Summer break is in full swing, and school is done. What’s not done is the creative work. That never stops. School or no school, there are still stories to develop, scripts to write, films to produce and footage to edit. The difference that arises with getting all of that done during the summer is routine. During the school year, you have a bit of structure: you know where you’ll be and how much free time you’ll have, so you can figure out when and where you will write or edit or have meetings. In the summer, you have the freedom to figure that out on your own terms.
My first semester as a graduate student ended a few weeks ago, and to be honest, I am still adjusting to the freedom. There are no papers to worry about writing, no poems to edit for a workshop, and no assigned books for me to read. Aside from my full-time job, it now finally seems like I have all the time in the world to do almost whatever. It took a few weeks to adjust my sleeping schedule though, as I still found myself waking up at 7 a.m. instead of 9 a.m. or 10 a.m. Nevertheless, my first couple of weeks out of school were spent doing non-writing things, because it is important to take a break every now and then.
It is finally over! I shot my film. It is hard to believe that I finished the production stage. I and my producer, Urwa, have been working on our thesis film for over a year, and now our problems and concerns about the production are over. How did it go? Read more to see.
The last week of the semester was final and work-in-progress screenings for a most people. The graduate students had both. Final screenings for project one and work-in-progress screenings for project two, some of which were producer-led projects. Sharing you work for the purpose of getting feedback or having it critiqued is always a vulnerable and sometimes difficult experience but there are ways to make it a little less painful.
Sometimes it takes something that goes beyond simply reading to find the spark for your next poem.
After hundreds of collective hours of rehearsing, writing, memorizing, moving, trashing drafts of our shows, rewriting, memorizing again, designing, and performing…we did it
This is my final blog as the Nonfiction Graduate Ambassador for CCC and it’s my time to reflect on the place that’s been my home, my community, and, most importantly, the well-spring of my creativity for the last three years. It’s hard to do; my wealth of thoughts and feelings are hard to summarize despite the writerly expertise I’ve accrued in these years.
Cue up the graduation music, pop off the streamers, and light the fireworks…because it’s time for me to GRADUATE! Wow, has it been one hell of a ride! The last three years of my life have been full of learning about my craft and myself. I have grown in so many ways…I appreciate my life so much. I don’t even feel sad about graduating, unlike when I received my undergraduate degree and then wept all that night.
For the past two months, I have been working nonstop preparing for my MFA in Photography Thesis Exhibition at Columbia College Chicago with my six colleagues. The show opens this week (by the time this post comes out, the opening reception will have passed and I will have cried so much), and I honestly don’t know how to feel.
Writing this last blog right now is the thing above everything else that’s making me emotional this week. Not striking my thesis show, not submitting my final Performance Research Archive, not planning where my cohort is going to lunch after graduation. It’s this blog.