Monday, March 28, 2011

Fried computer. GR.

Hello everyone! I have not written or gotten around to my assignment because my computer F R I E D. Yeappp, BLEW UP! This has not been a great week for me...Not only did my computer fry but my friends and I were robbed on the beach. We were tagged team -- as one guy distracted us by asking for directions another guy must have snatched the purse. So Im homeless, poor, and have no means of communication with people across the pond. Okay, that is an exaggeration but I need my computer and my credit cards...Jeez I sound materialistic. Anyway, lets talk about the project and sounds and interviews and where I am at with the final projects.

So I have talked to my friend Peter about this class and loves the idea of us having to blog and learn about different aspects of visual media. So, he wants to make a video himself and help me with mine so that he can show his family and friends what he has been doing here as well.

So I am going to go with the themes that I have chosen from my last post for each video:

Personal: "Mas Alla" based theme. I think I want to show my journey from Clemson to Barcelona and compare and contrast the culture and lifestyle in the south to the culture and lifestyle here in Barcelona. This will include my everyday life style such as going to school and the food I eat and the things I use around the house that are different. And then I will include my experiences here such La Sagrada Familia, Parc Guell, Port Olympic, the mountains, the sea, Monuyc, and more.

Professional: The importance of being bilingual. For my professional video I was going to interview my conversation professor, Pedro, but we just found out that he will be leaving and going to teach at another school tomorrow. So I have one last class with him and then I won't see him that Idea is out of the question. Im not really sure if any of my other professors know English as well as him but I am going to look into it. I would really like to Interview someone who is bilingual. I do have a friend here in my group that is actually trilingual so I might interview him as well as maybe one of my API directors.

Culture: The "Catalan" culture, facts, and personal views. In the beginning of the video I am going to spit facts about the Catalan culture and give a brief background about how it is and why it is so important to the people of Barcelona. And then I am going to give my personal opinions about my perspective of the Catalans and their culture. And boy do I have a strong opinion about their culture (o:

This is what I have so far. I have a lot more planning to do of course. I will continue to write and keep everyone up to speed with my project in hopes for some feedback from yall!!

Friday, March 18, 2011

TropOS and some VideOS

Everyone has heard about the devastating news about the Tsunami in Japan. I have read articles about the tragic incident but I have yet to take it upon myself to look up any news stories and really see what it is all about. Seeing something as opposed to reading about news or events definitely is more effective for viewers...I mean for me at least! Not that I watch the news anyway...I know Im 21 years old and I don't keep up with current events...such a terrible habit...BUT in completing this assignment I figured I would take advantage of it and look up videos about the Tsunami! From watching the following video I now have a better understanding of this natural disaster.

Take it all in...and now lets get on with analyzing the video:


The choice of subject is obviously self explanatory -- the Tsunami that hit Japan is a devastating current event. It was predicted that there might be possible after effects on other countries making this a world wide news coverage. The coverage captured the tsunami from a camera that was in the air. Viewing and capturing the tsunami from this angle allows us to encompass the entire event -- you get the full effects of the damage that it has done. If this were filmed at ground level the audience would not get the full effect of how disastrous and huge this tsunami really was. In this video the cameramen included showing cars, boats, and homes being carried away by the water. Showing this allows the audience to see how many of these peoples lives were taken from them - these people lost everything and showing that and the devastation of it all can touch viewers, in hopes that others may reach out to these people. This clip helps tell the story of this event and how quickly our lives can change.

AND the big hype about Charlie Sheen - This is just for you Dr. Nichols! This is because of your comment you made on my last post! Everyone has been talking about how Charlie Sheen is going down hill and how he's gone crazy and I have yet to check it out! So Allison told me to look at the Interview of him on ABC news. The subject of the video was chosen for again reasons that are self explanatory -- Charlie sheen is the new hype of all news/media networks. The angle of the camera a majority of the time focused on Charlie Sheen during the interview because well it is about him. The camera does change angles throughout the video which makes watching it more interesting because viewers are able to look at facial expressions when questions are asked and answered. The interview takes place in a nice room...which is kind of ironic when interviewing Charlie Sheen now however it is a formal interview so it is appropriate background for an Interview conducted by ABC. This clip overtly is covering the craziness of Charlie Sheen and allowing us to get the inside scoop of what is going on with his life!

