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One of the most influential classes I’ve taken is Introduction to Digital Photography with John Pilson. The first day he said, “Here are your cameras. Go out and shoot as much as you can of anything you want.” That broke me out of the impulse to create a particular thing for an assignment. It allowed me to find my voice and see patterns in what I was shooting. That class showed me a lot about myself and the kinds of things that appeal to me. That openness really helps with my films, freeing me up to do the kind of work I want to do.
At Bard, you can apply so much of what you learn in class to your personal life. There’s no dissonance between school and you. You become so interested in what you’re learning about that you start integrating it into the rest of your life. It’s something you really enjoy. You crave the learning. You just throw yourself into it and feel really rewarded.
Bard has brought me out of my shell a lot. I’m pretty shy. When I go home people tell me I seem more open, that I’m a bigger person. That’s so encouraging. I owe it to what goes on here. It’s taught me—aside from this awesome academic experience—how to deepen my relationships with people. That’s one of the most important things in life. I’ve learned that I am more capable than I thought I was, both academically and socially.