University of Miami’s graduation was yesterday. It was great, and the speeches were very touching! I can’t believe that school has ended, unless I decide to go to graduate school. Now I’m off into the “real world.” Looking at this philosophically, I suppose I will always be a student since everyday I acquire new information. So because of this event, I will first reflect a bit on my college years. It has been a bumpy ride, as most things tend to be. My first two years at NYU were filled with lots of drama—both academically and socially. Academically, well, because I was in Tisch getting my basic acting training at Playwrights Horizons Theater School. Although I tried as hard as I could in NYU, I was focusing more on my social life. I was so distracted by often meeting up with friends or going home every weekend. I realize now that the weekends were the best times for me to do my schoolwork. NYU’s administration was also tough as I had many ambitions: to play in the orchestra or sing in a choir, act in many plays, write plays and screenplays, double major in psychology, take more foreign languages, and much more. Unfortunately, acting studio coupled with all the distractions took a toll on me, and it resulted in my Christian foundation slowly uprooting. However, I still learned a lot academically during my time at NYU. In retrospect, I also learned quality information about life from my time there. It is a good school for the right student, but it just wasn’t for me.
My time in Miami was spent on the flipside. I didn’t lead as active of a social life as I did in New York. I focused more on my liberal arts, which was one of my reasons for transferring to UM in the first place. I used the weekends to focus on my studies as well as time for myself. I really enjoyed most of my classes and learned a great deal academically. There was a big difference between the theatre students here and in New York. It seems that most students here have a very bright and sunny outlook, whereas the NYU drama students view things darkly. I identify most with New York, and it was awkward when students during the costume design portion of the stagecraft class presented variations of “love conquers all.” Such ideas, although occasionally warranted, make me cringe. Instead, I went with a project that I aptly titled “Drowning at the Hands of Temptation,” a project looking at the heart of conflict dragging the main character into despair. As much as I loved my time in Miami, I sometimes felt out of place. Maybe that’s how it supposed to be—my heart is with New York after all. It was rather difficult to befriend many people from school because I was a commuting transfer student. Therefore, most of my friends that I made in Miami are from the Chinese Baptist Church. I grew more, spiritually, as I gained more insight on the Word.
Before my senior year, my plan for post-college was that I would return to New York and audition. Thankfully I already had a role as a supporting lead in an independent film that filmed during the summer of 2006. If auditions didn’t go too well, I would look for jobs as I continue to audition. Maybe I would see if the company where I worked part-time during my time at NYU had any openings. However, as life is unpredictable, this plan changed in October when a representative from the Consulate General of Japan in Miami visited my Japanese class. He gave out information regarding the JET Program. Immediately when I received the pamphlet, I was interested. One of my goals is to travel the world and experience as much of other cultures as I can. Although my passion is in drama, I have many other interests like psychology and teaching. This opportunity was something I could not pass up. I tend to be a tad too impulsive sometimes, so first I prayed and then consulted some people on the issue. My parents were the most confused with this idea of the JET Program because I went to a magnet high school focusing on medicine followed by majoring in drama, and now I am informing them of this idea to be an assistant English teacher. Their concerns were reasonable, as this progression does seem very random. The good thing about this program is that they are looking for people who can use the opportunity to further one’s own skills and goals. I am not abandoning theatre, but rather I hope to use my theatre skills that I have acquired for the purpose of teaching English. After I addressed their concerns, they were fully supportive. Thus, the application process began.
Stay tuned next week for a look into the JET Program’s application process and a short discussion on theme parks!
今週の写真: University of Miami’s College of Arts and Sciences Commencement