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Playing Catch up! Adventure number 1 - La Sagrada in Barcelona!

     Yes, I know I have been promising you guys so much about my experiences and all these places that I have seen and I have yet to write about any of them. Inconsiderate I know. So day trip number one with a few other members from our API group. Okay, so I'm going to have to admit to you guys up front when it comes to history and geography and things of the IQ seems to drop quite a bit. So seeing all of these Cathedrals and I mean just anything relatively historically important is unbelievably impressive. One more thing -- our first day here we went on a walking tour with our entire group and well we saw at least three cathedrals (keyword "at least") and seeing one after the other after other makes each cathedral start looking the same...we all know what I am talking about. So, of course the friday that we visited La Sagrada Familia I am borderline tempted not to go -- more tall ceilings, more beautiful pictures of Saints and Gods, more stone arches, more intricate tiled floors, MORE OF THE SAME STYLE ARCHITECTURE! Contrary to these uninterested thoughts I motivated myself to going and am so thankful I did! And so begins the day, camera in hand, euros to spend, and anxious thoughts running through my head, we bordered the metro and went two stops on the green line to La Sagrada Familia.
     I mention the metro just for the sole fact that I get to tell you all about my new found love for what used to be such a foreign type of transportation. Being from the suburb's of South Carolina it should not come as a shock that I have never seen a metro/subway/train station, let alone been on one. Well this love for the metro came one night when I had to get home from class. It was already a miserable day -- sick, pouring down rain, soaking wet from previously walking to class in the rain, and no money for a cab...Just one of those days. So being completely desperate and over the whole "Im going to get exercise  walking to and from class" notion for the day, I asked David for money to get a metro pass and also well instructions on how to use it. Instructions were free. So we get to the metro station and at this point Im just so over it...If I end up an hour away from home then mehhhh at least Im not a walking rag. The first stop David and I are still together. Then we part ways and I am thinking to myself, "Oh goodness here it goes." But NO the next thing you know I am at Diagonal which is the metro stop five minutes from my apartment. MADE IT! And from that moment on I have used the metro to get anywhere I need to go! Bam. Okay, now back to La Sagrada Familia...
     After walking a block from the station the unfinished cathedral pokes its tall cathedral head out to where we could see just the top of it. When we finally got into full focus of the church I was slightly confused -- this was not what I was expecting but then I again I'm not really sure what I was yes, confused. We round up the troops after waiting outside for a good hour and make our way inside, but not without admiring the beautiful handcrafted scripture that decorated the entire front door. The door is made of stone and is absolutely HUGE. The scripture is carved into the door and there are ZERO spaces between the different lines of scripture. It of course, was in another language, unknown to this onlooker, but the door made its point. 
Walking into La Sagrada Familia, eliminated all those indifferent thoughts about cathedrals running through my head. Completely different than the first handful that I got to see. Although this is an older building the architecture on the inside seemed so modern in comparison to any of the architecture that I have seen here in Barcelona. Inside the sunlight beamed through the red, blue, purple, yellow, and green stained glass windows, illuminating the entire room with brilliant arrays of color. Im so glad we decided to go on such a beautiful day! The entire atmosphere of the church would have been completely different. As for the rest of the church I provided a video that I took inside! I could try and sit here and explain detail for detail the feelings I felt and the beautiful architecture I saw but there would be so much to tell -- each corner and each part of the cathedral held its own distinctive traits! I hope you enjoy! 

**Okay well I specifically took this video for this post...but an error has occurred. Ill try posting the video again tomorrow! 

