Introduction: Brittney Cooper

By Brittney Cooper, March 23, 2021
Brittney Cooper (They/She), Cinema and Photography B.S. '23

Blog posting written by Brittney Cooper (They/She), Cinema and Photography with Minors in Gender Studies and Honors Interdisciplinary Studies, '23, FLEFF Intern, Tunkhannock, Pennsylvania

My first semester at Ithaca College required me to create a four year plan, which has since been unexpectedly derailed. I would be lying if I said my first-year efforts of crafting the perfect next four years felt like a waste.

While my time as an Ithaca student consists of three, now four, semesters; I would consider myself experienced enough to confidently say, “What the hell was that”? And, “It’s time for the next fun experience”. Was it the soul-sucking isolation or the hissing boredom that drove me to a new electric excitement?

My first semester as a student was the usual. There were 1 a.m. milkshakes followed by 8 a.m. classes which in hindsight was a horribly thought-out decision. Second semester was generally the same, except I had friends to get milkshakes with. Then Covid began. BAM! Milkshake shops are open no longer, and neither is the college. 

I did not return as a student in the following fall semester. Instead, I had cats to feed and siblings to take care of. I was working 8+ hours a day to sustain the increasing bills in my mother’s house. Not to mention, Wifi was not a guaranteed luxury for me and all this scratches the surface of troubles I was facing. A whirlwind of responsibilities gathered and decided my ‘mini-vacation’ fate.

The vortex of the past 10 months have led me to Finger Lakes Environmental Film Festival (FLEFF).

Currently, I am running in excited FLEFF powered circles because I haven’t had the space for intellectual discussions in the past many months. At home, my options were either “talk to” or “listen to”, but not “discuss with”. I’m positive there are students who share my sentiments. 

I am excited to head dive into intellectual events FLEFF provides, where experienced guest and global scholars shares their insight and knowledge.

Most importantly, FLEFF, while I am fulfilling requirements for credit, is an opportunity for escapism. It is not an escapism of work or effort, but an escape to fun. For a few weeks, the FLEFF  get to collective escape the routine of school and work and sleep, school and work and sleep. Instead, we will break out of the mundane pattern to encounter a film festival.

In a blink, FLEFF will be upon us in full swing. Despite FLEFF being 100% online, I am continuously counting down the days by looking at the situation’s positives. The festival is now more accessible and longer. Yet, the most thrilling part means sitting in comfort and not walking in Ithaca’s freezing weather to experience FLEFF history.