It’s scary when I think of how much time has passed since I graduated college. It feels like a century has passed yet it’s only been a year and a half. But at the same time it feels like just yesterday I was sitting in my screenwriting class listening to creativity pour from all angles, or standing behind camera one and focusing, or editing my college thesis video for hours upon hours. It’s crazy how when you sit back and reflect… the things you remember…or the things that never really left your mind in the first place.
There are four major lessons I still hold dear from four separate professors.
The first comes from my digital media professor, who was also someone I would consider my mentor.
Every time she used to ask the class if she could showcase some of our work. We’d all just kind of sit in silence looking around at each other nodding “no” ferociously. And she would laugh and say “You’re all a bunch of Emily Dickinson-s” This was also the same professor who gave me the push I needed to put two of my pieces in two of our school’s small film festivals where our peers and faculty could view them.
She would always say this, and I never really understood why until I realized it was because Emily Dickinson was very private about her poetry and seldom let it go public. It wasn’t until after she died that she was greatly praised.
The second comes from my tv studio professor.
Very early on he told us “I will ruin television for you.”
I looked at him and laughed saying “Oh I don’t think you will, I love tv too much, no one could ever ruin it for me.”
But I was wrong.
I now understand what he meant.
For most of my life I’ve watched tv as a viewer. Being absorbed by the story and it’s characters and just enjoying it.
But now I watch as a creator, a writer, a storyteller, an editor, a camera person, a director.
I find myself watching and saying “wow great shot!” or “wow this writing is amazing,” or “that transition was flawless.”
So yes professor, you did ruin television for me…in the most wonderful of ways.
But I still can be objective and watch as a fan at times…ahh who am I kidding I’ve always got something to say. (I’m proud to say I’ve given some very well thought out critiques in my classes…with the first professor I mentioned and she always gave me good feedback!)
The third lesson comes from my screenwriting professor. Who after choosing my script to be our final table read looked at all of us on our final day and said three of the most profound things I’ve ever heard, and they have always stayed with me.
-“Don’t take professors or classes that aren’t as good as you.”
-“Don’t settle for a job that doesn’t satisfy you.”
-“Don’t end up with the wrong person, that’s the most important of all…”
I truly believe that last one with my whole heart. Love is the center of life, of storytelling, of everything.
The fourth and last lesson comes from my creative writing professor, who, whenever we’d get a writing assignment would hand it back with a comment that said “tell it later.”
And the entire class would go through this and get so pissed, myself included.
I never understood why he would say that. I want to tell it now. The story is happening now, this is what the characters are feeling now. Why should I tell it later? What does that mean?
But now I get it. It’s the reason why so many shows back track in sequence today. *praise the flashback!* They start with dropping you in the middle of a story line where you have no clue where you are or what’s happening and then you watch and little bits and pieces come together and things start to make sense. And the story unfolds. It can be confusing as all hell, but it makes for one hell of a ride and a great trick to storytelling. So…. I get it.
Needless to say we can all bitch about college. And say it was a waste of money. I myself have often felt that way too. But when you sit back and look at your years there, there are certain things you’ve learned that will always stay with you. Things that better you, better your craft. College isn’t for everyone. Hell there are probably a million things I’d do differently if I could go back and redo it, but then again there are things that I wouldn’t change at all. Especially the lessons I’ve learned. So thank you to all the professors who helped me become a better writer, a more confident writer. Thank you to those who introduced me to tv and film terms and techniques and giving me the tools to be able to express my soul through video. And thank you for teaching me that it’s okay to bet on myself. Because those things are lessons you can’t get from a textbook…no matter how expensive it is.
Subscribe to my youtube channel for some video footage….let’s see if this is the year I get to really hone in on filming again. Fingers crossed!