Friday, March 11, 2011

Final Projects...usually make me cringe...not this time!

Where to start? Where to start? Barcelona's culture is so rich and overtly different than the American Culture that I am used to. The personal video should not be too hard to do although focusing in on one main theme seems to be quite challenging. I am thinking maybe use the title of my blog "Mas Alla" and do that idea to incorporate my experience here. Maybe I'll use my "Toto I have a feeling we aren't in Kansas anymore" post to help me explain my time here in Barcelona. It would be kind of neat to compare life back at home to here and use pictures from home and pictures from BCN. And that would include food, places, people, education, language, shopping, weather, time, etc. Sounds good! This post will seem like I am talking to myself because well I am. I have not put that much time into really sitting down and putting all my information and pictures together. I have things categorized though so sometime soon I will sit down and lay it all out! I do have ideas in mind but none that are really grabbing my attention...nothing that SCREAMS yes this is perfect for your video! I do however really like the theme of "Mas alla". For my professional video I know I will do something about the importance of being bilingual in the US and for many job opportunities. Spanish is really making its way in the US and a lot of spanish speakers live there. So yes it is important. Especially for my industry. I want to work with a large make up company and so many of these companies work internationally! Also I know I can interview my Conversation teacher here! He's bilingual and is working on his dissertation in both languages. Also a fellow group member is Trilingual and he is in international business so he definitely understands the importance of being able to speak and communicate in other languages. And the Video where I have to talk about a major issue here in Barcelona Im pretty sure I am going to talk about the Catalan language itself. Because in 1970 Barcelona suffered the Regime of General Francisco Franco and had to overcome governmental attempts to erase the Catalan language and the culture altogether. The Catalan culture is something they take great pride in especially their language. It would be neat to do the entire video in Catalan BUT the chances of that are slim considering I can't speak Catalan. Or I just had an Idea for something to put in about culture in the Personal video. Since Barcelona is considered one of the top cities to visit for night life and fun I can hit on that topic. Most tourists come to visit Barcelona just for the hype about the night life here in the city. It starts off with a performance around seven...catch a late dinner afterward...and then hitting the bar or club scene until early early in the morning! A lot of the fiestas are also culture related like Stiges on Fat Tuesday...and Soccer Games...and there are tons tons more!


-Personal- "Mas Alla" theme incorporating all aspects of the culture.

-Professional- The importance of being Bilingual.

-Culture issue- Preserving the Catalan language and culture.

I know this is short for now but I am still thinking. Im just not completely sold on these ideas yet! Hmmmm any help? I greatly appreciate any advice or help! Thanks guys!


Saturday, March 5, 2011

Heaven in a Glass

Okay so ever since I saw the movie Eat, Pray, Love, I decided I was going to live vicariously through Liz's adventures to find herself. I knew after watching that movie that I too wanted to marvel at something and I wanted to feel some kind of an extreme emotion, one that I have never felt before. See, in high school and the first two years of college I allowed myself to fall under the pressures and acceptable norms of others knowing that I in fact was not that person. But now that I have finally accepted what has happened to me and what I have been through I feel so free and excited to explore the true me. I know I deserved this trip to Barcelona. This was exactly what I needed. I wanted to know for myself what it felt like to truly be in love, and not necessarily with a person because relationships are what led me to my loss of self. But I wanted to fall in love in the sense that I wanted to feel what it was like to truly enjoy something. I also wanted to know what it was like to not care what others had to say about what I was doing. I wanted to know how it felt to be the person I am. I wanted to marvel at something. And I mean really sit there, silent, and marvel at something. I wanted to eat all the food that my little belly could hold and not have a care in the world about working it off later. These are the things I wanted to do for myself...and Study Abroad...thank you for doing all of that. So Im writing today to tell you all about the moment that literally took my breath away and then the moment last night that would never ever compare to any moment in my life...a moment of Bliss. We went to Rome two weekends ago. The first stop we went to the Vatican. Some stop huh? It was nearing sunset so it was still day light outside when we went in the Vatican. Such an inspiring and gorgeous cathedral. But as we were nearing the end of the sight seeing inside my group was rounding up to leave...we walk out of the Vatican, I take one step...just one step out of the Vatican look out to see a lighted street that stretches to Rome's skyline, a beautiful purple and orange sky and St. Peter in the foregrown...with that step and at that moment I cried tears of happiness. That sight was the most awe inspiring, most beautiful, most any adjective you can think of. It was truly something to marvel at!

