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I was just about to graduate from high school in 1996 and thoughts of college were no longer hiding in the back of mind. A decision needed to be made and I had waited long enough. I didn’t have any real plans or goals regarding my post-studies now that high school was complete.
I was working at a movie theater in Lakewood, living in La Mirada and finishing school in Norco. Needless to say my commute was a real trek.
A friend of mine I worked with just happened to ask about my plans for college and the truth being so easy to speak, fell right out of my mouth – “I don’t know. Don’t have any set plans yet.”
For which he replied with a smile, “You should come to Fullerton, like me – study some theatre.”
It’d be nice to write with dramatic tones that at this moment in the story I was hooked without even stepping foot one on the campus, but since Fullerton College was the only egg in my basket, the straight and well paved road to Fullerton was a good enough option as any, never mind that it was my only option.
I started what would be the first of many semesters at Fullerton College in the Fall of 1996. I took three classes to balance work and my commute (and by the way – Lakewood, La Mirada and Fullerton – a far better commuting triangle now that Norco was no longer in the mix.)
My first semester consisted of a Math class, a Screenwriting class and an Intro to Theater Class. I had no background or experience in Theatre so I figured the Intro class to be a good place to start. The first faculty member I met was Robert Jensen and soon after I met the rest of the faculty who quickly welcomed me into that world with respect as long as I worked hard and learned everything I could possible learn.
I started working Stage Crew that semester and the first show I ever worked on was Anthony Shaffer’s epic The Royal Hunt of the Sun. (Okay… from that moment - I was hooked both in the college and in theater) I immersed myself in the arts and jumped head first to performing in such plays as Moby Dick – Rehearsed, The Crucible and Assassins.
This may seem dramatic but hey – I studied theatre right? I can surely say that Fullerton College helped shape me into the person I am today. From the wide range of education to the guidance from faculty members who bestowed upon me a work ethic that goes hand in hand with great knowledge and the creation of true art from within.
I am proud to say that I have been a part of the great gift Fullerton College gives to all of its students – past, present and future.
I am not one to give advice just for the heck of it, but if I had any to give to the students of Fullerton College today and tomorrow I would say: Study as much as you can, learn as much as you can. If a subject terrifies you – take a class to overcome that fear. If you hate math – take a math class. If you have a need to read more fiction but just can’t seem to find the time – take a literature class and be forced to read. Open your mind to anything and everything new.
At Fullerton College I learned that the student comes first. As a student, every tool needed for knowledge is given to you on a platter and every faculty member is there to help with those tools. Use every asset made available.
What’s the worst that could happen? You learn something new? – Not too bad at all.
Congratulations Fullerton College on your Centennial Celebration!