Question about academics

Michael McCaskey mccaskem
Thu Nov 3 12:05:23 EST 2005

Dear Davide,

For myself, I think you are starting on a good basis the way you are proceeding now. I also think it helps a lot to learn as much Japanese as you can in school, and then go on studying it on your own on a long-term basis. That will allow you to appreciate the films more fully, and give you access to lots of very helpful and interesting material that's not available in other languages.

Some colleagues on this list from universities with excellent graduate programs in both Japanese and film studies may be able to give you good advice on where it might be advisable to apply, and on what criteria you will need to meet to be accepted.

Best Wishes,

Michael McCaskey
Georgetown Univ.

----- Original Message -----
From: Davide Gualandi <basement at>
Date: Thursday, November 3, 2005 11:29 am
Subject: Question about academics

> Hello,
> My name's Davide and I've been avidly keeping track of your 
> discussions for 
> the past few years. Even if I can't recall ever posting on the 
> mailing 
> list, I've been a fervid Japanese film enthusiast for several years.
> Anyway... to make the story short... a couple of years ago I 
> relocated to 
> San Francisco all the way from Italy with the intention to "go 
> back to 
> school". In Italy, I worked as a contributing writer for a few 
> film and 
> music magazines, but always "drooled" thinking about moving away 
> from home. 
> Here (in SF) I now completed (well... I'm close to complete) lower 
> division 
> courses (mostly general education and the equivalent of Jap101) 
> and I now 
> find myself questioning what I really want to do.
> While "rhetoric" at Berkeley (with a focus in Narrative and Image) 
> looks 
> great to gain more experience at researching/writing, I'm not sure 
> 1) how 
> many chances I have to get in as an international student 
> (residents have 
> full priority) and 2) if the prestige of the university at 
> undergraduate 
> level is worth all those money.
> Considering that my plan is to get the BA out of the way in the 
> shortest 
> time possible and to pursue a master or a Ph.D at a university 
> that has a 
> good East Asian studies program (with emphasis in film), I'm 
> wandering 1) 
> if I should keep going with Japanese and strive for a BA in 
> Japanese or 
> keep it general (let's say, Film Studies or Humanities). Also, as 
> the 
> application deadlines start to get closer, I'm wondering if I 
> should stress 
> applying at prestigious universities across the country or just go 
> to the 
> local State University, planning to hit renowned universities as a 
> graduate 
> students (considering that I'll then have more chances to receive 
> some 
> financial aid).
> I'm sorry if this is too "off topic", but I was curious about your 
> academic 
> background and the path you took to get "closer" to the cinema 
> you've been 
> passionate about.
> Thanks in advance,
> Davide

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