And then last night! So I am in Paris right now and yes I love it! Last night Chris and I were wondering the streets of Paris...just to explore. We wanted to see what the city was all about...actually really we were lost for quite some time. But we were getting hungry and we stumbled upon a restaurant that was reasonably priced and what looked to be a very Paris like restaurant. So we sat down to enjoy our meal. He got Duck breast with grilled carrots and I got Sauteed Rabbit with potatoes. Delicious. Then we ordered desert. He got a tart and I got Mousse. They brought out our deserts which were beautifully displayed on the plate but the gorgeous set up of the desert does not even begin to do it justice. The taste of the mousse I had gotten was the most mouth watering, rich, comforting, and delicious bite of anything I have ever eaten in my life. With my first bite of the mousse I seriously closed my eyes and was in a completely different world. For a solid hour Chris says I did not speak one word and I had a grin on my face like this was in fact the best moment of my life. I truly was in my own heaven. I never knew or thought food could provoke such feelings...but it did! As weird as it is to say it but that Chocolate Mousse changed my life!

There will be pictures to come of the sunset and the chocolate mousse! I hope one day all of you are able to experience the feelings and emotions that I have from my experience traveling!

Bon dia!

Pictures say a thousand words

My first thoughts about completing this major project always seem to bring me back to the title of my album, "Mas Alla", which means "Further Beyond." This trip and this experience goes further beyond any other trips and experiences I have taken. When I was Seventeen I went on a cross country trip with my Aunt. Starting in the Rocky Mountains in Colorado we drove to 10 different national parks and I got to indulge myself into the beauty of the land that America has to offer. That trip was absolutely amazing, however, in comparison to my journey in Spain so far, hands down, no if-ands-or-buts, and all the cliche quotes you can use or think of, Spain has been by far the greatest decision of my life.  Like I said before the trip cross country was absolutely amazing, but I was seventeen, and now that I am twenty one and yes more mature and on a completely different path in my life then I was in high school I am able to truly appreciate so much more the beauty and wonders of the world. So, yes, personally, "Mas Alla" seems to sum up my experience here - but tying this title and this theme into creating a video about culture seems to put a damper on my thoughts about using this quote, which by the way is Spain's motto. I could bring into the fact that the culture is "further beyond" any other cultures -- and explain the food, the people, and well the entire package. Further beyond, could almost be bended and interpreted as "different", am I correct? Or is this too far of a stretch? Please let me know if any of you have thoughts about this theme or any suggestions. For now and for this assignment I will use this theme! 

This photo is actually a group shot of my API group, that I took on our first day in the city of Barcelona. When we first landed in Barcelona the directors immediately threw us out into the big city and from that moment on, with loads of excitement and hopeful minds, we all new that this was going to be a life changing experience. And the picture above tells this story. I saw the opportunity to take this picture when I was walking behind the group. The way the sun shone through the buildings and even the placement of the group members got my attention and well I took it! Glad I did! But if you look in the distance is the sun shining bright onto the people, illustrating a oh so cliche, "bright" future! And then if you look in the foreground of the picture are the member's shadows, representing their past. So, the picture is telling the story of how these people are leaving behind their pasts and embarking on a new journey, here in Barcelona. I included the buildings because overtly Barcelona is a huge city and it gives the audience a sense of where the picture is. I also like the fact that the picture is blurry. The blurriness to me represents the unknown or grey matter if you will -- what are we about to take on? How are our lives about to change? Will I be scared? Will be this challenging? Will I come out a live...for some!? 

