“‘You won’t make any money.’ It’s a myth all creatives hear constantly and one that up until my second year of college I believed to be true.”
In her piece, Tatiana [LAST NAME] discovers through the Humanities and Fine Arts, and specifically a Film and Media Studies course on media criticism, that her creativity not only applies to the hobbies that fill up her free time, but is also a viable skill that could contribute to a future career path.
“Inspired by my family roots in Italy and my obsession with spaghetti, I decided to dip my toes into the culture, society, and entertainment of the country. As a Communication major, I would never have thought that a course in Humanities and Fine Arts would play such a huge part in enriching my time at UCSB.”
Mia Sheffield describes how an Italian Cinema class changed how she felt about General Education courses.
“Remember that you’re not trying to prove that you know more than your parents. Instead, you’re allowing yourself to grow and discuss things,” writes author and escapee from South Vietnam Thi Bui. In this piece, Communication and Music Studies student Esther Liu draws connections from the writer’s experiences into her own life as an Asian American.
“All voices were hushed and eyes were drawn toward the stage at UC Santa Barbara’s Studio Theater. The lights dimmed and black silhouette-like dolls walked out onto the stage. I looked on in awe at the undergraduate UCSB dance majors performing in a student-choreographed modern dance recital. I was then a sophomore but butterflies struck my stomach, reminding me of the nervousness I had felt years earlier before a dance competition. Then I realized I was no longer the one who was looking out from the stage into the black sea of an audience, but rather the one spectating a university dance student performance.”
Here, Katie Orr recalls the jarring moment in a UCSB Humanities course in which she realized that dancing on a stage was still calling to her years after she had stopped her practice.
“Groupthink” occurs when a group of individuals feel pressure to agree, abandoning critical thinking and conforming to group values. It’s also a psychology concept that Justine Betti never imagined would intersect with a field that she had considered entirely separate: history. But when an example of groupthink appeared in her social psychology course, referencing the Kennedy administration, she decided to explore the History department as an avenue to expand her views on psychology.
It’s not an everyday occurrence that we look for hints of high philosophy in our mundane, everyday lives. Felipe Silveira seeks to change that headspace, zooming into the single, seemingly trivial moment of brushing one’s teeth to highlight the ways in which philosophy intersects with and influences our lives.
“A lot of people gravitate towards different musical genres,” Mallory Alvarez said. “Punk music gave me a feeling of freedom where I can express myself freely.”
Alvarez identifies as transfemme Chicanx. They came out as queer their freshman year at UC Santa Barbara and began their trans journey in their sophomore year. Punk music became an innovative way for Alvarez to channel their anger towards a system that they believe was not built for them. So, when they learned of an art exhibit titled “Vexed: The East L.A. Chicano Punk Scene” displaying in the Multicultural Center, they enthusiastically showed interest in attending.
Drum Corps International, or DCI, is essentially the major league equivalent of marching band. Thousands of marching arts enthusiasts under the age of 21 join one of the 44 active drum corps and go on a nationwide tour, performing at high schools, colleges, and even NFL stadiums for thousands of fans across the country.
Michael Hall, one of those many drum corps members, recalls the elation that he felt when his team won the title of “World Champion” at the 2018 Drum Corps International World Championships and how he has sought to recapture the joy that he found through music in the music and film departments at UCSB.
“Although I enjoyed experiencing the diverse culture and people on campus, a sense of homesickness would always strike me when I talked to my parents on the phone. I felt lost and disconnected from my own culture,” says Au Yu Hsiao of what led him to try to rediscover his home country, Taiwan, in a literature course in the East Asian Cultural Studies department.
How many college students have been lucky enough to be within two feet of actor Hugh Jackman at a black-tie gala to cover the event on social media?
Taylon Faltas interns at the Santa Barbara International Film Festival (SBIFF) headquarters and had the incredible opportunity to attend the 2019 festival as a member of the press. The festival’s mission includes film education to the community, ranging from bringing local elementary school students to free movie screenings to the comprehensive internship experience offered to college students like Taylon.
“Like many students, I did not anticipate picking up a minor,” Hannah Lewry writes. Then she stumbled upon the Professional Writing Minor after taking a course that she thought would merely fulfilling a UC Santa Barbara writing requirement. Instead, she found a niche for herself and a stepping stone for a future career.
