Deborah Ten graduated from university in Tokyo and works as a copywriter and Japanese-to-English translator. She attended Columbia University during Columbia Summer 2017 as a visiting student in the Arts in the Summer program.
Featuring a simple application process that requires only an online application and application fee, Arts in the Summer is ideal for individuals who are interested in taking select School of the Arts summer courses in film, writing, visual arts, or theatre.
What attracted you to the Arts in the Summer program?
Mainly, I wanted to hone my English writing skills. I am from Malaysia originally and learned English in school. My parents speak English at home, but I wanted to get a better understanding of American culture. I saw this opportunity as a way to transition from PR to copywriter and really wanted formal writing classes.
This experience gave me the chance to push my creative bounds without the fear of judgement. Everyone in the program really tries to build each other up and make each other better.
What classes did you take and how do you hope to use this experience in the future?
I took two classes: How to Write Funny and Creative Nonfiction. How to Write Funny helped me to think on the spot and exposed me to improvisation. It was a really fun environment with a lot of discussion. The Creative Nonfiction class was eye-opening. We studied memory maps and how to write past experiences in a coherent way. I think both will be very useful when I consider who I’m writing for and how to engage them.
Why would you recommend Arts in the Summer to others?
The faculty giving critique and feedback are the at the top of their fields and the students are very diverse. Being around such a wide variety of backgrounds really adds to the program. Everyone is here for a purpose and they all have different goals they want to achieve — it pushes you to do your best.