This is the University that I go to here in Barcelona -- Universitat de Barcelona. Yes, I know "Universitat" is supposed to be "Universidad" as us spanish speakers from America would know it but here my friends is an example of Catalan. Catalan is the "dialect" of Spanish that the people in Barcelona speak. And might I add this is the only country that speaks this "dialect". Okay, so I put "dialect" in quotes because well if you listen to the language and you know spanish you will quickly find that Catalan is in fact not a dialect but its own language. This type of spanish sounds, is spelled, is spoken, and is pronounced completely different then the Latin American spanish that I have learned from home. So that is a short introduction into the spoken culture of BCN and is besides the point of this picture. Tangent number one for the day! But like I said this is a picture of my school. It is the oldest school in Barcelona and I chose to use the picture of my school because 1) I go there. 2) The education system here is so different than that at home, which can be explained in more detail but not now. 3) It expresses the beauty and richness of the architecture of the buildings in the city at the same time showing the gorgeous landscaping of trees and flowers that decorate the city. 4) This picture goes further and beyond to tell the story of all these aspects of this culture and is tied in again by the light of sun which gives the picture a sense of warmth and comfort and also hope with the illumination of the trees. The contrast of the darkness in the lower right hand corner of the picture with the brightness and lightness in the upper left hand corner allows the audience to feel the feelings that were mentioned above. 

Barcelona a romantic city? YES! Again this picture was taken at my school and I love it because it just seems so real and so sincere. The couple just sat down to lunch and the girl got out her guitar and started singing. The way she sang the song, and closed her eyes to feel the truth of what she was singing made me believe it as well. If pictures could speak this picture speaks to me if not anyone else true words of true love. Like I have mentioned in my other blogs this city is very romantic. Couples, and there are lots of them, are always hand-in-hand, aggressively kissing each other on the metro, or caressing each other in such a soft and tender manner such as something you see in the movies. They truly love each other and they love to show everyone else which I find almost relieving because Americans hold back when it comes to the whole emotional aspect of relationships. Americans are very big on keeping their relationships quiet. I love this might actually be one of my favorites that I have taken. 

Okay, I can go on and on about my pictures taken here in Barcelona and below I have included some of them. So give me some feedback about which ones you like and which ones you don't. Make sure to include some suggestions about the theme of my video. Also, I have some great pictures from Paris and Rome that I have taken and I would love to include some of those in this culture video of mine but don't know if its appropriate considering its not Spain and its not where I have spent a majority of my time. Let me know if any of you know how to incorporate these experiences into the video. Thanks! 

 Another picture of my School.

La Placa Cataluyna...Large Plaza in the center of he city.

Another picture of La Placa Cataluyna but during the day. It tells a completely different story than the picture above.

 The metro. I would like to get a picture with a lot of people in it because the metro is a large form of transportation here in BCN. But this photo suggests and shows how fast pace this city is. 

 Las Ramblas. The famous/infamous street here in Barcelona. 

 Just some neat architecture that I really liked. 

 Graffiti paints the city of Barcelona

 Some of my girl friends walking in the city.

This man is painting the glass. I actually bought this artwork that he is painting right now. He did it in three minutes and it looks exactly like La Sagrada Familia. 

 We cannot dismiss the obvious...Barcelona is considered the party capital of the world. Festivals, bars, riots, soccer games, dinner, lunch, fiestas, discotecas are all events that call for massive amounts of people to get together, share stories, laugh, talk, cry, sing, chant, enjoy each other, dance, and just all in all have loads of fun! These people know how to embrace life! 

 More gorgeous artwork on the doors of buildings. 

A woman admiring her artwork on the park bench.