Ringling Pre-College Perspective 2011
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    Ringling Pre-College Perspective 2011

    Hello! I hope I'm in the right part of the forum for this, but anyway... I'm currently a junior in high school and I'm applying for Ringling's Pre-College program for this summer. I've heard that it isn't that difficult to get into (which worries me a little), and I also considered RISD (I love the idea of a 6-week program) but it's really pricey and I also wanted to explore Ringling as a possible college choice for after high school since I want to study computer animation.

    Right now I'm filling out the application, but I'm not too confident in my application essay/writing prompt thing. The limit is 250 words, and I'm at 245 but somehow I feel like it's empty or missing something. :/ I was hoping I could get some help revising it?

    --
    Success—it is an ambiguous term indeed, but powerful nonetheless. For as long as I can remember, the idea of success had controlled my life, beckoning me closer with the illusion of happiness. I pursued it blindly, never questioning or doubting it as I gave chase to that dream of a top-notch career, home, family, and insurmountable wealth. The majority of my 16 years had been dedicated to my education and above all, the haunting ambiguity that was success. My life could have been summarized on a single piece of paper, but even with that realization I did not regret a single moment.

    I still have a long road ahead of me, but the path behind me is no less significant. I spared every moment I could on art while studying and carrying the weight of society's twisted misconception of success. I worked towards a dream that no longer exists for me today, but because of that, I have accomplished more than I could have imagined, met people who inspired and changed me, and became aware of what success truly meant to me. Regardless of the hardships and struggles that will rise to strike me down, or the people who may look down on me for it—I am an artist. I thrive on whatever life may throw at me and I ask only with the utmost respect for the opportunity to prove it to the people in my life by first proving it to you.
    --

    So... there you have it. :< Sorry for making this post so long, help and advice are very much appreciated! >__<

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    Your essay is a tad heavy on cliches, rather than anything really personal, but generally, you should just relax. The application for pre-college is more a practice for actual college applications than anything else; most everyone gets accepted.

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    Thanks Melancov! I've been stressing, probably a lot more than I really should. >: I think I really needed someone to tell me to relax, I feel a lot better just after that simple comment. I'll revise my writing and try to personalize it more, but ughh, the cliches are hard for me to avoid. I'm a walking cliche. Honor student turned artist.

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    Yeah dude, chill. Honor students do tend to go overboard, I know. But going overboard like that isn't at all necessary or extra helpful. Statements like these aren't essays - and I know it's easy to get stuck in that mode of writing in high school.

    Just be clear and concise. Most of all be honest and true to yourself (haha, cheesy city). Who are you as an artist (...not your life story...)? What do you hope to do? What gets you excited about art-making? I think those are the issues that the people reading these would be most concerned about.

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    Thanks Lizzybeth! I pretty much re-wrote the whole thing and I'm much happier with it now that it's become more loose/free and less cliche (or at least I like to think so). XD

    By the way, does anybody know how the application process works for Ringling Pre-college? I've sent in the main online app and faxed my letter of recommendation to them. I figured there would be a confirmation notification for completing my app with the letter since there was one for just sending in the online form. Sorry for being all anxious and everything guys, I just had a lot of issues with the fax machine (busy, failed to send) and then it just went through (my fax machine doesn't notify me if the fax was successful). So... yeah. >___<

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    Hi! This is my first post on this site after lurking for a while, haha.

    Anyway, I wanted to let you know that I'm a junior in high school too, and I applied for Ringling's Precollege program in late november. Sure enough, a week or two later I got an acceptance letter. I was really nervous like you when I applied, but I don't think it's really a big deal to get accepted, now that I think about it- as long as you write a coherent essay and fill out your application completely, I think you'll get in. But you're not really in until you send in that like $300 or $400 deposit, I forgot exactly how much it is.

    They sent me an email right after I faxed my application because I hadn't turned in my letters of recommendation yet, which I was going to do the next day, but I also called the school right after I sent my letters to make sure everything went through. I think you should definitely call/email them too if you're worried.

    I don't know what they're looking for in the essays, but pretty much all I talked about was how I've always wanted to be an animator and hope my precollege experience will help me prepare a portfolio that will get me one step closer to that goal. I got in, but like I said, I really don't think they care that much about your essay, as long as its clear you have some intelligence and don't write about your pet fish Gary or something.

    Good luck, and maybe we'll see each other there!

    Last edited by Sileaux; February 16th, 2011 at 10:30 PM.
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    Oh wow, I can't believe how quickly you applied, Sileaux! O_O I'll try e-mailing Ringling, it'll keep the craziness at bay. XD

    I had a feeling from the beginning that the essay wouldn't matter so much since it's a pre-college program, but you know, anxiety. x_X I tend to worry about things even when I shouldn't. >_< (Other students that use the CA forums should have the site URL on their name tag or something at pre-college. Lol.)

