Christian Wulff, junior Philosophy major and defender on the CC men’s soccer team

How did you get interested in videography?

Like any genuine interest, you can trace it back to when you were younger. If there was a project in school, I would always do a video project. I would always be at my friend’s house making little stop-motion movies about a gopher who fell from space—just wacky stuff like that. It’s not so much an academic interest, since I’m not a Film and New Media Studies major. I took basic [filmmaking], which was really good since I learned a lot in a short amount of time. I wanted to take advantage of what [Colorado College] has because I’ll be out of here soon. I just asked the paraprofessional if I could rent a camera, and he said yes as long as I didn’t mess up any of the majors’ filming. I don’t see myself as a filmmaker or anything like that. I’m just a curious person.

What is your most recent project?

The project itself is still being worked on because I originally wanted to create a longer piece that focused on going to a liberal arts school. Being an athlete is such a part of my identity, so I naturally gravitated towards filming a sport. Also, a lot of my friends are lacrosse players. Part of me wants to create a piece that gets at something universal within student athletics at a liberal arts school like CC. I’m realizing as I go, that’s a huge project. Right now I’m just making smaller, individual pieces. The last one was not artistic, but just highlight takes with cut-in of leadership and some of the coaches talking. That does a lot for the guys. Having someone film them, even if I don’t put out anything great, makes them feel like they’re doing something worth filming. I think I’m going to continue making shorter videos, around three to 10 minutes. The next one is about the day off. We went fishing this past weekend instead of going to Winterfest, which was nice. So maybe locating the team in Colorado because it is just so unique to play lacrosse here and go to school here. When we were driving out to Deckers [this past weekend], it was just so amazing to see the landscape we were passing. I want to show that aspect of CC and playing lacrosse here.

What other projects do you have planned for the future?

I’m going to Chicago this summer for the psychoanalysis class. I’d like to write a grant to cover that and to have something that can be shown in an online pamphlet. I think that could be useful for the school and for me, so I can have more on my plate and my resume. There is just something that I have come across going to a liberal arts school. When I was accepted here and people from home heard, there was a lot of hubbub from parents of my friends who asked me, “Are you sure you want to go to a liberal arts school?” I didn’t know what liberal arts meant, and a lot of kids here don’t know what that means. It could be different among liberal arts schools. John Riker, my advisor, expresses the beauty of liberal arts schools so well. I want to cover what it means to have such a breadth and depth of human experience because you really get human interactions here. You learn what is important. That might be a product of growing up in general, but I think it happens here more so than a lot of other places. I’ve learned that there is a lot more to being alive than staying in the mainstream path of the time you were born in. I like to believe that there is a sense of entrepreneurialism at CC, where students have the self-confidence to follow a passion.

Is this an unofficial capstone project for you?

It’s definitely a way of me trying to digest what I have come across. I never thought I would be a philosophy major and a psychoanalysis major, which I’m proud about, but I still never thought that it would be the case. Each year is going by quicker than the next, and I want to digest it all because I think what I have learned is very important. Sometimes when I’m in philosophy class, I feel great, but then I look outside CC’s boundaries and get disheartened. So, capstone, maybe the beginning of a capstone, but definitely a solid digestion to create and find out who I am and how I think.

What interests you most about philosophy and psychoanalysis?

Studying philosophy is a way of always being on an adventure and attaching to infinite concepts and ideas. If I’m always thinking, there’s always a possibility of discovering something and creating myself anew. It’s almost like a religion. I’ve taken six of seven classes with John Riker. I like to say that my second minor is John Riker. He holds these ethics and has these papers about psychoanalysis that he wrote and that I recommend to people I have close conversations with, because it seems to me that what psychoanalysis deals with is the repressed material in your unconscious. It is so driving of who you are and shows that none of us are healthy from a psychoanalytical standpoint. Now I see everything in a psychoanalytic sense. I’m not very nicely diagnosing everyone; it’s just small things. I definitely recommend to anyone take a psychoanalysis class, take a class with John Riker. It has definitely changed my life.

One thing I’ve always wanted to say is that all this racism, sexism, and judgment and oppression of the Other, basically, it happens because we are all injured selves. Dealing with others is dealing with yourself, the vulnerabilities, and self-consciousness. Making the discovering of yourself opens you up to the differences and beauty in others. And also, just don’t take yourself too seriously.

