Martinez: I am switching my major from RTF

Monitors at a TV studio in Bozorth Hall at Rowan University Glassboro campus. Editor- In Chief / Miguel Martinez

I switched my major from Radio, Television and Film (RTF) after almost three years in the major. I guess there is no one to blame for choosing the wrong major in college. But I don’t think I chose the wrong major, filmmaking has been my passion for a long time. But the RTF program was definitely not what I envisioned. 

When I walked into the RTF program at Rowan, I envisioned producing short films, documentaries, working in TV studios, being out on the field or at least learning how to use a camera. All my time in the program has been spent watching the evolution of television and film throughout history. 

Don’t get me wrong, I do have an appreciation and respect for the pioneers of the industry, but the amount of time and effort students spend in learning the history could be used to learn the practical skills that can be used in their career. I think there’s a lot of value in physically learning how to do something rather than just learning how someone else did it with limited technology. 

As an English language learner and someone who did not grow up in the United States, it’s extremely hard to follow the content in these classes as they are heavily based in U.S. culture. Imagine your professor making a reference to film that you have never watched but you are expected to understand the reference. I don’t think that people like me who don’t have an American-centered viewpoint are considered when making the curriculum for the classes. 

When I graduate from Rowan, I want to have a reel of the work I can produce. I want to be able to show employers that I can pick up a camera and create whatever video I am ask to do. In the digital age we live in, we create videos not only in a traditional TV broadcast environment, but also faster media environments. I think Rowan RTF courses are stuck in the past while the rest of the world is constantly evolving with technology.

I envision a more diverse class where everyone has the opportunity to learn regardless of what the background they have. I envision classes where I pick up a camera and produce film, bring it to the professor, learn what I did wrong, fix it and go back to filming.

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