The spring semester at Columbia College Chicago has barely stared, and I’ve already finished a Screenwriting II workshop. We are talking three intensive days—twenty-four academic-packed hours of brainstorming, discussion, and writing exercises.[flickr id=”8425979580″ thumbnail=”medium” overlay=”true” size=”original” group=”” align=”none”]
One of the most challenging exercises was the “environment exercise”. In this one, we picked a place we had never been, settled into the space for a half hour, and then recorded what we observed. I choose a waiting area under one of the L platforms.[flickr id=”8424868061″ thumbnail=”medium” overlay=”true” size=”original” group=”” align=”none”]
The place was sterile—lots of concrete, fluorescent lights, steel benches. It would appear to be a pretty easy exercise if not for the fact that we got this assignment on the coldest day of the year. It was five degrees. So, I’m sitting on a metal bench, in frigid weather, watching people watch me freeze. Actually, it was pretty cool…pun intended. But I was cold. Seriously cold. I should have worn gloves. Not good, Bubba, not good. Needless to say, I toughed it out, but that made me think it felt less like an assignment and more like a little adventure. I was ready to take on any project this semester.[flickr id=”8424870167″ thumbnail=”medium” overlay=”true” size=”original” group=”” align=”none”]
I realized that if you are going to attack the semester—or any aspect of your life—you need to take care of yourself. You don’t necessarily have to go to the gym, run five miles a day, and down a bottle of chewable vitamins. What you should do is get some sleep, be active, and wash your hands…often. (I sound like my Mother.) It’s easy to get sick but just as easy to stay flu-free. Also, to maintain emotional balance, make sure to carve out relaxation time. Go see a movie, go out with friends, but do something you haven’t done before. Live a little. These tips will help you get through the semester happy and healthy.