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    Yeah, I was quite the nervous wreck, I was paranoid all the spaces would be filled up within the first month. I've been anxious to go since freshman year, and I worry really easily...haha -_-'

    Lol about the name tag thing, I'll do it if you do it XD have you ever met anyone else here planning on going? Because you're the first person I've heard of... like... anywhere

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    I went last year, but I didn't find anyone on CA forums who was going as well. That year I'd finished the application way early and mailed it out when they started accepting them (in November I think). I'd heard that the computer animation workshop filled up fast so I was majorly paranoid.

    Essay's not really much to worry about. They just want to know if you're dedicated or where your interests lie. Also, as awesome as they are, don't fall victim to making love with a thesaurus.

    It seems that most students have no idea what conceptart is while the rest are lurkers. At least that's the impression I got while there.

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    Aah! That makes me even more nervous! I was gunning for a spot in the Computer Animation workshop along with Illustration (both of which I've heard are really popular) but I spent November-January convincing my dad to let me go. ):

    I e-mailed Ringling and I'm still waiting to hear back from them about whether my application was completed or not, but if I get accepted we could put a little marker on the nametag. xD Less conspicuous than a gigantic URL.

    By the way Addle, what was pre-college like?

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    How was it last year? And did you get into the animation workshop, because that's what I'm going for too

    Also, what specific electives did you take? Isn't there like drawing for animation and then 2d or 3d animation?

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    Sorry I haven't replied sooner! D':

    Pre-college was pretty awesome. You meet a lot of people with great ideas and similar interests. It was a weird experience for me because I traveled far (although there are even some people are from different countries!), and it was the first time I'd ever been in a serious art environment. North hall (the building you dorm in) doesn't have a great phone signal. Good luck trying! Most of the time you'll either have to sit by the common areas windows or leave the building. Great thing is, you're so busy you never have time to call people! Whoo!

    I took the computer animation (yes, I got in) and illustration workshop. Pre-college admissions told me I was one of the first to apply so my paranoia was pointless. I was really bad at illustration, by the way. If you don't get in you can make friends with other people from those workshops and hang out with them during open studios. I'm not sure if it's really "permitted", but I'd brought one of my friends so that she could see the computer animation labs. Haha, I'd even spent open studio time in the visual development room and talked with the TA there - the TAs are very helpful so ask them lots of questions. That's the thing, if you aren't in that workshop, but you're interested in the elective or major, you can always talk to the TAs during open studios. Or you're RAs if that's their major. :')

    Drawing for animation is traditional animation. There's also contextual figure - that one's pretty important. Last year I was stuck between those four (game design was bleh to me). I'd only taken computer animation and illustration to see which I preferred if I had to pick between the two majors.

    If you have any more questions shoot. :'D

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    8D I've never been so happy about the idea of having too much work to squeeze in a phone call. XD I'm a huge cell phone junkie though, all my books and whatnot are stored on it. I admit, I'm a geek about books. xP

    I just got my acceptance letter today, but after looking over it the anxiousness only returned. x___X It said to return the enrollment form no later than February 25, but... today is (was >_>) February 25. Is the 25th a set date for all enrollment forms, or is it specific to each student??? D: Wtf Ringling??? Q__Q Also, I don't have access to a fax machine and the form would (obviously) not make it to Ringling by airmail. The instructions said to mail or fax, but the bottom half of the form said "RETURN TO: etc. etc. etc. cssp@ringling.edu" and so I scanned and e-mailed it... and received an automated message for information packets on programs. e___e;; Ergh... why so complicated? Dx

    By the way Addle, what kind of assignments did you have for each class and especially for the elective workshops? My top choices are Computer Animation and Illustration, but I've been leaning towards Painting instead of Illustration (mostly since I don't know exactly what the Illustration course would entail, and because my painting abilities are non-existent...)

    Last edited by Whimsica; February 26th, 2011 at 02:06 AM. Reason: adding comments
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    Any sort of copy shop will let you use a fax machine for a couple dollars.

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    @Melancov

    I went to a shop to fax in earlier documents, but the letter came in today and I wasn't exactly aware of its arrival until I got home (around 10:00 p.m. because of a service project). I sifted through the internet and phone book, but I live on an island--it's a small place. Businesses don't bother to stay open past 10 unless they're restaurants or such. Hell, even Office Max wasn't open. I would have just faxed it tomorrow, but the letter stated that the deadline is February 25, which was today. :/

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    Some people liked to chill at North Hall during open studios. I would suggest not doing that. There's a lot of important things to do, and although you can complete your illustration assignment in your dorm, I think it's better to talk with the TAs and get feedback. Open studios is really, really important. Please don't get too distracted by the pool table or pingpong. I assume you already know this though. Don't get distracted - it is your parents money after all so take advantage of your education! :'D

    In computer animation we were introduced to Maya and we made three animations. The first was a simple ball bounce so that we could understand squash and stretch principles and the basic controls of the program, the second was a short, simple animation using shapes (nothing really advanced), and the third was animating an already modeled and rigged character. Again, the CA workshop isn't all that advanced. It's just an introduction to the program (which I think you wouldn't see until you were a sophomore CA major anyway). I'd only taken it so I could see if I liked it, but I wish I'd taken contextual figure and arranged something with a friend in that workshop so that I could take a peek at their work.

