Art Life

12 Sufficitary

In 1999 we went on a school trip and I saw architectural models by Jože Plečnik. Some of them were never built, only dreamt. Here was fantasy made wood, and sometimes stone and glass and steel. I was seventeen and I wanted very much to be an architect.

Father got wind of this. Not surprising, since I was excited and voluble. One evening he took me to a restaurant in a nearby village for dinner. He treated me like a grownup and I felt very important. I got a glass of wine. Grownup, like I said.

“Architecture is a sufficitary profession. You should choose something with superior career prospects.”

I was crushed.

The school psychologist’s surname could translate as “Ruminator” or “Thinker”. She didn’t ask anything beyond what her official tables and charts told her.

“You score highly in most fields. You should be a lawyer. Lawyers earn a lot of money.”

I was revolted.

In the end, I chose the college with the hardest entrance requirements in Slovenia. I assumed that meant it had to be good, though I wasn’t excited. At least, if it’s so hard to get into, it can’t be sufficitary, right?

In 2001 I entered my second year of international relations and could have wept. Where did it lead? Nowhere I wanted to go. I was nineteen and wanted very much to change my major to architecture.

Father got wind of this. Not surprising, since I was sad and depressed. One evening he took me to a restaurant for dinner. Before the food came, the glasses of wine came.

“I will not allow my son to be a quitter. If you abandon your major, I am cutting you off. I will no longer support you in any way, financially or otherwise.”

I was broken.

In 2005 I graduated with an MA in international relations. My thesis was nominated for an award. I felt old and grey and worn out. I knew one thing: I would never work in this field.

Thank you, Father.

P.S. – Sufficitary is a bullshit word.

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