As we make our way towards the end of the semester, in which this is my last few weeks as a UTA before I graduate, I can truthfully say that my experience during Dr. Och’s Television Analysis class for this spring has been different than the one I had in the fall. Even though this is my third time through this class, with our schedule and curriculum tweaked for every semester, this was the closest that I felt to being a pseudo-professor thus far. Since I had a hand in shaping the final project that the students were to undertake, I was even more active in the class than I was prior. As a UTA last semester, I was still learning the ropes when it came to how to organize the class’s schedule, different ways to present the content, and how to interact with my peers in a slightly different fashion than before. But because I’ve already had that experience, I didn’t have to go through the same learning curve since I already had the gist of job under my belt. My main goal with the CUTF was to really create a project that was interactive, informative, and challenging at the same time—a step closer to what actual professors have to go through, which I would consider a pretty successful endeavor.
Through my CUTF experience, I feel as though I’ve had the chance to understand what it really takes to fully explain an idea in your head clearly to the students you’re interacting with. I, of course, know what my podcast project is and what exactly you have to do in order to complete it; in addition to designing it, I did create the example podcast. But when sending out the instructions to the class, there were naturally some questions about what was happening: does it have to be a part of a series? Is it more of a casual chat or does it have to be a structured script? How in depth should our analysis of one show be? I’ve come to realize that even though I tried to create the guidelines as clearly as possible, they are simply just that: guidelines. The students are supposed to take this and run—the questions that we’ve received shows that the class have been thinking critically about the task put in front of them. I’m actually really glad to have clarification questions, since it proves that the gears are turning and that they’re molding the project to their personal interests, which I found incredibly exciting.
In terms of the future, I think my CUTF experience just solidifies for me, personally, that I would like to be a professor at some point in my life. My goal post-grad is to enter the production world, since that’s where my immediate interests lay at the moment, though I’ve never wanted to rule out the potential of working at a University myself. The various sets of students, the flexibility when it comes to creating different project options, and the opportunity to mold each semester towards the ever-evolving wealth of knowledge is quite appealing to me. My love for film really grew from the professors I encountered while at Pitt, so this is a sentiment that I would want to carry on for the future. Who you surround yourself with during your education has a huge hand in shaping your enjoyment, your interest, and your curiosity towards whatever subject you’re tackling—and I would love nothing more than to be a guiding figure for the next set of media enthusiasts looking to know more about this industry!
[Cover photo: me and my mother posing with my new Baby Yoda figure, which is what inspired me to watch the show, subsequently leading to the idea for my podcast project!]