Tag Archives: holidays

Meet Rucker Manley

The Art of Giving (or, “What I Did on My Thanksgiving Vacation”)

Once a year, I throw a party.  Now, I can’t tell you what kind of party it is, but it’s Beersgiving, and you, prospective graduate student, are invited.  Except next year, it’s in Los Angeles.

So here’s how it goes.  Fellow screenwriter Chris and I invite a bunch of cool (and not lame) of-legal-drinking-age people over to one of our apartments and prepare a feast: last year, it was cajun-rub turkey, and this year, it was apricot-tequila turkey (and not as good as last year.)  Usually, we’ll try to get together and do something wholesome and family oriented.  For example, the year of the very first Beersgiving, we watched the cult smash megahorror, Jordan Downey’s ThanksKilling. Gobble.

That’s all hogwash, though.  How I celebrate holidays of lesser capitalist prominence isn’t what’s important to me about both of these potluck-centric parties.  I don’t consider myself any sort of saint, but after at least four years of undergraduate study, I came to a realization: there are a whole lot of people that have to spend certain holidays alone.  I wanted an opportunity to make that easier on people, and I lured them in with turkey and macaroni and cheese, and it totally worked.

Your graduate cohort is a family, which means that for the next two years (or however long your program lasts), you’re stuck with them, usually for the best.  They’ll build you up, cut you down, and won’t come to your Thanksgiving party, but these precious people will also have the heart to look you in the eye and tell you exactly how and why your advertising campaign or script or essay on the Messiah in musicals sucks so bad.

I’ve really come to rely on the people in my program, but don’t tell them that.  I’ve found that my reputation as “the honest guy” sort of proceeds me at BU COM, but whenever I’ve needed something from one of my cohort, a quick text message and look over whatever I’m working on reminds me that yes, graduate students are much better people than everyone else.

This year’s party ended with a rousing game of Bang!, one of my favorite Spaghetti Western card games.  A certain film student knocked another film student out pretty quickly, and tensions there are high or whatever, but all-in-all, it was good.  Somehow, five meat eaters and four vegetarians consumed an entire sixteen pound turkey, which leads me to believe that vegetarianism might be some sort of ploy by the soy industry, but I’ll keep my theories on that to myself.

Meet Kendal Peirce

My third and final semester is drawing to a close and I find myself looking back on the past year and a half. It’s amazing how fast this program goes by. One minute I was introducing myself to my new peers, the next we are holed up in someone’s apartment cramming for our final comprehensive exam.

Since it’s an accelerated graduate program, I learned a lot in a short amount of time, especially how to cope with unending deadlines and insomnia (thank you spring semester). I can honestly say I am prepared for anything. Meeting-room full of hostile web developers? Bring it. Oral Presentation class taught me the only thing I have to fear is, well, Professor O’Connor. I now have the confidence to speak in any venue, in front of any audience, under any duress.

Surprisingly (though it shouldn’t be), most of the classes I value the most are the ones I’m required to take as part of my major: Communication Studies.

-       Law of Communication prepared me for the ambiguous future of digital law. Always good to know when you’re stealing something. You might say I know too much.

-       Communication Theory illuminated the reasoning behind certain communication strategies. Which will help me as I set out to manipulate consumers and their impressionable minds.

-       Contemporary Media, as someone from a non-communication background, helped set the stage for me in terms of the current state of communication and its possible future. Allows me to be depressed with reasonable cause.

-       Design and New Media II (not required) helped me develop an actual creative portfolio. I even built a functioning microsite – Click Here. Just kidding, I haven’t finished it yet.

Though there is a mountain of work left to do I still force myself to relax and take in what Boston has to offer during the holidays: the Boston Ballet’s annual production of the Nutcracker; Faneuil Hall’s tree lighting, now coupled with a blinding (literally) 140,000 LCD light display; ice skating on the Frog Pond; numerous concerts I probably should have been doing work during; and, of course, the restaurants and bars. You can often find me on Thursday nights, consuming large amounts of nachos at Sunset Cantina or, on Friday nights, hitting up my favorite classy bar, Drink, in the North End (Drink by name and by reputation).

Though I can’t wait for the work to end, I am sad to leave BU and Boston behind. I feel prepared for my chosen career, but I’ll miss the people in the program (students and professors) and the collegiate atmosphere. Maybe I can find a way to stay an extra semester….