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I remember my first year at Hunter College when I took an AFPRL (African/Puerto Rican/ Latino studies) course about cultural identity; it was the first time I had been exposed to such intense social discussion in an academic setting. In my subsequent four years, I was intent on taking courses to enlighten and broaden my political and cultural views. In my final semester, I enrolled in Women and the Media, a fitting and gratifying end to my cornucopia of socially conscious courses throughout my time at Hunter. It was then that the idea for My F-ing Life was created and nurtured by my lovely and amazing professor, Doris Caçoilo. For months, as a class, we discussed familiar authors and intellectuals – the likes of Bell Hooks, Jean Kilbourne, and Gloria Steinem – and we critiqued current events, in the media and in our general lives. Particular to this class was its contribution to the realization of something I guess I knew for a while but didn’t overtly express: I am, indeed, a feminist. It propelled me to make my voice – and the voices of so many other brilliant women I know – heard, and contribute to the discussion as much as I could.

I [finally] graduated from Hunter College earlier this year with a Bachelor of Arts in Film (and a minor in English, woop!). With a degree brimming with hope, as well as an understanding of the grim reality of the media business, the echoes of what I learned these past few years was never more tangible than it has been these past few months. I no longer have the comfort of Hunter’s halls and rickety, unreliable escalators, or the safety of a carefully constructed class schedule. I am a recent college graduate and the struggle is REAL.

I remember when I was but a wee freshman and my mother, ever so concerned about my choices, asked: “Are you sure this film thing is what you want to do? It’s a hard world out there, and it might be time to just let dreams be dreams.” At the time, naïve, infuriated, and incredibly optimistic, I said: “I know, I know – I’m also a woman, and a Latina, and the odds are against me.  I’m well aware of the very, very small chance I have at doing what I want to do for a living … but I have to at least try.” Over the years, I find my fervor has lessened, but my passion has not. And so, this is where I come to direct that passion, reignite my sporadic fervor, and join other women banging on that stupid door marked FILM & MEDIA until we knock it down indefinitely and make way for ourselves and others. I intend to focus on women in film, critiquing both breakthroughs and setbacks. However, I also intend to write about other topics, because I’m a fickle hot mess and that’s okay.

Other things about me:

I’m 23 years old, born in the Dominican Republic, raised, and still living, in the Bronx. I love film (obviously), but I have an embarrassingly limited knowledge of the greats, save for the ones seen in class. In my defense, we were super poor and I went to the movies about once every couple of months; I’m making up for lost films thanks to Netflix though, so stop judging me.

I’m a total bookworm. My shelves are dense with books ranging from political, to children’s, YA, to self-help, non-fiction and fiction, to Harry Potter, and Junot Diaz. I’m obsessed with tea and Bed, Bath, and Beyond.  I will never not love Disney and I can furiously debate its pros and cons any damn time you want. Martha Stewart is my spirit animal. I’m a Whovian and Sherlock fangirl. Lin-Manuel Miranda is my inspiration and all time favorite person. I’m sure I’ve nearly worn out my DVD sets of my favorite sitcom: Will & Grace.  I frequently cook and bake things.

Twitter: WHATCHARLI

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