Dilenia C Rodriguez
Artist & Filmmaker
© Dileniation Studio LLC
This documentary was filmed over a period of three academic years, from 2014 to 2017.
Student films made for the Film, animation and video department at the Rhode Island School of Design.
Credits to the people featured in these videos. Friends, students and coworkers.
Music from freemusicarchive.org and Freesound.org
The most exhausting and interesting work shift. This is where I learned all the cool bougie recipes. Where all the workplace drama goes down. A mystical space where time slows down and your feet start to hurt.
A confusing time when the morning shift and the afternoon shift merged powers to feed the crowd of hungry young adults.
THE BREAKFAST QUEEN
For a while there I was nicknamed the breakfast queen.
I was responsible for it every weekday, waking up was not easy.
It took me like a month in college to realize that I wasn't doing it like everyone else (I think). To me college was this whole abstract experience I'd only heard from in family folklore. The story of cousin Nani, who went to college and now has a nice house in the suburbs. Cool, nice , great...
So about half way through my first semester I had run out of my summer job (as a shoe sales associate) money. One might say, likely story, you probably spent it all on booze and avocados.
People who say this don't know what it cost to go to college , more specifically to art school: As a first generation. Well my parents couldn't help me out, they just didn't have that kind of money.
I got a scholarship for a reason and they rejected my student loans for that same reason. I started looking for jobs all around campus, the library, offices and grade schools nearby (also I applied to almost everything Online ever):Turns out I was living in college town USA and there were plenty of broke college students looking for jobs, and I guess I wasn't the right candidate for them. From later experiences, I find that people severely underestimated me. Perhaps because at the time I didn't wear the nicest clothes; pants are expensive and if your thighs are big and they do the thing where they rip just a little and you have to cut them up and make them into trendy shorts, then so be it.
The summer came and I grew desperate, I didn't have a place to sleep or how to pay for it and I didn't get the job as a summer RA,
(which I thought the interview went fine).
Two of my friends at the time suggested that I start working at the MET. My school's dining hall, where they had worked during the spring semester. I had to email this guy who I guessed was on vacation because he did not reply often. Until finally when the Dining hall opened for the summer, I marched in there prepared to demand (or beg,whichever) that this guy give me some hours, anything. To my surprise he wasn't there he was still on vacation. Which turned out to be great news because the kitchen managers were in and
they put me on the schedule right away: with the advice that I wear pants of course. I used my last seventeen dollars that day to buy a pair of black pants from Wal-Mart which at the end of the summer also ripped (life experiences I guess).
I was like Bambi at first, getting used to my new legs, but I quickly became part of the herd .
I liked working at the met that first summer, I had only one friend around and the rest of my days were lonely and day-dreamy. The employees were so much more real than the students, (granted that in the summer
no one is real at RISD).
Around 9am when breakfast was done we'd all take a seat at table in the dining hall and talk, tell jokes and share stories. Sometimes other employees would join us, the ones who had rejected me for jobs before.
Going into the fall of sophomore year I was working as much as I could keep up with my class schedule, which was the only way I could think to keep up with the costs. However, with the workload of being a full time student keeping a practically full-time job was complicated. I'd have to give up a lot of sleep to keep up with my assignments and being a film ,animation and video student most of my assignments required me to make short films: So I brought the camera with me to work and I documented what I was living in those days. Over the three years I worked at the Met I recorded many short films of my experiences and my co-workers. It wasn't very hard to become inspired by such lovely, diverse and fun people.
RISD'S THE MET
The bakery people walking around the kitchen judging the cooks.
My work study at the Met taught me many things, including: