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Bella Sharp, Contributor

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Greta slammed her car door shut, then turned toward the school. It looked different than before, more modern and sophisticated. Then again, she hadn’t been back since 2002, when she had graduated. As she walked toward the front office to get a visitor pass, she looked up at the sign that read: St. Francis. She thought about how that was where it had all started, where her journey in film had started. She snapped back to reality when the president of the school, Margo Brown, came up to greet her. “Greta! Welcome back! How are you?” she said. They started chatting back and forth, meanwhile walking toward Serra Court, an outdoor area where students were eating lunch. Margo and Greta walked around and said hello to a few different students.

Then, two women walked out of one of the nearest buildings and headed toward them. The first one said, “Hi! I’m Laura Hanusek, the activities director here. It’s really exciting to have you back here on campus, you’re making us all really proud with your films!” Greta thanked her, and turned to greet the second woman, whose name was Theresa Rodgers, and who worked at the school too. The four ladies started talking about Greta’s films and how far they had taken her, even though none of them were very major films. “Oh, thank you, you ladies are so kind,” Greta said. She continued, saying, “I have an announcement…I’m directing a new film called ‘Mothers and Daughters’. I’m really excited for it, but it won’t be coming out for a while. It’s a semi-autobiographical film about my time as a senior here at St. Francis and my love for Sacramento.” Laura, Theresa, and Margo all congratulated Greta and said how excited they were, although they were also a little curious as to why anyone would want to watch a film about their little town of Sacramento. As they all continued chatting, Greta’s mind started to wander, and she thought about her life thus far, and what parts of it had led her to start making the film. Greta was born on August 4th, 1983 in the capital of California: Sacramento. She attended St. Francis, an all-girls Catholic high school. She really enjoyed her time there, especially her senior year. In her senior year of high school, Greta met a boy while she was doing theater.

They started to talk more, and eventually started dating. Greta and him loved one another very much, but soon they broke up, and it was a hard time for Greta. Despite this, he helped Greta to develop her passion for theater, which led her to discover how much she loved film-making, too. During her senior year, Greta also became closer to her mom. First, they were enemies, then their relationship grew weaker, until finally they developed a bond that was stronger than any other. This growth in their relationship was important to Greta, and she was quite thankful for it. When Greta was a senior in high school, all she wanted to do was get out of Sacramento and go to school on the east coast. She worked hard to get into Barnard College in New York, and managed to get out of Sacramento like she’d wanted to. Yet, as she was preparing to graduate from St. Francis and go off to college, Greta realized how much she truly did love Sacramento. She had grown up there, and she loved the whole of it with the whole of her heart. As Greta thought about all of these impactful events, she was brought back to reality by the sound of the women laughing. She laughed along with them, her previous thoughts still on her mind. For the rest of the day, they chatted more and Greta looked around at the campus’s current state. Eventually, she said goodbye to everyone and left the school, taking one last look at it before leaving. Two years later, Greta Gerwig was sitting in the audience at the Oscars, for her movie, which turned out to be called Lady Bird. It received five Oscars nominations and was inspired by some of these events from her senior year. On that day she spent at St. Francis, Greta had no idea that she would go so far with just a small idea for a film that turned out to be her greatest project yet, her love letter to Sacramento.

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