Marginalia, Graduate Blog

Close Quarters

Conor O'Farrell

“Smooth seas don’t make skillful sailors,” offered Katie, her words an effort to justify the madness. It’s week ten, and whether in first- or second-year of the producing program, we’re all engulfed in a world of chaos; it’s high season for production, and also many of the larger assignments gather momentum around this stage of the semester. It was Monday afternoon and we were walking to one of the other campus buildings on Michigan, and funnily enough Katie’s words came in the middle of her own tirade. I briefly slowed in my tracks, smiling to myself. It was such a simple analogy, yet so true.

Her visual choice of words a flicker of the filmmaker, but maybe more importantly at this precise moment, a timely acknowledgement that not just she, but all of us must embrace this state of disarray. “I’ll do that when things quiet down.” I hear this so often, and am so often guilty of saying it myself. An important lesson I’ve come to learn at Columbia is that if you’ve thrown yourself full force into something you love doing and you’re good at it, once that momentum gathers you just have to buckle up. Things are not going to quiet down. You just have to etch the time for family and friends, and all those other activities pushed to the wayside.

I’m busier than I’ve ever been, and am behind on a bunch of stuff at the moment. My school life has been suffocating my me life, but one of my professors saw this, and told me to step away and unwind. Last Friday night I joined Lakeview Athletic Club. It’s on Broadway, and has a gym, pool, and climbing wall. I hurt bad today, so I’ve been lounging around my apartment in boxers and eating bacon as the first snow falls outside, and it’s been great. I finished a pantomime-inspired skype call featuring my four-year-old niece Robyn and a toy duck, and then my nine-year-old nephew Jamie told me about “the talk” he recently had with his parents.

I’ve been a tad out of sync with the real me lately, but making this self-time has me feeling back on track. I’m reminded of that quote, “don’t say you don’t have enough time. You have exactly the same number of hours per day that were given to Helen Keller, Pasteur, Michelangelo, Mother Teresa, Leonardo Da Vinci, Thomas Jefferson and Albert Einstein.” Make no mistake; Columbia’s producing program prepares you for the big league, but be ready to redefine your lifestyle. Rough seas lie ahead.

Close Quarters

“Smooth seas don’t make skillful sailors,” offered Katie, her words an effort to justify the madness. It’s week ten, and whether in first- or second-year of the producing program, we’re …

Cinema Art + Science - Creative Producing Conor O'Farrell, conor.ofarrell@loop.colum.edu
600 S. Michigan Ave. Chicago, IL 60605

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