Dear Academic Senate,
You don’t know me, I don’t know you and you sure as hell don’t know about the College of Creative Studies. But word on the street is you’re slowly going to shut it down.
I don’t know you but I am going to assume that you’re very smart people and you have an excellent reason to demolish something so unique that there are only a handful of programs in the U.S. that are even faintly similar to CCS. But I haven’t heard any of those reasons. Are you shy?
My belief is you have had other people give you recommendations and you have read their research or you have heard about this or that about CSS, but let me ask you a few questions: Have you ever had a French kiss? One from someone who you never believed would ever be into you? Along the cliffs of Del Playa as a band plays in the distance and the sweet smells of the eucalyptus trees mixes with the sea air?
I’m sure you have.
Now if, say an alien from outer space quizzed you about it later, you would probably have a really great story to tell.
But let’s pretend the alien asked a neighbor of yours, “What was that kiss I just saw?” The neighbor would probably say, “Oh, kissing is when you put your mouth next to the mouth of someone else and you twist your tongues around for a little while.”
Is that how you would have described it if the alien asked you about making out?
Probably not. And no matter how smart or worldly or amazing you are, I bet you that no matter what sort of words you put together, you could never describe kissing to someone who has never kissed in a way that was better than… actually kissing. On DP. On a perfect night. With the lust of your life. Who you didn’t even think knew you existed.
I seriously doubt any of you have experienced firsthand what the College of Creative Studies is or was. And I know you have never enjoyed a year or two of being taught by the likes of Robyn Bell or John Wilson. In an environment where you didn’t have to worry about grades or tests or midterms or finals. Where you simply had to go to class, read the books, open your mind and write, and then listen to the feedback.
On paper it might seem super easy, totally idealistic, maybe even too good to be true. And it is for some. But for others, it is the most perfect educational situation in the world. And you have it right now on your campus.
Please do not kill it.
If there are parts about it that you think need fixing, then fix it. Maybe some mouthwash or gum is necessary. Maybe some communication between the parties is in order. But I seriously doubt that if you knew what has gone down in there, and what magic is capable in there, that is extremely hard to pull off elsewhere, you would throw this ridiculous idea of killing CCS out immediately.
Please talk to actual alums. Please talk to Robyn and John. If you want that land for some huge building, put CCS in the basement. CCS clearly has never been about the walls around it. You would know this if you knew it.
So please, either get to know it or just believe that you have something precious and unique and you were not put on this planet to crush it. You were put here to save it.
Thank you in advance.
Tony Pierce is the Community Manager of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. He graduated in 1991 from the College of Creative Studies in Literature.