The Life of a USC Graduate Film School Student
Introduction, cont'd

Page 2 of 2

Posted: 01aug2000

Lights, camera, action! .. at USC Film school

The Shrine Auditorium sits right across the street from USC's campus. It's also 
where the
Academy Awards were held. Wendy plans to make many return trips 
to the stage at the Shrine .. to pick up other tangible goodies.

Wendy's application to USC Film (as an undergrad) was rejected by the Film 
school, but accepted as a Psychology major. She began her first days of classes 
at USC in the Fall semester of '97. But Psychology did not excite her. 

Both of Wendy's grandfathers are USC alumni, so it's a family tradition. That 
first day, she couldn't help but think about how, many years prior, her father 
and both grandfathers had tread along those very same red-brick walkways.

Not one to accept the cards she's dealt, that first semester as an undergrad, 
Wendy took three Film courses and only one Psych class .. as a Psych major. 
It became clear that Film excited her. She worked hard in the Film classes 
and made it a point to become known to her professors. 

At the end of her first semester, Wendy reapplied to the Film school. She hoped 
to get into the
Production program, but was accepted into the Critical Studies 

In retrospect, it now seems providential that she was accepted to the Critical 
program. USC's (3-year) *graduate* Production program is their signature 
program. It's more highly regarded than the undergrad version .. something she 
didn't know as an undergrad.

Her Critical Studies degree from USC Film school gives her a firm historical, 
analytical & cultural foundation from which to approach Film Production as 
a graduate student. 

Wendy is the only student in her class (of 50) with an undergrad degree from 
USC Film school. While her classmates carry degrees in disciplines like Accounting, 
Economics, and Computer Engineering, Critical Studies majors focus not only the 
aesthetics of Film, but also on its social, political, racial, sexual & cultural aspects 
as well .. all important, especially in today's multi-cultural world. 

Her classmates are graduates of some of the nation's finest schools, such as 
Harvard, MIT, NYU & Berkeley. And not just from the United States, but from 
many counties around the globe.


The following pages originally came from email sent to family & friends. One of 
Wendy's biggest problems with academia is the number of hours it demands. 
Grad school takes nearly every waking minute, making it impossible to stay 
in touch with family & friends. Being an intensely social creature, she finds 
this to be school's biggest negative. 

Trying to alleviate the feelings of alienation from family & friends, I began 
status'ing them of her progress, chronicling her ups & downs, challenges & 
victories. Grad school turned out to be more intense & exciting than either 
of us had anticipated. Slowly the mailing list grew. 

Wendy felt like she was staying in touch with family & friends. She says she 
can feel their support .. which shouldn't be underestimated .. cuz, sometimes, 
that's all that keep her going. 

We're all proud of her for having the courage & determination to pursue her 
dreams. The semester was challenging, enlightening, rewarding & enriching. 
See for yourself.

Fade to black. 

Next -> Acceptance letter

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