The Five Stages of Drafting

Once you see Technical Drawing on your program card, there’s no turning back. Here’s how you can brace yourself for what’s next.

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So you’ve chosen to take Technical Drawing as a second-term sophomore instead of waiting until your senior year. Good for you. You’ve already got a head start, since I can tell you don’t procrastinate. Once you finish celebrating the fact that you won’t have to spend hours running a fine-toothed comb through NetLogo bugs anymore, here’s what’s in store for you.


The first stage of Technical Drawing, more commonly known as drafting, is Denial. During this period (approximately one to two weeks) you will compare schedules with your peers, knowing full well that none of them will have the same period as you, if they’re even taking drafting, as they are all scholars and trying to get into APCS next year. “It can’t be as bad as they say,” you’ll tell yourself. “I’m going to love drafting.”


The second stage of drafting is Anger, which lasts approximately six weeks (one marking period). It is characterized by random fits of rage every time you encounter an array of neatly-gridded lines. You will be printing your name in one-eighth-inch capital letters all over your homework. All of the letters’ edges will have equal weight. Your math teacher will soon become very concerned. The pattern of bathroom tiles will cause you to lose your marbles. Nowhere is safe.


The third stage of drafting is Bargaining, at which point you will look up to the sky and beg for an answer from Our Father Contreras. This stage, which normally lasts for less than a day because the Program Office shuts you down as soon as you lift a finger, requires a fair amount of bravery and the possible sacrifice of the Stuyvesant-endorsed diploma you’ve been working so hard for.


At the start of the fourth stage of drafting, Depression, you will ask yourself, “What is the point of going on?” You will find yourself tearing your hair out over the difference between a quarter and an eighth of an inch. You will quickly learn how to instantly tell the difference between an oval and an isometric circle—and that that is the only thing you now know. As you replace the lead in your compass for the 17th time, you will feel the emptiness filling what once was your vibrant freshman soul.


The fifth and final stage of drafting is Acceptance (during the third marking period). This is the point of no return, characterized by cystic acne developing over hearing the words “AutoCAD” and “Drafting Final.” A frequent misconception is that the “Acceptance” stage means the victim is “okay” or is living life the way it was before they made the purchase of their drafting notebook. This is not true; instead, they have learned to deal with the reality of the situation, and will continue to slog through HB pencils until they receive their final report card.