What a bummer?!?! While I am elated the academic year at Howard University has come to a close and I officially completed the first year of my graduate film school experience, something about this still feels incomplete.
When classes started in January, there was no way any of us could have predicted a pandemic would sweep through the nation and change life as we know it. Classes were migrated to a virtual format, the status of my unfinished film remains in limbo, the film I was scheduled to DP was permanently postponed and my freelance photography / videography gigs were suspended amid curfew and social distancing requirements. Oh, and it gets better … my positions at Live Nation and Landry’s were furloughed as businesses closed. I’ve yet to see a stimulus check or unemployment check and sadly, I’m stuck in a lease in Washington, D.C., one of the most expensive places to live in America. Putting it mildly, my life sucks right now.
Zoom classes are cute and all, but NOT when you are a film student. The program is collaborative in nature! We want access to equipment; we want to crew shoots. Working on group projects remotely with behemoth sized files and varying degrees of software access and system capability is no fun at all. I would have sat this semester out had I known it would wind up online. With talks of additional COVID phases, the likelihood of next semester being online, no program funding for the film program and graduate assistant positions reportedly slashed 50% to measly two slots … an upcoming gap-year seems imminent.