You’ve got to know when to let the scene breath.
— Ralph Clemente
I’ll never forget when I first heard about Ralph. It was during one of my first classes at Valencia, we were introducing ourselves, talking about our majors and I mentioned that I wanted to get into the film program. I don’t remember who it was but someone said “Oh, wait till you meet Ralph!” me being the cocky idiot that I was, I rolled my eyes and was like who the hell is Ralph and what could he possibly teach me that I don’t already know. Little did I know how much that man would change my life.

I’ll never forget the time I got yelled at by Ralph. It was during the first week of the program, he was cracking down hard on people that were sleeping in class. During one of his lectures I was looking down at the ground listening to him talk. All of a sudden I hear, “You need to go home if you’re going to sleep in here pal!” I look up to see who he was talking to, only to meet his glare head on. At the time, I had grown my hair out a bit so when I looked down, you couldn’t really see my eyes, so he thought I was sleeping, which for the record, I wasn’t. Over the next couple years whenever I would go back to the film office with my hair grown out he would always laugh, “This guy over here, his hair was so long that I couldn’t tell if he was sleeping or not!”

I’ll never forget every time I would come into the film office to visit. I’d always pop my head into his office and say hi. He would ask the same thing every time, “Sooo, how’s the big school down the street treating ya?” (referencing UCF). One day I said, “It’s kinda boring actually, we’re not really doing anything.” He just smiled and nodded his head. I think he knew, he knew what I was just finding out, that UCF’s programs couldn’t hold a candle to the program he built at Valencia. (no offence UCF)

Ralph has made me laugh harder than I’ve ever laughed before, and unfortunately, his passing has made me cry harder than I’ve ever cried before. I have so much to thank him for, from his editing advice to school and career advice, to creating an atmosphere where I would meet the closest friends I’ve ever had in my entire life. I’m just honored that I can call him my professor.