Today was the second day of FORUM 2008 in Denver. Each night features a keynote speaker and election and business matters. As the VP of our Iowa State chapter, and the only ISU member attending the conference, I am participating in the Council of Presidents, which met this morning and will meet again Thursday to elect the next leaders of the organization. Today was the college and career fair expo with reps from a number of architecture grad schools around the country, a few, mostly, local firms, as well as a few professional organizations and businesses. I had the opportunity to speak to a few firms and visit some offices in Denver with the FORUM “Firm Crawl” today. I also stopped by two other neat firms on my own.

I’ve been commuting into the downtown for the conference each day from Castle Rock, south of the metro, where I’ve been staying with my brother’s family. I’m taking the RTD light rail from the County Line park-n-ride near my brother’s workplace up to downtown. Initially I found the numerous lines confusing since the majorities of each line are shared along the I-25 corridor (each different line has a slightly different terminus), but it is certainly easy enough to figure out.

From County Line, second to last stop on the E,F, and G lines, takes about 35 minutes to get downtown, and so far has not been too crowded. The ride is pretty comfortable, though the seats aren’t very easy to sit on for that long. My only major complaint, though understandable, is the high transit fare. $4 one way from County Line to downtown (spanning four fare zones) – soon to increase to $4.50 in January. So I am spending quite a bit of cash on transit this week.

I took the #32 bus from downtown to a firm office about 30 blocks away – on a 40 foot Orion V. The bus was pretty clean and comfortable, with padded seats. One way fare on local buses is $1.75; $2 beginning in January.

All in all it’s been good so far and the contacts I’ve made should be helpful in landing an internship this summer – especially with the economic downturn where unfortunately many architects are facing layoffs. Check back for more updates.