Dustin R

Academic Area:
Production and Design – Telecommunications,  College of Arts and Sciences

Hometown:
Chesterton, IN

Undergraduate Institution:
Augsburg College. Minneapolis, MN [Theater Arts Major (Performance, Directing/Dramaturgy/Playwriting, and Technical) and English (Creative Writing) with minors in Religion and Media Writing]

Research Interests:
Transmedia Storytelling, Narratology, Theater Arts, Musical Theater, Producing, Fantasy, Science Fiction, Screenwriting, Visual Storytelling.

The Best Thing About Being a Graduate Student at IUB:
My Favorite thing about being a graduate student at IUB is that the faculty truly care about what you believe in. At this point in your career you are no longer a peon, but you are either already considered a professional or an aspiring one. Faculty treat you like a peer or colleague rather than a student. I have had close personal relationships with my advisers, and I have been inspired by them rather than told what I was doing was wrong. IUB has a wonderful community on a beautiful campus, and I am happy with the relationships I am forging on this campus.

Insider tip about living in Bloomington:
Get a BIKE! The campus can be walked, but it is big. Parking is not very good on campus so, again, get a bike. Also, shop at ALDIS grocery store. You can get $200 worth of groceries for $100. I love food so I recommend the Crazy Horse Salad at Crazy Horse, El Rancheros for Mexican food, and Mother Bear’s Pizza. Come check out the campus before you decide to attend the school, and start looking for apartments early. Advice for surviving grad school comes in the form of double dipping. You can’t do one assignment for two classes, but you can make every class work toward your thesis/dissertation and/or master’s project. Tailor every project to a final goal and they will accumulate into a larger piece of work. In terms of surviving the social scene, remember to meet lots of new people. Everyone is alone and scared when they first get here. Reach out to others. There will be many hours of alone time and loneliness is a real problem, but you are never truly alone—call your parents or long distance friends if you need to, but look for fellowship, outreach programs, and other avenues of friendship. Don’t simply rely on the party scene. You have two free counseling sessions—use them! With all of that, always remember to have fun. Grad school is not as scary as it sounds. In fact, it’s an amazing time.

Email Dustin

Recent Posts

iGraduate School

The Journey Ends so It May Begin

Do you remember how, throughout your entire education people have always said, “You have to learn this so you’re ready for Middle School. If you don’t understand so and so or you won’t survive in High School. If you can’t read this many pages and write this many words, college isn’t for you.” And every time you made it up one tier up, you were always like, “Man, this isn’t so bad.” Take all those times people were trying to prepare you for something and bring them together. Graduate school is what they were trying to preparing you for. You have finally made it.

This Isn’t so Bad

Okay, hopefully that freaked you out a little bit, but not too much. Graduate school is what you have been preparing for your entire academic life, but you are prepared for it. It’s amazing, preparing all that time has actually made you prepared? How strange.

That’s not to say it won’t be tough. It will be. Graduate school is demanding, but it’s also fun—if you’re here for the right reasons.

Graduate school is not a place to come and hide. It’s not a place to run away from the economy. It is a place to come to truly learn about yourself. If you haven’t ever taken time off, away from school, then it is the time you will become an adult. You are building your career in these walls. You are pursuing something that may encapsulate you for the rest of your life, and you are in one of the best places in the world to do it. High school was not the best years of your life, this might actually be.

The Ritchea Experience

That last comment had a lot of weight to it so maybe I should explain myself. I am a pluralist who believes that vocation, or our calling in life, is the summation of all of our experiences and is the story of our lives rather than the plot (syuzhet over fabula). What I mean when I say that graduate school may be the best years of your life, is that graduate school can help you define your vocation. It can help you down the road that will accumulate into your journey.

I’m currently on my second year, and if I told you everything that I have done in just one year it would come off as bragging so, suffice it to say, I will simple state that I backpacked Europe; something I would have never done without graduate school.

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Now that I’m back, I’m on fire. I feel alive and ambitious. I feel like I could tackle anything that comes. Again, bragging, but I’m trying to get you jazzed. See, graduate school is a fellowship of like-minded people who have put education over money. These are intelligent human beings who are always asking questions, questions that can get frustrating at times, but questions nonetheless.

 

Currently, I am working with a group of twelve graduate students and some forty undergrads on a transmedia, mutli-collaborative, meta-narrative, installation project in the school of Media (Telecommunications for the time being). In this class I am leading discussion groups and writing teams to develop a massive narrative for a at least five other production groups. I’m getting hands on experience, professional know-withal/how-to, and stress—lots and lots of stress. But it’s good stress. I go home feeling refreshed rather than defeated, and I owe it all to graduate school.

The other class I am currently enrolled in is transmedia novels—I’m actually writing a novel for a class. It is insanely difficult but one of the most rewarding things I have ever done.

Graduate school offers you many doors. You can party, you can work, you can play, you can socialize, you can network, and you can learn. The sky truly is the limit. I’m trying to get to space–metaphorically. I hope you will too.