Archives for category: College

The Interloper recently published an eloquent and justifiably outraged article by Daniella Lollie on USC’s violent, degrading and dangerous hook-up culture as evidenced by the Facebook page “USC Hook-Ups.” Yet Lollie prefaces her words by saying that she is not criticizing hook-up culture as such, which she considers “morally neutral.” This idea—that there is an aberrant, violent hook-up culture that we can neatly isolate and filter out from hook-up culture in general—is echoed by the Interloper’s editors in a recommendation note at the bottom of the page. Rather than calling on readers to critically examine the hook-up script that has come to dominate much (though by no means all) of American college and university life, the paper actually urges us to participate more enthusiastically in it. We should now flood Facebook with stories of “happy, healthy and CONSENSUAL sexual encounters” in (somehow) “solidarity” with those who have experienced gender-based violence. Clamorous cheerleading for positive hook-ups (“encounters”), we are told, will be “subversive” of negative hook-ups that cross the line between fun and aggression.

But is it really possible, we must ask, to have a hook-up culture that does not produce the detritus of “USC Hook-Ups”? While sexual exploration is a natural and healthy part of human development, can we honestly expect or demand a hook-up culture that will be anything other than coercive, degrading and violent for large numbers of people of both genders but especially for women?

via Unhooked: Reflections on “USC Hook-Ups” and the Counter-Culture of Commitment | The Interloper @ USC.

 

I have mixed feelings about this article, so I thought I would share it and see what other people have to say.

Roughly a year ago I started this blog to catalogue my summer of the unknown. At the time I was just finishing my first year from a college, fresh back from Massachusetts and a glorious three day trip to New York (where I fell in love). I was planning to transfer schools, though I was scared (and a little ashamed) of the prospect. I didn’t know what I was going to do. I knew I needed a job for the summer, but didn’t have one. The number of friends I had around was… few. I applied to be a Roadie for Invisible Children- an internship that I wasn’t ready for and didn’t really want but thought would give me direction.  I didn’t get it.

If you followed my journey you know that I got a summer job at Gap and transferred to the University of Nevada, Reno (with no intention of staying).

One year later and things are completely different and exactly the same (isn’t that always the way?)

I’ve been accepted to the University of Southern California for Critical Studies under the School of Cinematic Arts. I’ve been waiting and hoping for this for almost a year, and here I am deciding between a dream school and a university I never wanted to go to— UNR has grown on me. Or rather, Reno people have grown on me. I got very committed to the idea of playing house this next year, moving in with my friends Hillari and Hannah and having movie nights and family dinner and cooking all their favorite things. It’s turning out to be a hard idea to let go of.

I have returned home to Vegas once again. I haven’t been hired anywhere yet and so have been doing work for my father. I have high hopes for my prospects at the Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf opening by my house. Even if I’m not hired I suspect I will be spending a lot of time there anyway.

I’m co-writing a short film for a friend who will be making said film this summer. My writing drive was low in May, but I feel it slowly returning to me.
I have a new show idea, and I may just start writing me a pilot. It’s important to keep in practice.

 

I started re-watching Fringe Season 3, and I’ve been thinking about alternate selves. When I was in New York, sitting outside NYU feeling sorry for myself, I thought about the alternate Chelsee who went to NYU and who was probably already on her way home, or packing, or roaming the city one last time. If you buy into the idea of alternate universes (and usually I do), then for every choice you make there’s an alternate who made a different choice. So now I ask myself, if there are infinite Chelsee’s heading off in their infinite directions, which Chelsee do I want to be and what do I leave to my alt-selves?

Pitzer College

Founded in 1963, Pitzer College was built upon four core values that reimagine the purpose of a college education in a progressively changing world. These values are social responsibility, intercultural understanding, interdisciplinary learning and student autonomy. Almost 50 years later, our students feel that our founding values help prepare them to address the issues of their time. How do you feel these values will help you find solutions to the evolving challenges of your generation?