    Illustration. I'm not sure if it changes every year but this is what we did: we used two media - ink and watercolor. For the ink project we "created" a sea creature for a fishing magazine. For the watercolor there were two assignments. The first was to practice using washes - you use reference of a black and white photograph of an eye and paint it. The second was to design a character for a Children's book, comic book, etc., but the character had to be an animal with human characteristics. I suck at ink and watercolor, but I'll admit that I definitely improved because of the workshop.

    I'd never really talked to anyone from the painting workshop, but I remember seeing their work at critiques. There was a lot of shoe-painting, lol (I'm not sure if that was a specific assignment). They used acrylic paints (don't exactly remember oil but I think you do use it). A lot of it was technique so if you wanted to improve on that and some color theory I'm sure it would be covered. Sorry for the vague info, I didn't participate in this workshop.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Whimsica View Post
    @Melancov

    I went to a shop to fax in earlier documents, but the letter came in today and I wasn't exactly aware of its arrival until I got home (around 10:00 p.m. because of a service project). I sifted through the internet and phone book, but I live on an island--it's a small place. Businesses don't bother to stay open past 10 unless they're restaurants or such. Hell, even Office Max wasn't open. I would have just faxed it tomorrow, but the letter stated that the deadline is February 25, which was today. :/
    Come I think of it, I had a similar issue with one of the forms when applying to Ringling, receiving a form after it was supposed to be returned (though this was when I was applying for undergrad, not pre-college). I called them, and it didn't end up being an issue.

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    I guess Ringling doesn't really account for the time it takes for the mail to get to us if we're in certain locations? Oh, well. :/ Ringling mentioned that they take on extra students past deadline if there's space, so a day or two on the enrollment form shouldn't be a problem.

    Was there a lot more work in the foundation courses? I hadn't factored that part in until now. XP Ah, and thank you for elaborating on the electives, I think my top choices will remain Computer Animation and Illustration. Although I'd probably be happy with anything, save for graphic design or photography--they're just not my sort of thing, no offense to anyone. Oh, and does anyone know what the Visual Development workshop focuses on? All I know is that it's relative to concept art/pre-production type work.

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    It depends which instructors you have for foundation courses - the assignments vary. They'll usually give you an assignment every week so its not that stressful. Everyone gets the same "Artist and Society" instructor; you're all put in the same room every Friday for art history. We had one assignment in that class. Not much to say about it really other than it was just a lecture so not much happened.

    2D Design teaches the elements of deign but it covers the basics to graphic design as well. We simplified black & white shapes for logos and made alternate DVD covers. I know other 2D design groups had different assignments though so this is a general idea of what you may do. It's on macs and you use Photoshop so it's useful to know some of the tools before going because you jump right in to the assignments. There were some kids who'd never used macs or photoshop and they were lost for awhile.

    Again, this all depends on your instructor. 3D design was interesting . . . in that we built things out of plastic cardboard and wire. Wire sculptures, plastic, uh, things, eh. We did get to "play" with x-acto blades though.

    Life study is nude figure study. It's really important, and you do a lot of quick poses. Usually you'll get a 5-minute pose at least once a class. The final class we had a long pose (the entire class). Drawing form + space is perspective and drawing in scale. This is a really useful foundation course as well - I'm going to stop repeating myself now. Those were my favorite foundation courses so I'm totally biased.

    I hung around Visual Development during open studios way more than I should have so I know a bit about this one. You design characters and environments after you are given a "pitch". Characters could be anything from designing a Mario Kart character, a dentist's office mascot, a cereal box mascot, to a creature description that you are given. I wasn't around for the environment part, but it's pretty much the same I think. You're given a prompt and you have to design it. Also really awesome is they gave those in the workshop greyscale prismacolor markers - I was so jealous of that. I think last year was the first year they did this workshop so it might change. Illustration was right across from Visual Development last year so maybe it will be this year.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Whimsica View Post
    I guess Ringling doesn't really account for the time it takes for the mail to get to us if we're in certain locations? Oh, well. :/
    It's administration at an art school. You shouldn't expect competence from them.

