This is where thoughts become things.

Hi, I'm Daniela. Welcome to my personal lair on the Internet. This is where I write about storytelling, activism, technology and pop culture. Sometimes I post videos. I update my lair when the mood strikes me. Follow me on Twitter for daily updates (@dcap).

My Obsession with Obesity, MENSA thoughts and Favorite “D” Palindromes

I rarely watch television, but when I do I revel in the bizarre and inappropriate shows that somehow are allowed to air. TLC, my beloved channel of all things giganto, is premiering the second season of Honey We’re Killing the Kids! on April 9 at 9pm. The series focuses on the childhood obesity issue. These unfortunate folks are addicted to food, and I am addicted to watching them eat it. Who is more sick? I don’t know, but it’s awesome. Also check out 627 lb. Woman – Jackie’s Story.

– via cynopsis


edit: I was lazy and did not upload images. If these break later today, let me know because otherwise this entry makes less sense than it already does. Thankyee.

I am not a member of MENSA.

However, I recently stumbled on to their magazine through my creative partner. She is a member and graciously allows me to pursue through old copies of the “members only” magazine which features lengthy articles by MENSAns? of all ages. The topics range from time management, the gay marriage debate, DIY home repair, info on local MENSA-related activities, and works of short fiction/poetry.

MENSAns, according to the magazine, can be doctors, lawyers, trapeze artists, unschooled, gay, straight, punk rockers, priests, autistic – basically they keep reiterating that there isn’t an accurate catch all MENSAn description.

Reading these magazines makes me think about how intelligence is generally measured by society, what an “intelligent” person is supposed to look like, and how formal education is a measure for future success.

When people initially assess/interview me, they usually assume I completed college or some sort of video/film production program. That is not the case. I finished High School with my diploma when I was sixteen, but afterwards found the experience of college so profoundly boring that I dropped out after two years (over the course of five years). Fortunately, my lack of formal education has never prevented me from pursuing and attaining my goals. I worked in several challenging fields prior to switching to this “business of show” (primarily educational institutions/organizations), where there was ample opportunity for career advancement if I had chosen to stay on. I would have to say that in all of my positions, my educational background has never an issue.

I do not support dropping out of school. In most cases I would think this is kind of a dumb move. In general, when you go through the interview process, being able to demonstrate that you can finish the things that you start is a crucial asset. Particularly if you are of color, it is highly beneficial to finish your degree and apply what you learn to best serve your dreams. It only makes sense in a world where race definitely still comes in to play at hiring time (If you try to argue with me and say it isn’t, you are getting ass punched).

But to put things into perspective, in the three years that I have worked professionally in NYC, I have met all types of successful people in the industry. Some had masters degrees, others were like me and never finished their bachelors. Some never took any college courses. Others never finished high school. However, what all of these folks had in common were three things (to boil it down): Common Sense, a strong work ethic, and an open mind. I suspect that these three qualities are not something you can completely pick up in a lecture.

Nevertheless, my advice to a young person, if they were to come to me all soft and doe-eyed (aw), would be to stay in school. Frankly, it’s just easier for you all around. Being self schooled is tough. You go into the real world and not only do you have to support yourself but you have to somehow educate yourself as well. Because you don’t want to walk around being a dummy. And there is a certain element of freedom on a college campus you aren’t going to get anywhere else. You get to be an adult, experimenting with what life has to offer, without any of the responsibility (if you are lucky enough to be on the ‘rents/state’s dollar).

When you apply to an internship through the school system, it gives you a certain credibility that Joe Shmoe from the Block is not going to get. People are more likely going to take you seriously if you are already in school, working towards your degree. It implies there is a certain set trajectory that they, your potential future employers, can rely on. People like the illusion of security.

As a former Joe Shmoe from the Block, who applied to 8 zillion internships in NYC and managed to get three solid experiences, I cannot imagine doing that again beyond my early 20’s. It was a horrendous experience, and although my lack of education didn’t prevent me from those three (Killer Films, Jennifer McNamara/Casting, Mirabai Films) I am sure that the other zillion or so applications that no one responded to were rejected solely on the basis of me not being enrolled at a University. MTV does not take interns who aren’t in school, neither does NBC, CBS, and many other media companies. However once I had my first real paid gig on my resume, nothing else mattered.

Entry level production questions:

Do you have an NY drivers license? check. Do you know Avid/FCP? check. Can you use a walkie? check. You will be working weekends, is that going to be a problem? No? check. Who referred you? Oh, blank? Ok yeah, I worked with him/her on whozitz.

Ok you’re hired.

Post entry level production questions (no longer green):

Insert-name-of-Trusted-Associate gave us your name. What have you shot on? Do you have any experience with online/digital production? Can we see samples of your work? Nice.

Ok, you’re hired.
Maybe one day I will go back to school. After I get my first Oscar.

My Favorite “D” Palindromes

Dennis, no misfit can act if Simon sinned.

Derek, I like red!

Dr. Awkward

Damn! I, Agassi, miss again! Mad!


  • jeff

    I think a lot of highly intelligent people don’t have the patience for the traditional education system, but it’s “smart” to stay in school. Catch 22!?!?

    Education opens doors, but it’s intelligence in the interview that get you the job often.

  • julio cesar

    I’m interested in doing research about 1980s’Mensa,Ref.:latin enrollment.
    Where can I get such info.

  • julio cesar

    Iam doing research about latinos enrolment in mensa during 1980-86. Can someone tell me where I can get this info.

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