Marisa Kindsvater, '13, sits on a dinosaur-shaped chair that she made for her 3D class. (Photo courtesy of Kindsvater)

Freshman Focus Q&A: Marisa Kindsvater hates residential first-year program but loves art classes at CCA

Marisa Kindsvater, ‘13, just finished her freshman year at the California College of the Arts in Oakland, where she is majoring in glassblowing.

Q: What classes did you take, and which did you like the best?

A: In the fall semester, I took Form and Gesture, Action and Interaction, English 1, Intro to the Arts (Art History), and Jewelry/Metal Arts 1. In the spring semester, I took Text, Image, Content, Form vs. Function, Embodiment, Intro to the Modern Arts (Art History part 2), and Intro to Glass and Blowing. My glassblowing class is the best. I’ve learned so many more techniques.


Q: How was your dorm? The weather? The food?

A: My dorm was great! It was a small single hallway with 14 rooms, a lounge, and a kitchen in the center of the campus. My room was fairly large, around 12 feet by 12 feet or so, and we had a mini-fridge and microwave in there. My roommate was great! She was the perfect roommate I could have my freshman year.

We don’t have a cafeteria, but we have a café with adequate food that is too expensive. The weather is great, if not a little on the cold side. It’s the Bay Area, though, so it’s just always nice here.


Q: Did you venture into the town/city surrounding your school? What’s it like?

A: It’s San Francisco. I’d hope everyone has been there at least once.

It’s just a city with things happening at all times during the day and the night. No matter when we went into the city, there was always something to do and we were never bored.


Q: What was the most embarrassing freshman mistake you made?

A: My friend accidentally mixed up the times when BART opened in the morning. She thought it opened at 4 a.m., but it actually opened at 6. We slept for around three hours on the stairs to the entrance of the station. It smelled like pee.


Q: What disappointed you about your school? Delighted you? Surprised you?

A: Residential life sucks. Just about the worst thing. This school, while it’s great and fun and all, has a terrible first-year program. I don’t understand why I have to take half these classes. The best part is that all my classes are art classes, obviously, so I’m not forced to take too many useless classes that I’m never going to use ever again in my life.


Q: What was the highlight of going to college?

A: Not living at home. It’s so free. Also taking my glassblowing class. I’ve learned so much from it, and I’ve grown from it immensely.


Q: Is there anything else cool, weird, or interesting you want to share?

A: I go to art school. It’s all weird.


Q: What art piece did you create this year that you are most proud of?

A: I have two pieces I’m most proud of. The first is a chair I made in my 3D class in the shape of an Apatosaurus dinosaur. I took the bottom of a broken ottoman and refurbished it, adding more wood and cutting and sanding it into shape. I added four inches of padding for the cushion. It’s really comfy and satisfies the part of me that is still a child.  The second is a performance piece I did in a group. We set up a fake gallery and created an entire background story for the land and the building. The entire story was fake, but we had it so well thought-out that everyone in our class believed us and thought we were telling the truth, even our teacher. It was hilarious.


Q: Looking back, is there something that you wish you would’ve done in high school?

A: Not listened to the school when they said my college wouldn’t accept any AP Art History credits. It was a lie. I could have waived two extra classes because of that.


Q: Any advice for the class of ’14?

A: Don’t cause a small explosion by blowing up a lighter. If you do, don’t stick around to get caught by security. Getting written up for something that dumb isn’t worth it.

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