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Personal Statement 6

Personal Statement 6

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Published by Tim Meester

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Published by: Tim Meester on Dec 02, 2011
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 Tim MeesterFinding My FirePersonal StatementPart 1:Growing up, my family was poor, violent and plagued by alcoholand drug addiction. Money was so scarce at times that we feltfortunate to eat bologna sandwiches for dinner. I will never forget thegenerosity of my friends who would bring my siblings and me breadand sandwich meat on those weekends where my mother andstepfather disappeared from the house for a couple of days on a drugbinge. Generally, however, the party was at my home since it wasessentially the nest for the drug trafficking and partying in town.Most nights I was kept awake on the living room couch (my bedin the house) by the bustle of unruly people and loud music. At somepoint there was usually a meth transaction. The night typically endedaround 3 am and I considered it a good night if I didn’t have to watch aviolent fist fight between my stepfather and mother. Then, around6:30 am, every morning I would be rudely awakened by the shrillscreams of my younger, troubled, half-brother. Within minutes, theentire house was in a hateful uproar. To mute everything out, I obsessed over movies, immersingmyself in a fantasy world. I especially loved Universal’s ClassicMonster movies and films in the Sci-Fi and Fantasy genres. At a veryyoung age, I wrote and directed plays and would persuade friends andsiblings to join in. I always wanted to make my own homemademovies, but I knew my parents could never afford a consumercamcorder. School was another place where I found refuge from thechaos of my home, but it also produced more problems.I was placed in special education classes from K-12 due to theschool administration’s misunderstanding of my academic abilitiesstemming mostly from their perception of my family life. Schoolofficials told my parents they believed I was borderline mentallyretarded and a school counselor at one point told my father during my3
rd
grade year that I would likely end up in prison as an adult. This ledUSC – School of Cinematic ArtsMFA – Television & Film Production2012
 
 Tim MeesterFinding My FirePersonal Statementto social alienation as well as a persistent self-doubt that manifestsitself in my life to this day at certain intervals. Despite thesecircumstances, I found an early passion in history, especially ancientGreek and Roman history. What interested me the most about thosehistories were the stories. Instead of choosing to be studious andbettering myself early on, however, I blamed my family and school formy problems and went into a downward spiral.By the time I reached my sophomore year in high school, asthings got worse at home and at school, I turned away from the thingsI was passionate about and made a slew of decisions that culminatedinto my hitting rock bottom. It began when I started stealing beer frommy mother after school to sleep better at night. I then started hangingout with the “bad crowd,” the kids I identified with the most. For aperiod of three years I made mistakes that I am not proud of.After I barely graduated high school with a 1.7 GPA, I was a fewthousand dollars indebted to the courts, unemployed with a suspendeddriver’s license and struggling with a meth addiction. All of my corefriends were in prison and I spent most of my time at home, the lastplace in the world I wanted to be. My elementary school counselor’sprediction was coming true: I was bound for prison. Somewhere deepdown I knew this picture wasn’t right, I was better than this, but I felttrapped in an impossible situation. I fell into a horrifying epoch of despair and self-pity and started thinking that suicide was my bestoption. It was in my darkest moment that I found a better side of myself that I had repressed most of my life: the passionate side of methat loved history and stories: the part of me that wrote plays as a kidand wanted to make films. I stopped blaming others for my problemsand decided it was time to take responsibility for my own life and pullmyself up by my bootstraps.After a potent spiritual experience I picked up the Bible, whichwas the first piece of serious literature that I read. As I was strugglingUSC – School of Cinematic ArtsMFA – Television & Film Production2012
 
 Tim MeesterFinding My FirePersonal Statementto overcome my drug addiction, I encountered a man at a post officewho was heading to Hawkeye Community College in an attempt tochange his life: he was the father of one of my incarcerated friends.He encouraged me to sign up for Hawkeye, taught me about the Bibleand secured me a job with him for the summer.When I arrived at Hawkeye, I met another mentor, an eccentricpoet and Western Civilization professor. He bridged my knowledge of the Bible with an introduction to the Classics of the Western Canon andcultivated the artist in me by teaching me insights into art. Thisinspired me to strive for a specific goal that I am still determined toachieve: to become a serious filmmaker. I am confident, in light of mypersonal and academic achievements, that my goal is very possible.It has been eight years since I dramatically changed my lifearound. Since that time I have used no drugs or have been involved inany criminal behavior. I am very ashamed of the stupid choices I madewhen I was younger, but now feel fortunate to have had theexperiences because they have shaped me into the person I am today.Now, instead of falling into self-pity and drug use when I encounterhardships, I use my pain as inspiration to achieve my goal. This goal,in the last two years, seemed just within my reach.For my final twelve minute long film project at the University of Iowa, I directed fifty people through a grueling 10 month period, a veryambitious task for a smaller film school where most students call theirfriends up on a weekend to shoot in a dorm room. My collaboratorsbelieved in me. Two days after a very successful screening, I flew toOxford University for two terms, my greatest academic challenge andachievement to date. While there, I wrote three six to ten page essaysa week and gained a much deeper understanding of the Classics I’vecome to love. Now that I’ve graduated from the University of Iowa, Iam hoping to study at USC in order to develop my craft as a filmmaker,as well as to continue to grow intellectually.USC – School of Cinematic ArtsMFA – Television & Film Production2012

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