The manner in which two different musicians compose and perform can be just as distinct as their personalities. “Individuality of expression is the beginning and end of all art,” wrote the German writer Johann Wolfgang von Goethe.
Cory Fildes and Will Stout, both undergraduate music composition majors at UC Santa Barbara’s Music Department, are a perfect example of this individuality. Both students write sheets of music every week. But although these two room together, their personal journeys differ completely and these variations become strikingly apparent in their music.
“The news that I was one of the 20 accepted could not have come at a better time in my life,” said college journalist Alondra Sierra of her acceptance into the Chronicle of Higher Education’s journalism workshop.
The Chronicle is the largest newspaper in the nation to cover higher education. This past summer, Sierra was among 20 college journalists from across the U.S to attend its two-day reporting workshop, all expenses paid. Now, back at UC Santa Barbara, Sierra is continuing to take journalism course through the Writing Program as part of the new Journalism Certificate program.
The “Asian bubble” of Communication major Eric Lee’s hometown of San Gabriel kept him immersed in Taiwanese culture all his life. That bubble burst the instant he left home for UC Santa Barbara.
“I found myself at one of the most racially diverse campuses in the United States, a far cry from my hometown,” he said of the transition. “Without a boba café on every corner and friends and family, I felt lost. I felt like I had been disconnected from my racial identity and was unsure if I should downplay my heritage and culture to fit in better, or cling to it tighter than ever before.”
“Contrary to popular belief, I was not born under some auspicious sign, playing Mozart and doodling hyper-realistic portraits since I was two days old,” explains Marc Rusli of his passion for the arts as he majors in physics. “I developed each skill slowly during some period in my life…Doodling was the only option I had to relieve boredom…I sometimes wonder whether I would have any amount of drawing skill if I had been born five years later, whether I would entertain myself with an iPad rather than pencils and paper.”
“Had I not taken that Writing Program class, I may have dropped out. Had I not watched that movie and heard that legendary journalist talk about how he discovered the newest best restaurants before anyone, heard him speak about how every bite of food tasted—making me feel the ambiance of every locale —who knows where I would be now? But that movie, and more importantly Jonathan Gold, did what two years of switching majors couldn’t do. “
Writing student Justin Mallette recounts how an encounter with the late Pulitzer-Prize winning food critic Jonathan Gold, inspired him to remain at UC Santa Barbara and become a writer.
“The whole point of having the undergrad education and having it be in liberal arts is that it’s that ideal time in your life to explore every possible thing that seems interesting and then at some point you may find your passion.”
—BILL GRAYSON, ALUMNUS IN HISTORY AND POLITICAL SCIENCE AT UC SANTA BARBARA
“After some brainstorming and research, we came up with the name “UndAWARE.” Bras, panties, pads and tampons are basic human necessities, yet they are the items least donated to women’s shelters. Often, homeless women have to make a choice between paying for meals or buying a box of tampons each month. Furthermore, wearing the same undergarments for extended periods of time can lead to serious health problems.”
—SASHA NASIR, THIRD-YEAR FEMINIST STUDIES MAJOR AT UC SANTA BARBARA
“Working with UCSB TV and attending a few of these workshops has really helped me find my niche. It can be difficult for transfer students to get involved with campus events, learn about the different free services that are available on campus and even find friends. While I might have eventually stumbled across workshops hosted by different departments or the AS Food Bank, it was having to research our television stories that has familiarized me with the campus and all it has to offer.”
—KELISHA ABAD, THIRD-YEAR ENGLISH MAJOR AT UCSB
“Little did I realize that during those dining hall meals I would also be getting a taste of culture on the side. I lived at an off-campus dorms my freshman year called Tropicana Del Norte, which was a melting pot of people from different parts of the world.
Amid all the stimulation surrounding me, the noises that particularly grabbed my attention were the sounds of various accents and languages. I had never been around so many languages different from my own – English and Tagalog. The sounds of Japanese, French, Portuguese and Chinese stirred within me a sense of curiosity and wonder. I befriended several foreign exchange students that year from Brazil, Japan, Italy, Korea and China, and each time they spoke in their native tongues, I was fascinated.”