Friday, June 10, 2011

Big Man On Campus.

Everyone has their comfort zone. For me during the summer, it extends from my room, to my kitchen, to my den. Any further and I'm out of my element. So you can imagine my first thought when I was accepted to this workshop and was faced with the prospect of spending a week on a college campus. My mind raced from thought to thought (as it usually does) in mass thinking about the week. Are the dorms nice? Who's my roommate? What if my roommate is weird? What if he thinks I'm weird? What will I eat? Where will I hang out? Will any of my friends be here? What if I'm a bad journalist? Then I simply told my self to not think about it and continued on with my present life. Eventually, the week arrived and I threw my suitcase into the car and headed over to USM with my mom. After we actually found the building (it's kinda tucked away), we headed up to meet my fellow journalists. This is the worst part of any new setting: the meet and greet. I'm a social person, but there's always that little bump to get over when you meet new people, kind of a "testing the waters" mentality. After the good byes to my mom and the dinner, I settled in to meet my dorm mates. I can honestly say I've never clicked with a group of people that easily. It was like we were all  connected in some way, shape, or form. We went from not knowing each other, to trying to remember life before we knew each other. A few events stand out in my mind. Watching Game 2 of the NBA finals with Malaizsa on the first night. Playing Just Dance 2... every night. Finding my twin telepathy parter in Yolanda. Elizabeth and I taking our "lovey-dovey" picture. Interviewing alongside Becca, Ashleigh, and Dana. Talking Colbert with Helen. Playing Would You Rather with DeeJay. My witty banter with our very own Tooth Fairy, Savannah. Racing John up the stairs in the elevator. Singing with Justina on the last night. Hanging out with Jonathon and Zoe the first night.  And finally there was a moment that just seemed... right, we were on an escalator heading upstairs and I thought "I'm going to remember this forever." But on to the actual work I did here at the camp. First off the instructors were amazing for all four mediums of journalism. Photography taught me the difference between a picture and a photograph, as well as to always take off the lens cap... always. Thanks Sicily and Dr. Coleman! Video was amazing, Keona, Rodney, and Jared helped us so much and the interviewing was a blast. Radio was a lot of fun, being on the air was nerve-racking, but Sarah and Justin helped us all the way. and finally, Print was like a return to normalcy with writing, and Jonathan was a huge help. the best part about camp though was just... talking to people. The interaction, using communication, was what I enjoyed. So I got into a program where I thought I'd learn a few things, and had a memorable experience. And I wouldn't trade it for the world.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Little Guy On Campus.

I'm at college. I am at college. No matter which way you say it, it sounds weird. I'm not... ready to be at college. Notice I say "at" and not "in". I'm not enrolled in college, but I'm spending a week here for Journalism camp.  I've been around town, I'm used to that. Same with my school, I know every inch of Oak Grove. But college is... an oddity. It's bigger, and there's a lot of walking involved. I'm still getting used to it, but I'll need some time I suppose. This complexity shall be unraveled.

All the World is Media

So it's three days into the journalism workshop and I've learned a few things. One, it's possible to trip over anything. And I mean anything. Two, Just Dance 2 is fun whether you play or just watch. And finally, if you're in a new place with new people that you need to break the ice with, try comedy. But in all seriousness, I've had a lot of fun learning about the different kinds of media and their various applications. My favorite so far is video. Why? Broadcasting video in a news format is... just plain fun. The interviewing, the filming, interacting with people, I feel... in my element. Plus I got to do a voiceover, like that guy who introduces every movie in the theater like it's the most intense thing ever. Video so far is the best experience for me and I'm looking forward to the rest of the week. Until then I'll continue to crack wise about my experiences here.  

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Striking sparks.

   Alright, so I'm pretty pumped to be reading Ray Bradbury's Farenheit 451 right now. It seems to have come along just when I've been on a dystopian kick with reading books like The Hunger Games series. So, with that being said, let's jump into this cesspool of rigid order, brutal totalitarianism, and blind conformity, and see if we can't uncover this situation's particular brand of crazy.
   In the beginning, there was fire. No really. Seriously, this book starts with fire! As the main character, Guy Montag, is living out his perfectly satisfying job as a firefighter, we find our first intresting bit of information. Firefighters in this time aren't meant to stop fires, they're meant to start them. The reason? To burn illegal books. Well if you're trying to stagnate society, books are generally where you start. Sever their link to the past and you have clear opportunity to rewrite history... and set the future in stone.
    Next we come to this girl, Clarisse. I really like her, she reminds me of Luna Lovegood from Harry Potter, she's the "out there" personality everyone needs. So was kind of mad when she disappeared and then died. On the other end of the spectrum, Mildred gets on my freaking nerves. She just doesn't have anything going for her to me. Beatty is the boss but still gets along with everyone, Clarisse dares to be different, the other firefighters are your regular drinking-buddy types, but Mildred doesn't speak of anything. Wait. I got it, Mildred is that wife that lives in the suburbs, throws parties and calls them "soirees", and subtly takes shots at her girlfriends for not being just like her. That's who she'd be today at least. On a side note, that three wall TV thing is scary. I watch too much TV now, if it was three walls and they talked to me, I'd be screwed productivity wise. And on another side note, If I seem a little to fond of Beatty and the other firefighters, I get they fully buy into the whole dystopian scene. But under that umbrella of "one-size-fits-all" mentality, they have distinguishable personalities that would make them generally likeable in our world. It's not that I don't like Mildred because she follows the crowd, it's that if she were here in our world, she would be no different, letting her life be dictated by magazines, the latest trends, whatever was in at the time, and those kinds of people annoy me. But hey, that's my opinion, and that and a quarter will get you twenty-five cents, and in my case, a good grade. Have I used that before? Oh well, moving on.
    I'm rather interested to see how this plan with the Professor (as I've dubbed him) will work out. After seeing the first few thoughts that Guy has had that stray off the beaten path, it's clear he has potential, but for what? He's striking sparks in that head of his, and it seems something will be catching fire soon enough (if you got both references, I'll be impressed).

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

No More Pi For Me.

Well, here we are at the end of Life of Pi and you'll be happy to know that I'm not super pissed off. But I do have some criticisms (and some praise). First, where the hell did Richard Parker go? I'd gotten to know that guy for most of the freakin' book and he just runs off? Not okay. It's like half the story left with him, seeing as he was one of two main characters. Plus he was a tiger... okay I'm just rambling now but you get the idea. Something I found interesting however, is the downplay of Pi's "superreligion" as I have dubbed it, and his subsequent transformation into a cynic full of sarcasm. It's kind of interesting to watch. And as for his interviewers? Let's just say if I'd just survived 227 days on the ocean with nothing but a tiger to keep me company, I'd expect bettter treatment. And then came the alternate story Pi told involving humans instead of animals, which kinda sucked in comparison to the real story. It only goes to show that most things are warped once you add humans. But overall, I liked liked Life of Pi, and it's ability to take a certain death situation and turn it into a pretty good story. Well played Martel, well played.

Almost Out Of Pi

Annnnd here we are again in Life of Pi. You know, for a book that I originally thought was 401 pages about a boy getting eaten by a tiger, this turned out pretty good. As we check in on Pi we see a few things have happened. First Pi has developed some serious issues with being... bipolar almost. One minute he's super happy and carefree, the next he's clinically depressed. It's like that movie Tangled when Rapunzel goes "Best day ever!" then two seconds later she's all "I'm a terrible person!" Eh, what else are you going to do on a boat with a tiger (besides get eaten)? But I'd like to return to the whole "401 pages about a boy getting eaten by a tiger" thing, because it's here that Martel shines. I couldn't write an essay about this, he writes a freaking novel. And furthermore it's not one of those novels where he says the same thing over and over again, he actually continues to find new stuff to talk about which is pretty freaking cool in my (wonderfully biased) opinion. So Martel gets my stamp of approval so far. But if this book ends badly I'm gonna be unbelieveably pissed off.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Pretty Good Pi.

"The ship sank." That's how this next part of Life of Pi starts. No ominous creaking that turns into a full blown disaster, or explosion that causes people to go running and screaming and no endless anecdotes that seem to go nowhere. Just one line,"The ship sank." In a world that is filled with over 100 ways to say one thing, you gotta appreciate simplicity sometimes. But I think the reason I love this line is because it seems like (because I'm pretty sure this isn't how it works) Martel looked at the first part and said "That's a lot of freaking description for no good reason. Any reader would probably be on edge with me right now. So to better portray the telepathic image of this fossil (Stephen King anyone?) I'll keep it brief. Now what happens basically? Well the ship sank... yeah that'll be it. So the much disliked superdescription is gone and the story gets even better. Pi's attachment to his faith (read:faiths) is more emphasized in his character this go round, and Martel brings that out more by staying brief and concise. I'm digging it so far, but time will tell...