Updated: Apr 12, 2020
I got kicked out of an all-Mormon college for smoking weed at the age of 17, and into the University of Utah at 18. My dad and brother said I'd never get into the University of Utah.
I got into the U!
I loved school! I loved my teachers! I loved my classes. I loved the resources and I loved meeting new people.
My 1st year of college was innocent.
I studied Film and Media Production at the University of Utah 2008 - 2012. I developed an interest in European Cinema, Experimental Filmmaking, Screenwriting, and Digital Arts. I learned how to use Adobe Creative Suite and design in Illustrator, Photoshop, Premiere, and Cinema 4D.
School enhanced my life. It stimulated my creativity. It introduced me to a lot of people.
I loved that campus was tucked in the downtown mountains of Salt Lake City. I loved taking the train and exploring every stop. I'd often take the train to the downtown library and check out CDs judged by their album art. One of my favorite albums discovered in this process: King Geedorah "Take Me to Your Leader".
2nd semester of school:
I took a Sundance Film Festival class. The requirement: Go to the festival. Watch 9 films and attend 1 panel. It was incredible! I honestly couldn’t believe it was a class. I saw my professor at the Kodak party (when Kodak was a thing) and he was like: "Um. What are you doing here?" I saw the documentary, “In Prison My Whole Life” and that changed my life.
It’s about about a man named Mumia on death row accused of a crime he did not commit. It told a bigger story of a flawed criminal justice system incarcerating a disproportion number of black and brown people like modern day racism.
This documentary got me so fired up, I wanted to free Mumia. I did a google search, found a MySpace profile for "Free Mumia", and sent a message. While I was scanning their page, I saw an icon in their Top 8:
Students for Sensible Drug Policy.
I clicked on a link that changed my life forever.