(That actually implies a little more dread than I'm comfortable admitting, and doesn't reveal any of the anticipation I also feel.)
The anticipation has played itself out all summer in voracious reading. I started with some histories of philosophy (Sophie's World, Delacampagne's A History of Philosophy in the 20th Century) in order to more intelligently ground my thinking about my work; and also to lend that thinking a more global and general context than just an architectural read. Also picked up Abraham Maslow's Behavior and Motivation; being a long, long-standing fan of his 'hierarchy', it seemed like now was a good time to delve deeper into his work. Not sure I could have picked a more appropriate work, as far as an intersection between my personal and professional lives; also not sure how I'll incorporate it into my actual work, but I'm finding it fantastically illuminating.
The reading has been deep, dense, and appropriately confusing/helpful. I also wanted to take this time to up the oomph on my representation techniques by working on technical skills, so I've spent a lot of time going through video tutorials and self-created practice exercises. I watched a mix of series and independent productions; of the former, I found lynda.com's tutorial blogger Deke McClelland and his Deke's Techniques and architect Alex Hogrefe's blog the most informative. Below are some of the tests I worked through. Next step is to go back through my own old work and apply what I've learned to real?-world samples.
All things considered, I'm looking forward to thesis work. I'm excited about finding topics to study in-depth, about finding solutions, and about synthesizing all of this with representation. This reminds me more than a little of how I felt just before starting kindergarten: I'm not sure what's coming, but bring it on!