Pioneer Public – Christina Wonnacott

Written By Lauren Clouser, Co-Features Editor

Most view retirement as a time to slow down and relax. Christina Wonnacott saw it as an opportunity to go back to school. 

“A lot of people retire and I guess play golf and stuff, and that wasn’t my bailiwick. I love going; I love doing,” Wonnacott said. 

Wonnacott is currently in her first semester as a screenwriting major and came to Point Park in order to pursue her passion for writing. 

“I wrote my first novel in the 70s and I’ve completed three novels,” Wonnacott said. “I continued to write and journal, things like that. And people told me when they read my novels they said they saw a movie running in
their head.” 

Wonnacott’s favorite pieces to write are period dramas, where she does extensive research to ensure her writing is historically accurate. 

“My idea is to find places in history that have been devastated by, shall we say, greed,” Wonnacott said. “And I like to expose that greed 100 or 150 years later and let the true history come out.” 

Wonnacott currently lives on a freshman floor in Lawrence Hall to immerse herself into the academic community. 

“I can be with my peers and my colleagues,” Wonnacott said. 

Wonnacott said she enjoys getting to live on a college campus. 

“Last night, several of us were doing our homework and I made nachos and chips and we sat in the fourth floor of Lawrence Hall,” Wonnacott said. “And I can’t believe that I’m up to 1:30, 2:00 in the morning and getting up for classes but I am. It’s a fabulous experience, it really is.” 

Wonnacott said one of the larger adjustments of living and studying with younger students is getting used to the difference in language. Although Wonnacott said she doesn’t always understand things, she said she is learning. 

“The jargon of you young people is new to me, but I’m enjoying listening to it…and the generations that are here at the school, they have their own dialogue,” Wonnacott said. “And that’s fascinating for me to listen to and I think in return it’s fascinating for them because my lingo is different.”

For many homesick students, Wonnacott said she is a sort of parent or grandparent. 

“The college age level, young people, they’re missing their grandparents and their parents so I fit that role and I love it,” Wonnacott said. “God put me here to fulfill some needs.” 

Wonnacott said sometimes students will knock on her door to introduce her to their parents, who often thank her. 

“The response from the parents has been, ‘Thank you, it’s nice to know that my son or daughter has somebody here that they feel like they’re home,’” Wonnacott said. 

When she’s not writing or studying, Wonnacott enjoys spending time with her family. Some of her family lives in Pittsburgh while others live in Texas, which makes it difficult for Wonnacott to visit them during the school year. 

“Getting back there is a little difficult because now I’m in school full time, but I plan to be back there at Christmas and we love to go to Six Flags together,” Wonnacott said. “I ride on the antique cars with my grandchildren.”

Wonnacott said she is enjoying being around younger people, and is getting adjusted to college life.  

“These young people keep me young,” Wonnacott said. “It’s a lot of fun, they keep me laughing, I’m thoroughly enjoying the work, I know it’s a little crazy…I study way too much probably. I like all of the professors; it’s beginning to click.”