Seniors Michael Haase and Alexander Duenez wrote to The CI View in response to the prompt in the April issue calling for senior voices.
I study literature, and though you might expect a student of literature to spend a lot of time reading, I didn’t become an avid reader until already two and a half years of community college, shortly before I changed my major to English, when I still studied Computer Science. I transferred here with high expectations, eager to learn and develop, excited for what I thought would be the “college experience.” What I was not expecting were the exorbitant costs, the loneliness and isolation, the asininity of the classes, or the struggle with unexpected deadlines and office documents. I can’t even say with all honesty I gained that learning and development I’d hoped for. If I had to define my education, it would be in a word: autodidactic. My most valuable knowledge I acquired in personal study and with just a formal education alone I would never have known of many of my favorite works or artists.
My major motive for seeking higher education was to attain a sense of financial independence, but I would come back from class thinking the weight of education lied mostly on my own shoulders, not on the people I was paying to teach me, and as time would pass I would sink from it deeper and deeper into debt, leeching further from my parents and feeling ever less independent. Why should a person plunge himself so far into debt only to be told to teach himself? I don’t need to spend thousands of dollars to conduct research on google, but crazy enough, that’s what I’ve been doing. After six long years of college, the most I can say I’ll have received from my classes was a certificate.
My name is Alex Duenez and I am majoring in English literature with an emphasis in Creative Writing. From my time at CSUCI, I can honestly say that my most memorable experience here was working with The CI View, the student run newspaper here at CSUCI. Why? It’s simple really, I love to write and have my voice heard and with that said, The CI View was the perfect spot for me. At first I was rather nervous about participating in The CI View because I was afraid no one would like what I had to say, but after a couple of years in writing for The View, it helped me gain the experience and knowledge going forward in future endeavors and where I might end up career wise.
Even though I enjoyed my time with The CI View I also enjoyed my time discussing everything academic and worldly with the professors here on campus, more specifically Bob Mayberry, and Raymond Singer. Screen Writing, taught by Singer, was the very first creative writing class I took as a transfer student. Singer, who wrote Disney’s “Mulan,” taught me how to further my writing abilities and helped me polish the foreign language that is script writing. In contrast to Singer, Bob Mayberry is a totally different individual all together. Bob taught me to go beyond the clichés of writing and to expand and explore unique and exciting techniques in storytelling.
I will miss the warm, friendly, family-like atmosphere here at CSUCI. Before I transferred to CSUCI from Ventura College, I originally planned on transferring to CSUN for their superb screenwriting program because I wanted to pursue a career in screenwriting. Well, after commuting back and forth to Santa Monica Community College one summer I decided that commuting through hours of bumper-to-bumper traffic was not for me, so I applied to CSUCI instead of CSUN. As said before, I will definitely miss the closeness that every seemed to bring to this tight-knit community. It feels like you’re part of a something bigger than yourself.
Lastly, I plan to apply to various newspaper industries, possibly the Ventura County Star, The Washington Post, etc. But, the one news station I really do want to work for is Vice as a photo-journalist and travel the world in doing so. While hopefully working my nine-to-five, Monday through Friday, I plan on working on writing, and completing several books I want to publish. My ultimate goal after graduation is to be an award winner author. I want to walk in Barnes and Noble someday to see my book on the self as a New York Times’ bestseller. Follow your dreams I always say. What have you got to lose?