What has been your favorite psychoanalysis or philosophy class?

I took Philosophy and Psychoanalysis, which is a combination of the two with John [Riker]. Psychoanalysis is an uncovering of yourself, and modern psychoanalysis is called self-psychology. It claims that within everyone there is a self and, psychoanalytically, I think I am trying to uncover a self. In that class, you take the psychoanalysis self and you uncover what has been oppressed and why you are so mentally struggling. That turns into a philosophy of living. Acting class too was awesome. It certainly helped drive my interest in Relations. I probably wouldn’t be able to do any of this without soccer, though. That’s my anchor.

Can you talk more about your relationship with soccer and the team at CC?

The soccer program here is pretty amazing because of a lot of people, but mainly Horst Richardson who was here for 50 years and just retired last year. I have sat down with him and talked with him for hours. He is the most interesting man in the world, if you will. He is very much, first, a teacher. During every away game, every away weekend, we would go to a museum in San Antonio, Texas or go eat authentic alligator in Shreveport, Louisiana. He always stressed using soccer to spread humanity and to connect to other cultures. Our program is just saturated with Horst Richardson, and that’s a great thing to be saturated with. I don’t know what I would do without it because that is how I express myself. It’s the only thing in my life where I get angry, so I kind of need that. The guys are great. I was talking to Wake [Smith], who transferred from CC to the University of Texas, over Spring Break. He kept on saying that he loves where he is, but kept saying how well CC picked the students who go here. He really misses the community he had at CC. The soccer team is another microcosm of that, just a little more intense because we’re with them every day during the season and most days outside of the season. It’s just like another Relations, another place to be yourself. The more places you can be yourself, the healthier you are.

What has been a defining moment of your soccer career at CC?

I think it will be this next year because I got very hurt this past season. I was in a PCL brace, and I had meniscus surgery the spring before, and I had a broken wrist and nose. So I had a wrist brace, a PCL brace, knee tape, and a face-mask for my nose. That’s not at all how you envision your season going. I’m just getting off those injuries, and I’ve never had to come back from something like that. I just started defining my season by not going to Winterfest because I’m just realizing earlier this day, and as we talk, that it is my senior season next year. The earlier you start focusing on that, the better it will be, at least for me. I’m someone who is all or nothing. I also want to show the guys on the team, the freshmen and sophomores, everyone on the team—what it looks like actually giving 100 percent. Rarely does anyone do that, so you don’t know what it looks like.

If I didn’t have the soccer experience I did growing up, I would be a different person. Part of the video I’m trying to get at is that athlete’s psyches are built by the sport they play. There is something just as human and universal, as what drives an athlete, as an artist, or a theater major. There can be kind of a disconnect between athletes and non-athletes. Maybe a good thing, since teams do their thing and you feel more part of the team. But also, the more open you are to supporting others, the better it is.

What else do you do with your free time?

I’m in Relations, which is amazing. I can’t emphasize more how awesome it is. That’s coming out second week Block 8. Keep that on your schedules. I watched my good friend do it last year and knew it would be something I want to do because of the vulnerability you reach with the cast members. You’re in a room talking about your feelings, what is going on at CC and the greater society. It’s especially intense talking about sexual relations because it is such a repressed topic and such a stressful thing. Everyone is getting stuff off their chest. It is such a space to grow and be a genuine human. There is no political correctness. That something I’ve been about recently: just sitting down and talking to people about anything. Since I have a minor in psychoanalysis, we tend to talk about pretty deep stuff.

If you could get a grant to do any project in the world, what would you want to do?

Me and my buddy Baran want to tame wild horses and ride them from the West Coast or Washington into British Columbia. There is something about a long amount of time traveling by horse rather than a car where you have to have a relationship with [the horse] and keep it alive. Part of me just wants to go really slow and that’s a project where I can do that. It’s a project where I can go slow, meet people, and genuinely get to talk to them.

Liz Forster

Liz Forster

Liz was the 2014-2015 Editor-In-Chief at the Catalyst. She has written for the Catalyst since her freshman year. In her free time, she likes to ski, bake, and read memoirs.

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