Letter from the Editor: Spring '18

No Little Plans

"Make No Little Plans" (Monadnock, 2017) at the Chicago Cultural Center

February 14, 2018

Letter from the Editor: Spring '18

Welcome back to SAIC for the start of a new semester!

For some of you, this may be your last few months in school, possibly forever. This may also be the end of your stay in Chicago. I encourage you to take advantage of the unique and free activities Chicago has to offer, even in the midst of killing it in school. There are so many ways to explore a city with loads of public art, even in the snow. (Start with the Chicago Cultural Center; it’s my favorite).

So, how will this semester be different than the last? Well, it’s a new year. It’s a time we aspire to kick destructive habits and do things that fuel our fire in a healthy way. When we talk about making New Year’s resolutions, however, I don’t think we always take into consideration what the word "resolution" actually means. A resolution by definition is the action of solving a problem, dispute, or contentious manner. I think where a lot of these promises to ourselves get lost is when we think too small: “going to the gym, quit smoking, etc.” It’s time to think big and start small.

As I’m approaching post-grad life - an equally thrilling and terrifying (and sometimes debilitating) reality -- some goals come to mind:

  • Reduce carbon footprint
  • Learn how to market my work
  • Have more confidence in my work

I want to address the latter because it’s something I’ve struggled with my entire life.

So, we’re in school, and our creative output is constantly being critiqued. This is what we’re here for. This is what we’re paying for: to have professional eyes and ears point us in a direction that they feel would benefit us the most. The ongoing commentary can weigh us down, though, and maybe make ourselves question our artistic choices in the first place. But here’s the thing, you are the only you.

Trust yourself, trust your experience, trust your colleagues, trust your gut. Just do you, work hard, and everything will fall into place. No one else can do that for you.

To give your year and your semester a melodic jumpstart, I recommend listening to the album How I Got Over (2010) from The Roots. It’s a good one. Here are a few of my favorite bars from "The Day" (featuring Phonte):

So you can stop and refresh the rules Breathe in, breathe out, let it heal all your exit wounds Something inside said that's the move And maybe today I'll restart fresh and new

Reported by Mallory Somera (MANAJ '18)