I need to make this quick, my husband has a conference call in thirty minutes, and needs our office, but I wanted to share a few more thoughts here before I jump on a plane tomorrow and head to Colorado for the Ironman.
Yesterday afternoon while I was printing out my itinerary, course maps, and various places I plan to meet up with folks in Boulder, I was flooded with emotions and a protective feeling I did not expect. I had such an amazing four years living in Boulder, and even though it has been a LONG time since I lived there, that time in my life is sacred, and set up how I have lived every day since.
I really don't even know how I got in to CU. I had a 3.5 GPA from high school, and my SAT's were horrible, but I did have a ton of extra-curricular activities, (sports, student council, awards, etc.,), and maybe a killer application essay? I'm not sure. Who cares, I DID get in!
I knew from the instant I was accepted into the school that it was a gift, and I didn't want to squander a second of it.
I decided on my major right away, Film Studies. My dad was psyched! I had wanted to be a filmmaker since I was ten years old, and even though one may think it strange for a native Angeleno to go to Colorado to study film when stellar programs at UCLA and USC were in my backyard, I NEVER wanted to stay in California for school, and since my parents encouraged me to go out of state, I leapt at the opportunity. However, even though CU did not have a snazzy film program, they did have one of the top film history programs in the country, and I thought that was priceless. I knew that I could create more opportunities for myself in the real world if I had the knowledge to back up my passion for film.
However, the film studies major required more credit hours than most, so I needed to hit the ground running as soon as I started. I only had four years, and I was already behind on requirements from high school, so I would have to hustle every step of the way to graduate before my time was up.
The grade I am most proud of receiving in college was the lowest I had ever received in my life.
I took a Physics class in the Fall semester of my Junior year that covered two requirements, it was a heavy 5x credit curse, and would insure that I would graduate on time if I passed. The class was based on trigonometry, I never took trig. I had absolutely no business being in that class, and was behind the eight ball from day one, but I loved every second of it! I had a phenomenal professor who put on a dazzling show every lecture, which helped me grasp the concepts of physics, but as far as the math involved, nope, it was all way over my head. Thankfully, I asked for help from one of my friends to tutor me, and I went into my professor's office hours numerous times over the semester trying drink in as much information as I could. He was a little, nerdy guy who appeared so defeated whenever we met, he knew I wanted to learn, but was completely out of my comfort zone, and required a ton of his energy and ninja-like teaching skillz to help me grasp the concepts. I threw a total "Hail Mary" for the final exam, and I went home for the break with an aching feeling that I failed the class.
I was also told by my favorite crotchety film professor that year that I was too nice to make in the entertainment industry.
A couple of days into our winter break, I was sitting in my dad's backyard overlooking the ocean when I mustered up the courage to check online to see if our grades were posted. When my hopeful twenty-year old eyeballs saw the letter grade on the screen, I shot up out of the seat like a cannon, D -. I DID IT!! I PASSED!!
Naturally, that grade demolished my GPA, but I didn't care. I would graduate on time and move on to what I really cared about, and was going to spend my life doing, telling stories on the big screen, little screen, books, and beyond.
I was grossly unprepared to take that Physics class, but I embraced the challenge, and did whatever I needed to do to conquer it. I asked for help, studied harder and longer than most of my peers, and showed up early and stayed late for every lecture to show my professor that I cared, and that I was trying as hard as I could to pass.
I also learned a lot.
I think about Newton's Second law every time I ride my bike.
Finally, I proved my film professor wrong. Once I moved back to LA after graduation, (and my short stint working at the Dairy Queen on Arapahoe in Boulder), I have only ever worked in the film industry. I got my first job by being my too nice self, and every other job since. It turns out even professionals in the entertainment industry prefer to work with kind, hard-working people more than assholes.
That is why Boulder is such a special place to me. It contains the place and time that I started setting huge goals to accomplish over the rest of my life, and believed I could reach them by being myself.