20 Year Anniversary

20 years ago, this month, I had my first internship in the film industry. Twenty. Years. Ago. For what it’s worth, I wanted to put that journey down into words because I have no idea what to make of this amount of time and what I’ve been able and unable to do within it, but I recognize it as a milestone and an accomplishment.

When I entered Oberlin College in 1995 – still seventeen years old – I thought I would be a math and dance double major because I loved them both but I had NO IDEA what kind of a career I could make or would want other than the fact that I didn’t want an “office job” and I had a strong anti-authoritarian, anti-establishment streak coupled with a desire to do something “important.” At the time, Oberlin’s recruiting posters boasted a picture of the globe and their tagline “Think one person can change the world? So do we.” And so that was what I was there to do, without any form to that desire.

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Foto Friday: Tribute to Neal Tonken

I can’t tell you what staying in public school would have been like for me.  All of my friends growing up were in public school and they all went on to go to college and lead productive, successful lives.  But after a difficult freshman year, my parents thought I would benefit from a smaller setting and put me through the admission process to private school.  In the DC area, private school is a huge thing because most of the public schools in the District are pretty terrible.  (I was across the border in a rich suburb of Maryland with some of the best public schools in the nation.)  And that’s how I found myself attending Sidwell Friends School – the same year that Chelsea Clinton started there.  It’s a school known for its Presidential kids (and kids from senators, congressmen, and other DC elites), a school known for its Quakerism, and one of the few private schools in the DC area that is co-ed.

Like any place, Sidwell had its problems.  And although I did benefit greatly from my education there, I don’t think I benefited from the school in the way my parents’ expected.  But by the time I graduated in 1995, there were things I took with me that only Sidwell could have provided.  And they ended up happening in the same year.

The first was falling in love with Luke Jensen the summer before Senior year.  The second was taking Neal Tonken’s “Fall and the Fallen” Senior English class that fall.

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