Teaching money

Today I was researching for my syllabus proposal for this institute. I came across a lot of interesting articles and got some new ideas for how to teach screenwriting to non-majors.

And then, I found this interview of Rich Dad Poor Dad‘s author Robert T. Kiyosaki by accident:

They want you to be poor

What Kiyosaki talked about reminded me of a convo I had with my date:

“School doesn’t want you to know how to make, invest and save money. Because school is run by the government. The last thing they need is more smart people outsmart the system. And the debt system would collapse on them. There would be no irrational consumerism or consumerism, period.”

My eyes widened in shock and I nodded, “It made so much sense now.” I also felt chill down my spine as I bottomed down a shot of reality.

I’m an artist, a freelancer, an educator. And I don’t have a healthy relationship with money.

I think it’s time for me to embrace that neglected and ignored relationship. I mean, who doesn’t want to make friends with money, right?

Yours truly,

The funding

“How did it go?” I asked my soon-to-be writing partner after our new feature project meeting. She also teaches screenwriting at this well-off art school. Over the past week, she has been trying to get funding for her students’ short film projects.

“They gave me a flat-out no.”
“Based on what?”
“a) it’s the end of the year. There is zilch budget left; b) even if they do put in some fund, it has to go through competition so everyone gets a fair shot; c) they might reward the students once their short films won some serious awards.”

And one more thing, in the history of the school, students always fund their own projects. Why do they suddenly need the money now?

I was angry but least surprised. Here is a college that spends money on swans, willows, and moving two ancient buildings from another province to the campus. Now they admit they don’t have any budget?

I believe them. Now, you need to understand how things work here. If there is 100 dollars. The top dog snags 80 dollars as his income, and hands over 20 to his subordinates. The underlings copy their boss. So when the money trickles down to the people at the bottom of the food chain, they get peanuts and jackshit.

Just how driven are these students to get their movies made? I don’t know. Because it now comes down to on how much money their parents would invest/waste and how resourceful the students are.

No wonder when artists here finally get recognized, they thank their family, their loving and understanding parents, their mentors. But they may never mention the schools they graduated from, the system in which they were raised.

Why would we blow your horn when you are here just for yourself?

And to continue the Thanksgiving spirit:

I vow that I would not forget the wonderful people who have helped me along the way.

I vow that I would do so for the younger generations who are talented and dedicated but need the support because the system won’t.


Yours truly,