Sunday, June 28, 2015

I can tell you personally, but so can many of my former students...I aim to be an open-minded woman. But I am excited this weekend to see the SCOTUS decision about marriage in the states.

I was born and bred Catholic, and have a deep respect for the Christianity the infuses my upbringing and formed who I am as a human being.

I simply wish to have here, as a statement for ME as a representative of the Television Department, that we celebrate the recent Supreme Court decision as a movement forward in acceptance of our students' ability to embrace the full spectrum of creativity that is available to them. We may not all agree on the specifics of life and living, but if we can agree to respect each other and support each other as artistic professionals, then we will have moved our "world" forward "just enough."

Monday, June 22, 2015

I don't often do a short post on a film (gasp! I'm a TV prof! egad! :D)

But do yourself a favor as an incoming STORYTELLER. Go see Inside Out. Forget about animation(though abstract Danger Zone was brilliance). Just...

watch. revel in the story. remember what it was (is?) like to go through a major life change and be mad/sad/fearful/joyful-excited...and, yes, sad at what you are leaving behind you.

Inside Out works because it touches us--as little kids, as parents, as storytellers/story-READERS.

If you're new to Columbia this year, just go see it.
If you're "old" to Columbia this year, the same.

It might inspire you on many platforms.

NOW--someone score me the Lava short that preceded the film--sheer brilliance.

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Welcome 2015 TV Department Students!

So--what are some of the starting basics you need aside from the 50,000 sheets of paper shoved at you already?

You have my welcome note from Orientation. So that and the info from Laura Levitt-Gamis gets you off to a great start. BUT...Here are some tips from the instructor perspective:

1) if books are assigned to the course, get them. You can find them cheap, any which way you want. But just get them--we don't assign a book if it's not actually useful. (and we teach classes assuming you've read...)

2a) "homework" in college is a different bag than in high school. A lot occurs online (know your class Moodle page--come see me if that sounds bizarre). The expectations are also different. While due dates count, in college a lot is about you learning to manage your time--a job you might have, family, extracurriculars...The "rule" is that for every credit hour you're enrolled, you should be spending 2-3 hours reading/creating/researching/studying. So if you're in a 3 credit class (the norm), anticipate at least 6 hours of outside class work on average per week for just that one class. I get that this means being a full-time student (15 credits)= a full-time job. This makes planning your semester important: when I was an undergrad, I worked 35 hours a week as a waitress, took 22 credits (yep--I was nutty that way!)--but got it done with room for fun and games because I worked to plan carefully. 2b) IF YOU ARE THE FIRST PERSON IN YOUR FAMILY TO TRY AT A 4-YEAR DEGREE, COME SEE ME. Your world is different and we have sources to connect you with others who understand your circumstances and can provide support..

3) Are you new to living in Chicago? OK--first--go explore as much as you can until the frigid winter hits! Find the following:

a) the Bean
b) Maggie Daly Park (trust me--some of the slides are total fun for non-kids and there's skating and rock climbing)
c) scope out the "hoods" as we refer to them...there's the 606 elevated track ( ) and the lakefront and tons of places to just exercise in nature!
d) find food!! CHEAP food! There are a gazillion ethnic neighborhoods in Chicago, most accessible by train. Mexican, Polish, South American, just need to dig it all up online. Near campus there is a good bounty-from good ole' fashioned chains to more independent eateries. No matter what, do yourself a favor and get Harold's Chicken at some point (on Wabash, right around the corner from our main building and Hackney's on Dearborn for a heftier meal good for parental visiting ( and for sure do Flaco's Tacos (

OK--I am a foodie and can direct you...

What are you watching right now that gets you excited about being in a television department?

Past students will tell you my TV tastes are hard to predict. Here's what's on my watch list in mid June:

--binging the rest of Orange is the New Black, Pretty Little Liars, The Fosters, Orphan Black, Finding Carter; getting my husband to catch up on iZombie so we can discuss; anticipating Switched at BirthThe Good Wife and Madame SecretaryHow to get Away with Murder, Empire, Hot Wet American Summer, Kimmy Schmidt, Transparent...NEED SOMEHOW to watch Scream Queens and Scream...

Point being there is just an abundance of truly innovative "TV" right now. So if you're "here"--well. embrace the journey!

Come see me... I'm in the main TV office most days other than when I'm teaching my Nickelodeon class or in meetings (or making sure my soon-to-be-second-grader is getting HIS homework done:D).