Trying to get into those classes when you don't have senior privilege (where you get to choose your courses in advance while the other students have to wait) is really hard. It wasn't until the first semester of my senior year that I got into "Intro to Writing Arts", "Writing, Research, and Technology," and "Writing With Style." It actually shocked some teachers when I said that I was a senior because they asked why I was taking the introductory courses now. However, I had to do what I could in order to graduate on time.
All courses teach you something different. I thought "Writing, Research, and Technology" was going to be something completely different to what it was. I wasn't exactly thrilled that our class had to research into art and photography. Don't get me wrong, I love the arts. I even practiced photography at one point and was praised for my work. But researching it and writing essays and blogs? That wasn't something I looked forward to. I'd rather do it, than write academically about it.
We watched Bill Cunningham New York in our class. The most profound line, in my opinion, was when he said, "If they pay you, they own you." I thought that was interesting because how many newspapers have "editors?" All of them. Why? They place articles on the right page, paste pictures to grab attention, and to edit the writers' contents. That's right, they have the power to change a few words and make the story completely different than the way you had intended. This happened to Bill Cunningham. One article he wrote was praising the fashions of the women on the street, but the people he wrote for edited his content and made it poke fun at those women. What could he do? He left. An artist never wants to be "owned." No one should tell you how to create your art. I will remember that line from Bill Cunningham forever.
With a lot to read, watch, research, write, and discuss for our class, we never had enough time to fully decipher what it is we were watching. We watched Bill Cunningham, like I stated, but we also watched Jiro Dreams of Sushi among reading about other forms of art. For a writing class, what does New York photography, sushi, art museums, and photography have that we can take from it? Well, as much as we could, we had to piece it together for ourselves. Although, Professor Alexis tried her best to inform us of the relations between what we learned and our writing, it seemed there was never enough class time due to interruptions, clarifications about blogs and projects, questions about the literal material, and so on.
What I came up with is that we have to think about it ourselves. In our careers, nothing will be handed to us and fully explained. We have to explain it to ourselves with what we are given. If we are confused, asking questions will only get us so far, so we have to make the relations to what they want and how we are to achieve it by ourselves. Throughout this class I learned that there is no limitation to research. If you find something loosely related to what you are looking for, then it isn't a waste of time if you look into that further, no matter how important it is or not to the main study. Knowledge does not have a cap. In fact, the more you look and learn, the more you can piece together and relate. I learned that you will have obstacles to overcome and if you don't speak up or get clarification, it isn't on the person assigning the work, but yourself. I learned that there are difficult people that you have to deal with, and the best thing to do is put a smile on and work to the best of your ability (and let things go while doing so).
In reality, I learned that I am the one responsible for my work, education, and destiny. I need to train myself to succeed, because no one else is going to do it for me. In fact, they may just be there to deter me.
Bill Cunningham New York. Dir. Richard Press. Perf. Bill Cunninghham, Anna Wintour, Michael Kors. First Thought Films, 2010. Film.