So, my first class will be the three-week “Introduction to Specialized Journalism” summer class, nicknamed “boot camp”, starting August 1. This class will meet weekdays from 9 to 5, and not only be an introduction to the master’s program itself, but to Los Angeles, the USC campus, and a full-on immersion to the software and technology I’ll be using while I’m at USC.
Then, my fall semester will start. My core classes include the following:
- “Arts Writing Practicum”: this one both excites me and scares me. It’s an intensive writing workshop on the craft of arts criticism (which I pretty much self-taught after my fellowship in 2010) as well as persuasive writing in various arts genres. I will have a massive paper due weekly for this class.
- “Specialized Journalism: Reporting the Arts”: this is multimedia storytelling on the arts and culture in Los Angeles. This is the class I’m trying to convince my advisor to include us going to see a production of The Thrilling Adventure Hour (which I still need to write up a recommendation for) as part of it, as that is on my list of things I WILL do in LA, regardless of whether I have the time or money.
- And, of course, my thesis work, which I’m still getting a handle on and will write a separate post about.
Then, my electives, which I have three of:
- “Creative Coding for the Web”: this is my ‘make sure I can add something that will make me hire-able when I graduate’ class, as I know how vital having web skills are in today’s job market. The course description states it’s, “Analysis and development of scholarly media projects using diverse web authoring strategies, technologies and documentation.” This one frightens me most of all, because while I have a smattering of HTML language, and I know my way around computers (even taking a turn at a temp job at first tier IT help line), I still don’t think I know enough to say I’m an expert at any of this stuff.
- “Multimedia PR Content: Introduction to Audio/Video Tools”: the course that’s making me finally buy a Mac (hopefully soon). The course description states, “Hands-on lab; audio/video tools for conceiving, shooting, editing, delivering and archiving compelling stories for online audiences; personal brand building; digital storytelling trends and applications.” I know that my thesis will involve the use of storytelling on the web in some way, and I know this is another one that will help me be marketable as a job candidate when I graduate.
- And finally, “Arts Leadership and Arts Entrepreneurship”. With almost 20 years worth of experience in the area arts organizations here in KC (not including work at Park, my first work with a community arts organization in KC was an acting position in 1997 in No Sex Please, We’re British for the now-defunct Northgate Community Theatre, which I still miss to this day), I know working with an arts organization would be a great thing to be involved with – assuming it’s the right one. The course description states, “Introduction to key issues involved in both managing an arts organization and creating sustainable enterprise. For students in music, arts, public policy, and related fields.” This one just sounds fascinating, especially for someone like me who’s spent time on the board or staff of six different arts organizations, not including the three or four others I volunteered with on an ‘unofficial’ basis while I was involved in a production there.
So, that’s my summer and fall schedules. I’ve already got one book bought for one of my classes, The Art of the Start by Guy Kawasaki, and have started reading it (am on page 14, and already am glad I own it), and some others are coming.
Next week, hopefully, I’ll be posting some thesis thoughts.