Take a Good Teacher: Video Transcript

Douglas Tirola (BA Philosophy and English, Miami, 1988) [writer, director, producer, and filmmaker]: I don't know if my major was so important as just that total liberal arts education. I got a lot from a lot of different people. But specifically, probably what was most important about my education here or the moment in my education where things started to go right for me is, as a sophomore, I wasn't doing that great, and a woman who was a senior that was a friend of the family said, "Forget about your major, just take a good teacher. Forget whether it's science, English, anything, find a teacher you think you'd like and take that teacher." And that really shifted my focus to writing. Whether it was in the creative writing department of English, in philosophy, film studies, and that was the big breakthrough for me.

When I think about like what's a career path for somebody, in English, or philosophy, or film, I can't even explain how important any of the skills that you get from those departments are. There's a time when you look at a problem, and it's beyond the surface level that you think, and looking at the world in different ways and challenging yourself, which is what happens in philosophy, certainly helps that. And filmmaking, the process of filmmaking and how film is made basically encompasses every challenge you can have at almost any other job combined, other than maybe medicine, and even some of that comes into it at times. Anybody who goes into the workforce with those degrees is going to have a step above other people, especially in the beginning of their career, when it's really about can you get things done, and can you communicate clearly.

[April 2016]