More than even before, we live in a time of constant change. Sometimes slow, building changes which are often unrealized until they finally take hold, but also change which comes quickly— two years, a year, a few months. In the relatively brief period that I have been alive to witness these changes, the world is dramatically different. Yet even with changes in technology, law, and many other areas of life, many cultural narratives and societal ideals are virtually the same as fifty years ago and beyond. Some of these narratives serve us in a positive way, but to accept all of them on the basis of their familiarity or the fact that they have survived the ‘test of time’ is detrimental. More than anything it is important that my generation realize blindly accepting change as a sign of improvement or letting little change be enough change, regardless of circumstance, not only fails to advance us, it allows backslide. A commitment to social responsibility, one of Pitzer’s basic tenants, is key to such realizations and understanding.

Accepting social responsibilities means also accepting difference, accepting that different peoples hold different ideals and goals. Intercultural understanding is necessary make things better for all, rather than better for some— and subsequently worse for others. The necessity of intercultural understanding exists not just when dealing across countries and continents, but in daily and personal life. The United States is full of cultural and ethnic diversity and complexity, which should be embraced and celebrated.

Interdisciplinary learning and student autonomy are values that I find to be especially complementary because they encourage exploration and innovation. The problems faced by my generation, be they social or otherwise, require a willingness to step outside the box of preconceived notions. Not everyone wants to be a doctor, or an engineer, or a politician— people should not be forced into pursuits that others believe to be ‘necessary’ or ‘productive,’ instead they should be encouraged to what inspires them. Furthermore, what it means to be a doctor, or an engineer, or a politician is rapidly changing— they requiring people thrilled to undertake the challenge, not drones pushed into the field. The best that can be done is to encourage people to explore what they are passionate about, something which Pitzer does through emphasis on student autonomy. Only by investigating the full extent of our interests and the diverse directions they may lead will lasting improvements be made.

and wrote a scene instead of an essay for part of my Pitzer application. The prompt was to explain my dream job. The screenplay format went to hell posting it here, but you’ll get the idea:

 

INT. LOUNG – SAN DIEGO COMIC CON – day

MICHAEL AUSIELLO, a television journalist, sits in a plush arm chair. Across from him sits CHELSEE BERGEN on a couch, examining throw pillows with the faces of actors on them.

CHELSEE
What do I have to do to get my face on one of these? I guess people would have to recognize my face in order to want me on their throw pillows.

MICHAEL
Some people know your face.

CHELSEE
Yeah. Hardcore fans. But I mean, those guys know like the address of the childhood home of our secondary characters. But I think even they wouldn’t want my face on a pillow.

Chelsee holds up a pillow with the face of a handsome young actor next to her own. She laughs.

MICHAEL
Maybe they’ll start a line of executive producer pillows.

CHELSEE
Can I get some of those? Like, is it creepy if I’m hoping that J.J. Abrams style brilliance will rub off on me from a pillow? Executive producer pillows- that would be great.

MICHAEL
So, for those people who aren’t familiar with you- who don’t have a pillow with your face on it- can you give us an introduction to you and your show?

CHELSEE
God, I probably should have started with that instead of the pillows.
(laughs)
I’m Chelsee Bergen, I’m the show runner for a show called POINT PERDIEM, which is something of a sci-fi drama about this strange little town where time becomes… ambiguous. The show is in its fourth season on HBO, and I’m pleased to say that we’ve just been renewed for our fifth and final season.

MICHAEL
What has your experience been like working on the show? I mean a few years ago it didn’t seem like the show was even going to be picked up, now you’re headed towards a fifth season with a huge fan following- looking back on these past few years, what’s that like?

CHELSEE
I’ve got the best job in the world, I really do. Five years ago I could not have even conceived of the wonderful experience that this show has been. I get to show up to work everyday and talk with the most creative, some of the coolest and smartest people I’ve ever met, about stories and weird stuff and magic and science and whatever we want. The show had kind of a shaky start, so it really was trial by fire, trying to get our footing, but I’m surrounded by talented people- actors and writers and crew- that I want to work with for the rest of my life, really. Like, when the wonderful ride that is Point Perdiem finally ends I know I’ll take a deep breath, maybe a nap, and then I’ll start calling these people up and asking ‘What have you got for me? What do you want to do? What can we make happen?’ Cause that’s really what gets me exciting, getting to work with people and create new and interesting stuff. There’s nothing better than that.