Hello, L.A!

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This semester marks a truly exciting time for Columbia’s first batch of Film & Video – Creative Producing MFA students, as we’re in our “Semester in L.A.” component of the program! As a former Graduate Student Ambassador for this program, I was asked to write a few guest blog posts for Marginalia and report on the happenings of this semester.

For many of us, getting to Los Angeles was an adventure and a journey in itself.  Unlike most other major metropolitan areas in the U.S., in Los Angeles you must have a car to get around.  L.A. is a large, sprawling city that feels almost suburban through much of its reach, and, this being the case, public transportation is extremely limited. As a result, many of us who already owned a car before it was time to head to L.A. came to the same conclusion: our best option was to drive across the country to Los Angeles.

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I decided that if I had to make the 2,100 mile drive from Chicago to L.A. that I may as well have some fun along the way.  The route I chose took me south through Illinois, west through Missouri, through most of Oklahoma and the top of Texas, and then all the way through the deserts of the Southwest, including New Mexico, Arizona, and southern California.  Along the way I did some sightseeing, making stops in Albuquerque, New Mexico, Sedona, Arizona, and the Grand Canyon.

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For those making a similar journey, I definitely recommend planning to take a little longer to build in some sightseeing stops along the way.  Not only does this give you a much appreciated break after countless hours of driving, but it can also help reduce the drive time you have to do per day if you plan to take more time.  I stretched the 34 hour drive into 4 days, which kept the daily drive time to a completely manageable 8 to 9 hours.  I also took an extra day off just to see the Grand Canyon and Sedona, and looking back, I’m completely grateful that I did.

Stay tuned for my next post about the classes we’ve had in L.A.  They’ve been incredible!