Tuesday, August 26, 2014

I'm in

All is good, my 50% down payment was covered on August 15th. I have been working with Event Services on campus since Monday, August 18th. It is good to be back with them. Setting up and resetting for the opening weekend got me very tired - I was doing a lot of physical work; lots of tables and chairs we had to transfer from place to place and set up at different locations. I got 48.5 hours over a week, and will get some more tonight. This will cover my rent expenses for October, so I am very grateful and excited.

Tomorrow is the first day of classes, and I start off with Pre-production/Production classes, aka The Biola Film. I am an Art Director for this project, and expecting to have a lot of fun as well as a lot of sleepless nights of building sets and making props. This should be a great semester, and a hard one. I am taking 18 units, and will also have to squeeze in work somewhere in between classes and homework.

I still have to pay the rest of my tuition, which is split in two installments of $2,800. The first installment is due September 15th - pretty soon. I am trying to pay for the house on my own, as well as food, but I can barely make it, especially with school in session. Please consider donating towards my tuition, and if you wish, you could also donate towards my housing expenses.

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Getting closer

Housing problems are slowly getting resolved; tuition costs are on the way to being covered. I had to call my family on Monday and tell them about my financial struggles, which ended up with my mom and my grandma being all stressed out and having sleepless nights. This is why I usually do not tell them such things... But this time I had to. My Grandma gave me almost all her available savings of $1,365. I was hesitant to accept that gift, but otherwise she won't sleep until I pay off my tuition and will be able to continue my education - getting a degree is very important for the elder generation.

Hence, with some generous donations, I am $622 short to be able to cover my down payment. I need it by this Friday, 15th afternoon to avoid the late payment fee.

Once again, if you would like to make an anonymous donation, you can give a gift straight to my Biola account 
[By mail: Checks may be mailed to the Accounting Office, 13800 Biola Ave, La Mirada CA 90639. Be sure to include the student name and ID number - Ekaterina Makarova 1554167
By phone : Call the Accounting Office at (562) 903-4760].
For other payment methods or any questions about me, my situation, and my vision, please contact me via email: ekaterina.makarova@biola.edu

Couple examples of what my vision is aimed towards:

Sunday, August 10, 2014

A Home To Be

I moved into a house on Friday, and it'd been a little bit crazy since then. Still moving furniture around and unpacking, but it is very nice to be out of the dorms and have some cozy private space. There are new questions and struggles that came with this, like no free AC or ants or how to store your belongings in a room with no closet. But it is fun to go through this with my 8 housemates and gain experience in these kind of questions. Hope to make this place my home.

My biggest struggle is still paying the tuition. I have until Friday, August 15th to raise $4,000 to cover my down payment. Then it is going to go into a late enrollment fee of $200 if I will not pay by the 15th, and August 25th my classes will be dropped. I am stressed; praying for peace and miracles. The rent payment date is also approaching.

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Unexpected things

This week was the last week of the summer job with Conference Services at Biola. It is quite bittersweet. I spent two wonderful months with a great team preparing rooms for guests, checking them in and out, doing lots and lots of laundry... Now I know how to fold fitted sheets into nice small rectangles and how to adjust dorm beds height.

I have just finished packing my belongings and now ready to move out of the dorms in the morning. I am excited to live in a house next year. I've been unexpectedly blessed by some furniture, so I will not have to worry about sleeping on the floor anymore. Though I would be totally fine with that.

Another unexpected thing happened this week - I found out that the 25%x4 payment plan for the college tuition is not available anymore. Apparently to be able to sign up for that plan I had to make a down payment by July 15th, not August 15th when all typical down payments are due. So now I have to come up with 50% by August 15th to avoid the late fee and other problems.

I had my hopes for the 25% down payment, but now I have to raise $4,000 more to be able to cover the 50% down payment. Praying about it. I ask you to pray about this, too, and consider helping me with a gift of $50, $100, $500 or higher.

Please contact me via email if you wish to make a donation: ekaterina.makarova@biola.edu

If you would like to know why am I doing this, you can scroll down to my previous posts or go to this link:

Friday, July 18, 2014

Halfway Over

More than half of the summer is gone, and the weather haven't changed much. It only became more humid. Yes, I feel the difference.

Working for Biola Conference Services has been a fun and at times challenging experience. There are days when we have not much to do, and there are days when we get pretty wiped out. But all is good. We have a great team, and we enjoy the workflow together.

The biggest news this far is that I am NOT going home this summer. It was a tough decision, but looking at the amount off stress i would have if i will go home - i would only have two weeks and i need to get a new student visa over that time period - i decided to stay. And this way i will be able to save up a little bit for my college expenses.

Speaking of which, my tuition payment is due August 15th. Biola has a new payment plan this year, where you can make 4 installments of 25%. My tuition cost this semester, with an added Health Insurance, is $10,812.74. The down payment I have to make before August 15th with a 4x25% plan is $2,788. Then 3 more installments of the rest due Sept 15, Oct 15, and Nov 15.

On August 8th I am moving into a house with another 8 Biola girls. The rent is going to be $400 +some utilities expenses per person. I will not be living in dorms and will cook at home, which should save me a minimum of $300 per month.

I come to this tough moment of fundraising once again, but I am very excited about my next year at Biola University. So many plans, interesting classes and projects to make. I hope to make the coming year even better than the first one. Please consider helping me with donations and prayers! I wouldn't be here without your generous support.

If you are interested in what was I doing the last semester, here are couple links to the projects i was working on

Monday, June 9, 2014

Here is one of my fellow classmate's short films that i got a chance to work on. I did Production Design and Set Dressing on my own.

Three's A Crowd from Jeffrey Prosser on Vimeo.

Sunday, May 25, 2014

Year One - check!

Here's an update!

Second semester was more crazy then the first one. First time ever i got an on set experience. Though these were all student film sets, i still learned A LOT and enjoyed it in general very much, despite the sleepless nights and weird food most of the times, it was so worth it. My grades this semester are not the best ones - doing homework was a struggle due to lack of time (and some procrastination) - but i do not regret being so busy making films; I am here to learn to to that after all.

I got my SSN and began working on campus for Event Services. For now it involves a lot of heavy lifting and such - we set up tables, chairs, audio, lights and etc for different events held at Biola. Next semester they want me to work more with video related things. So this is also a thing that is taking my time now. I can't work a lot because i have school, but it still pays some money.

I am overall very blessed to be here and to be able to finish a school year in a foreign country. There were very tough times, and there were very amazing and fun times. God's grace is so good. I am very thankful for the people who helped me out financially and made this experience possible. I am looking for more miracles to happen in the next 3 years that i still have till graduation.

Next year i will be living off campus in a house with other 8 Biola girls. This will save me a little bit of money, at least for the food, which i will be able to cover on my own. I am still in need for tuition costs, and housing will cost me about $450 a month.

This week i am enjoying the time of rest and doing almost nothing. Catching up on sleep, movies, beach time. On June 2nd i will start a summer job on campus. I do not have enough finances for the tickets back home, so i am staying for work until August 8th, then i will try to go back home to renew my student visa.

Here is a link to my own films, besides the endless amount of films i got to help out with: