Friday, January 28, 2011

Got Culture?

These lectures about the meaning of culture and culture literacy were helpful in the fact that they have made me aware of certain aspects of Barcelona (architecture, language, names of places, rituals, and food) that I should pay close attention to in order to completely understand the wonderful city that I will be living in for 3 months. This week I have been on several tours around the city. The overwhelming scenery of the city grabbed my attention more than the history and meanings of these places and names that we saw. After listening to the lectures multiple questions and thoughts popped into mind...What is the importance of the Catalan dialect that is spoken here? Is the Gaudi architecture only really prevalent in Barcelona? Why do we eat lunch and dinner so late? And American football? No...not at all...Futbol (soccer) is the way of life around these parts! And the only way to completely answer all of these questions is with one word...CULTURE! Barcelona is filled with culture! For example...the language spoken in Barcelona is not the cut and dry Spanish that most my fellow spanish classmates would be familiar with it is a mix of Spanish and italian and is considered a "Romance" language. The people of Barcelona take great pride in their language because it is not spoken in many countries. It is their language. They own it. And it gives them culture. R E S P E C T! There is so much more that makes Barcelona so culturally unique and special  from other countries but If I were to sit here and explain all that makes Barcelona...Barcelona...I'd need to post at least 10 more blog posts and you would need days to read and understand it all. The only way to completely see this beautiful culture is to visit. But I leave you with one of my most favorite pictures from all my adventures so far. It symbolizes Barcelona and it shows the pride they take in their sports and their country! Below is a picture of me in my new and official Barcelona Futbol Jersey! Soccer is a way of life in Barcelona! People sport their colors and jerseys and pride in the streets, in bars, and in restaurants, everyday but specifically on game day! Below is a picture of my roommate and I joining in with the Barcelona spirit!

Monday, January 24, 2011

iBienvenidos a Barcelona!

Today was my first day in Barcelona, Spain. So...Update for day one: Tired! Flights went smoothly. The seven hour lay over in Newwark, NJ was not so exciting but I had to do it! I realize how much I love flying though! When I finally reached my destination we were greeted by our program directors who are so much fun! They struggle with their English so we got to help them out -- already switching roles...huh? Isn't it supposed to be the other way around...them helping with our Spanish? Of course and there is plenty of time for that! We got to the hotel that we are staying at for two days before we move into the apartment and its very different! To turn on the lights you have to use your room card. The bathroom is separate from the shower and there is a lovely Bidet waiting to be used at some point just for experience! We had a meeting with our API group here and its a small group but I like it better that way! Love the people...they are all so easy going and very interesting! I am the only person from the south and its OBVIOUS! haha There is a guy with a Boston accent thats crazy thick! It feels like Im not really in a different country but at the same time I am. People are the same here they just speak a different language. They are I guess a lot more friendlier and they like to get in your personal space...and they kiss to greet. No hand shakes allowed. We had our first dinner together and it was sooo good! Now I know where mummy (my best friends mom who lived in Spain for 13 years) gets wanting to feed us all the time! They are always bringing out new a ton of food! We went to some bar not really sure what it was called but I had Sangria and it was great! That is all for right now I have to get to bed though...we have a bus tour tomorrow! I'll keep everyone posted!


Friday, January 21, 2011

Challenge 1...Success!

Yes, looking rough I know but who cares! So 23842398492837 steps later the picture is resized!! Yeah, and they say MAC's are user friendly -- user friendly my backside! Okay, so I'll admit this was my first challenge and without the help of Matt Goslee I would have not figured this out on my own. I was on the right track but the later steps...ha...ha...ha now thats a joke. BUTTT whooo got it done and now I can do it all on my own! Above is the photo resized to 800 x 600


And below is the Raw photo from my digital camera which is 3000 x 4000. Boom. Awesome! I will say I'm starting to take a liking to all this technology "stuff" is really quite interesting and very helpful for other classes!

Sunday, January 16, 2011

A face (book) in the Crowd

Statistics from Facebooks very own facebook page


More than 500 million active users

50% of the users log on to Facebook in any given day

The Average user has 130 friends

People spend over 700 billion minutes per month on Facebook


There are over 900 million objects that people interact with (pages, groups, events and community pages)

Average user is connected to 80 community pages, groups and events

Average user creates 90 pieces of content each month

More than 30 billion pieces of content (web links, news stories, blog posts, notes, photo albums, etc.) shared each month.


More than 70 translations available on the site

About 70% of Facebook users are outside the United States

Over 300,000 users helped translate the site through the translations application


More than 2.5 million developers and partners from more than 190 countries build with Facebook Platform

People on Facebook install 20 million applications every day

Every month, more than 250 million people engage with Facebook on external websites

Since social plugins launched in April 2010, an average of 10,000 new websites integrate with Facebook every day

More than two million websites have integrated with Facebook, including over 80 of comScore's U.S. Top 100 websites and over half of comScore's Global Top 100 websites


There are more than 200 million active users currently accessing Facebook through their mobile devices.

People that use Facebook on their mobile devices are twice as active on Facebook than non-mobile users.

There are more than 200 mobile operators in 60 countries working to deploy and promote Facebook mobile products


Facebook has become the capitol of social networking. It has transformed everyone and anyones way of communication -- it has and will continue to be a way of life for the people of today. Keeping in touch with friends and families is now as simple as clicking a "like" button -- no time. no effort. manageable. Some may even go as far as saying that Facebook can be an addiction. Maybe for some? Not so much for others? Either way Facebook is taking over the world -- it is an epidemic.

I will admit I am what you will call a Facebook junky. But let's be honest...who does not love facebook? Or if you don't love it you atleast have one right? Right! Facebook creates an efficient way for me to stay in contact with my friends, to keep up with what they are doing, to share pictures of what I am doing, and to communicate with people.

Facebook,twitter, and skype are the three communities I am directly involved with. I never really got into Myspace and AIM and whatever else came before that. I will say that I am a frequent user of the email. I mean I have to for school. If It was not for school I definitely would not use email nearly as much as I do now. I will say that I use youtube quite often. I can look up songs and popular videos. I have never actually posted something onto youtube because all the videoing and uploading is way over my head. That pretty much sums up my usage and involvement amongst the technology communities -- facebook. facebook. facebook. gmail. facebook. Twitter. Twitter. facebook. facebook. Skype. gmail. FACEBOOK.


Friday, January 14, 2011

FB official? No. CLAM official!

Well it is official, I am an official CLAMMER! Next stop -- Barcelona, Spain!

I am absolutely thrilled to have the opportunity to completely merge myself into the Spanish culture and be able to share my experience, with the help of the CLAM program, with friends, family, teachers, and other students. The people Im going to meet, the places I will go, the memories I will make, the food I will eat, and the things I am going to see are absolutely too amazing to not be able to share with others. So, I hope as I embark on this journey that my beloved followers will be able to fall in love with the beautiful culture I am about to embrace, just as I will! There is only one rule for the road...HAVE FUN!

I chose to participate in the CLAM program for several reasons:
-I love photography but I wanted to allow my friends and family to enjoy the entire experience by making videos and allowing them to see everything I have learned in an organized and efficient manner.
-I love a challenge and I am not the best when it comes to technology.
-Most importantly, it seemed like a fun class and a great way to meet new people that are also studying abroad!

After receiving the information about this class my first thought was that it was going to be a lot more challenging for me than I thought! As mentioned before I am not what you call technologically savvy, so making videos, actually learning what a podcast even is, and keeping up with a blog will be difficult, but completely worth it! I am really excited about blogging though because I have always wanted to blog but never really had much to blog about! I love to write and I love to take pictures so this is right up my ally! Im curious to see how my videos end up but we will worry about that when it comes time! That is all for now!


Below is a song I found the other day...I fell in love with the lyrics and think it fits perfect with well...what I am about to be doing! Enjoy!