there was a urinal rush and I think most, if not all, of the final houses had one or ten. Many of the houses where designed to be build over a cliff, underwater, in mountains or any other of various James Bond villain domicile scenarios. The only grading criteria seemed to be nice legible lettering which would normally be my Achilles Heal but for a reason beyond my understanding when I focused on architectural stylized writing I had a decent hand. As a point of fact the one and only time I have been praised for my handwriting was when the teacher was looking for examples of perfectly rendered 6's and 9's and took one of my pages to show other kids how to make really good ones. It was one of my proudest moments. My finished house had a terrarium through the middle of it and a cavern room with a platform and a ramp that I was really proud of designing.