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    Lol it's unfortunate that what you just said is absolutely true. I suppose expecting anything is expecting too much. They seem to be good about responding to e-mails and such though, I can give them that much credit.

    Damn, I'm a PC person. :/ I use my school's mac laptops every so often, but I'm definitely slower when I try to navigate through that operating system. I hope that Artist and Society class helps me out for my senior year though, I'm signed up for AP Art History and apparently, the national average score for the exam was below 3 (the passing score). Oh, and it looks like Ringling added on a Drawing class to foundation studies. Description says it includes wet and dry media... hope that's true, it seems like a class where you could get a lot of work done and a portfolio piece or two. I'm looking forward to figure studies. We have a small session around my area, but it's always the same model and poses so I only go to gauge if I have any skill difference. XP I would be totally jealous about those prismacolor markers by the way.

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    Unless they changed it since I took the class, Artist and Society won't help you much to at all with AP Art History. Artist and Society is almost purely 20th century, while AP art history is almost purely pre-20th century.

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    Do you know when they're going to let us sign up for electives? Are they going to mail something out or do we have to get it from the website?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sileaux View Post
    Do you know when they're going to let us sign up for electives? Are they going to mail something out or do we have to get it from the website?
    If I don't get any internships for the summer, then you can expect to meet me during precollege I'll be a TA in the CA major. Possibly jumping around to other majors since I know mult. programs.

    When I went in for my interview, She said they'd be sending stuff in the mail and that people who applied early would be the first ones to pick courses. (it really pays to apply early!)

    Also, if anyone is considering CA, they only have 45 slots left, and that was 2weeks ago! So apply now!

    Good luck everyone!

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    Geez, only 45 spots?! D: So few!

    The package with all the forms had a paper that mentioned elective sign-up sheets would be mailed out and posted on the website "later in spring." Whenever that is, I hope it's soon. So anxious! X(

    By the way, best of luck on the internships Copperfire!

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    Quote Originally Posted by copperfire View Post
    Also, if anyone is considering CA, they only have 45 slots left, and that was 2weeks ago! So apply now!
    45 slots left? As in, people have already signed up? I was one of the first people to send in an application (first month they were accepting them) and I haven't been mailed anything... gah, I'm so confused......

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    Um . . . not sure what she means by only 45 slots left but last year there were 2 ca workshops of about maybe 15-20 kids. So there were about 30-40 slots overall. My memory is pretty hazy, but I think I'm estimating right. 45 slots is a lot - there were about 110-120 precollege kids attending the program last year, and that was the biggest year apparently. I wouldn't panic so much.

    EDIT: Hey! I found my old schedule and stuff and counted. There were 15 people in each ca class. So there were 30 slots last year! Hm, they added another class then? Oh and about 127 people (I underestimated a little). These are last years numbers so really --> please don't worry! :')

    Last edited by Addle; March 8th, 2011 at 11:13 PM.
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    So knowledgeable! I sent in my application a bit late though, so I'll just have to sit back and wait to see my fate, haha.

    Oh, and funny little note to add... I came across the Ringling Precollege 2010 (I think) FaceBook page. There's a Q&A section and apparently, toilet paper was something many of the students overlooked in the required list of things to bring.

    On the more serious side (ahem), my family has been going insane over flight plans. They're worried about the trip out of Sarasota since most of the flights stop/connect in Atlanta, which is a gigantic airport in an area known for crime. :/ There was the idea of flying out of Tampa and doing a direct flight, but that's a 60mile taxi ride... kind of intimidating to be in a car with a stranger for that long in unfamiliar territory. >_>;; I probably wouldn't notice if the driver were taking me in the opposite direction.

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    Wow, good to know you actually DO need to bring toilet paper.... I'll keep that in mind!

    My mom is probably just going to drive me down there from St. Louis which is about 900 miles and at least a 15 hour drive.....D: Guess you don't have any choice but to fly though, being in Hawaii and all. I hope you guys work out the whole flight thing, I think you'd probably be fine in Atlanta as long as you're there during the day when there's a lot of people around, but ultimately your family will decide what's the best idea..personally I'd rather do that than the taxi! But I've never been in a taxi before so that's probably why. Haha

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    Quote Originally Posted by Whimsica View Post
    They're worried about the trip out of Sarasota since most of the flights stop/connect in Atlanta, which is a gigantic airport in an area known for crime. :/ There was the idea of flying out of Tampa and doing a direct flight, but that's a 60mile taxi ride... kind of intimidating to be in a car with a stranger for that long in unfamiliar territory. >_>;;
    Wait, your parents are seriously worried about you being hurt by a crime inside of an airport? There are very few safer places in the world, between the large contingent of security and the bit where everyone is screened for weapons. The odds of dying in a car crash during a taxi ride are several orders of magnitude higher.

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