Nina Kleinberg tells Liya Liang the story about the moment she decided to leave her home and STEM education to pursue an education and career in film on the other side of the country
What role has education played in your life?
I think education has played an extraordinarily important role in my life in that every time there was something new that I wanted to learn or get involved in. I sought out the best educational experience possible. Education was highly valued in my family, both of my parents had masters degrees and professions. And the understanding when I was growing up for both me and my sister was that we would go to high school and we would go to college and our parents would support us through graduation from college and then we were on our own. When I started off in college, I was Pre-Med with the goal of becoming an obstetrician gynecologist. I had started observing and attending births when I was a candy striper at the age of 14 and even then, I knew that there was something wrong with the way obstetrics was practiced and I felt that my best role could be to become an OBGYN and change that. Very shortly after I got there, I got this sense that in being pre-med I was essentially going to approach the human body as a very sophisticated machine. And that as a physician, I was going to be an extremely sophisticated auto mechanic. And the emphasis was always on the hard sciences and not very much on human interaction. And I just intuitively knew that was wrong, I felt the what felt to me the wrong approach to healthcare. Somewhere in my sophomore year I decided I was not going to become a doctor and decided that I would become a teacher and I applied to and got into an MAT program with the goal of becoming a teacher. Between the summer program, which was part of my MAT program, and returning to school in the fall. I went to England where I met a man who was staring in a television series and he invited me to come to the set and watch how they shot it. And, again I was just totally hooked with the process. I remember on the plane home I was flying back from England I was going to be back in graduate school in a few days. I sobbed so heavily that the flight attendant asked me if I was okay, and by the time I landed I had decided to drop out of graduate school and become a film maker. It was you know within the space of a month of two from that first lecture till that decision, it changed my whole life.