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Why I Teach Film: Dr. Chera Kee


Growing up, I wanted to be a filmmaker—I made cheesy films on my parents’ video camera; I subscribed to filmmaking magazines; I watched as many movies as possible. What I didn’t count on was that I liked watching films a heck of a lot more than making them. Over the years, I’ve been able to make a few films, and there are parts of it I like: quite honestly, if I weren’t a professor, my dream job would be film editing. But, filmmaking was never as fun as I’d hoped it would be.

Teaching, on the other hand, has been a thrill from day one.

Being a professor was never something I considered, but after my first Master’s degree, I was taking a class for the fun of it. The professor had expected an enrollment of around 30 students. She ended up with 150, and she suddenly needed Teaching Assistants. I had a graduate degree, and I was already sitting in on the class, so I qualified—and BAM! I was teaching. It was terrifying, but after my first discussion section, I knew that I wanted to do it again. Teaching was awesome!

That was over a decade ago, and while I don’t make films anymore, I get to watch them and write about them and teach them, and teaching is still my favorite part of my job.

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