Blogging

 

This past semester of class has been quite the experience! From day one, the classroom has been a relaxed, yet productive environment, which made it very easy to work and succeed in. It was awesome being able to go off campus to all the lectures and speakers. It really made the class interesting, and it seems as though there was always something to look forward to! Before this past semester’s communications course, my writing abilities felt limited and restricted. This past semester of blogging has really broadened my writing style. Everything I had been writing before this class felt so structured and always the same. I really enjoyed blogging because it felt like quite the opposite what I have written in the past.

 It was for the most part up to me to pick ideas I wanted to write about. I was able to put my input into everything I wrote, instead of having to use the same ideas as everyone else in the class. Feeling restricted on past papers before this class inhibited me from using broader ideas and topics. Thanks to all of the blogging, I was able to experiment different styles and ideas, which I think made my papers more interesting and different than what they have ever been before. Besides from being able to express more of my own opinions on topics, I also enjoyed being able to read other students blogs from the class. In past years you were never really able to see what anyone else was writing their papers on. Being able to see and look into everyone else’s I believe was a substantially beneficial part of the class also.

Besides from the benefits of this blogging class I have already mentioned, there are a few other things I definitely felt helped me in succeeding in the class. Since everything we wrote went online, my mom was able to easily see and read everything I posted. It is always nice getting input and comments from her, as well as a few other blogging friends I have who were able to read and comment on my writings and posts. Every time we were  assigned a new blog in this class, I was not totally dreading writing the paper, like I am with just about all other papers I am assigned to write for school. Being able to blog and put your true feelings into it, instead of being held back with restrictions was a special feeling I thought. The class and learning about blogging, in general opened my eyes to an entire new way of looking and constructing the way I present my writings and posts. It made me more motivated in writing and expressing my opinion, and did nothing but make me a stronger writer in more ways than one.  

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LGBTQ

After attending, and watching the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans-gender, and Queer movement video Downtown Grand Rapids last week, I felt more hope for the community and movement in itself. There were so many more people that attended than I would have ever guessed. The over flow room was filled up by the time I got there, and I was early. Seeing so many people genuinely interested in what was going to be discussed really shows the level of commitment and curiosity both the gay and straight communities share towards the issue. There was a large diversity of men woman young and old people that attended the event, which just shows how many people the issue affects. The movement has not always been recognized by very many people in the straight community, and until recently the LGBTQ was not even considered a real organization. It has only become one because of the walks on Washington, and the perseverance people show toward the movement. There were really not many big groups of these organizations, but more of smaller groups in some cities. On top of the groups being generally small, they really did not get much acknowledgement or publicity form the rest of the public. To this day the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans-gender, and Queer community members are still unfortunately looked down up. There is always going to be continuous room to grow for the community as a whole I think. Although they are still not fully recognized as “regular” civilians, they have made leaps and bounds in the past years.

Religion seems to play a large role in the reason why people look so down on the LGBTQ movement and the people in its community. Most religions say that it is a sin to go against the typical man and woman marriage. I think this really is one of the main reasons people don’t want to see the marriages of anything other than that in society. In my own family, we have grown of Christian Catholic but also have a Gay relative, and we support him with 100% of our hearts. Situations like these contradict our religion, which makes for a tough argument. Even most of the states as of today in the United States of America don’t allow same sex marriages. A lot of the States in the past few years have taken slight strides in legalizing same sex marriages, but still not close to where we should be. It makes it difficult and frustrating for those who are same sex wanting to get married and I have seen in first hand. My Uncle who is Gay, lives in Chicago, but because the state of Illinois does not allow same sex marriage him and his partner had to find another state that would wed them legally. As a successful pediatric dentist he doesn’t have much spare time to try and organize a wedding in a different State, but because of the laws there, they had to make due.

There are many people that are still not totally accepting of the LGBTQ community, but the population of citizens who are accepting is growing. The growing population really shows great hope for any person who is involved in the LGBTQ community, as well as makes those who look at them in a negative way more of the minority. Although many people claim to recognize and look positively on the community, most of these people aren’t doing much to support and help it grow. Supporting though may not be enough at this point. The one and only way the people in the LGBTQ community will be fully accepted is if they are able to prove to the non-supporters they mean business and obtain supporters and followers.

In the Grand Rapids area I have heard of LGBTQ events and gatherings in which I have never attended, but after viewing the Video, I just may since I know it could help support those in the gay community! I have seen people suffer from defending their own sexualities and it is heartbreaking. There is so much more focus on why these people are the way they are, and what could possibly be wrong with them that they could ever be attracted to the same sex. When really we should be looking at and focusing on the ways in which we can make their lives as easy as ours, and not have so much separation between identities. It is not fair for anyone to be treated differently than what they should be simply because of who they chose to be with. People whose views differ than these obviously have a right to believe and think whatever they want, but they are becoming more and more socially unacceptable as the LGBTQ community gains followers. In the near future I hope to see much less segregations and oppression. Once the rest of society is able to open their minds and become more accepting of different people’s opinions and ways of life there will be less segregation between the gay and straight communities, which is what the LGBTQ society is looking for.

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Hijabi Monologues

“Chris Christie Blasts ‘Crazies’ After Appointing Muslim Judge: The ‘Sharia Law Business Is Just Crap’”  Posted on August 4, 2011 at 7:15am by Jonathon M. Seidl

http://www.theblaze.com/stories/chris-christie-lashes-out-at-crazies-after-appointing-muslim-judge-the-sharia-law-business-is-just-crap/

There are some cases where people get overly judgmental in certain situations, and this story is one of those cases. In New Jersey, the governor of the state appointed a Muslim American as a Superior Court Judge. Chris Christie, the governor of New Jersey, the man who appointed him, and the man who is getting extremely fed up and agitated because of all the bad talk he is receiving for appointing Mohammed. The people who are complaining have openly said they do not think it is a safe decision to appoint a Muslim into the Court System because of his background. These people are openly admitting there racism towards Mohammed. This all disgusts Christie, and he shares his thoughts and opinions on the people who are talking poorly about him and his decision.  He explains that he has personally known Mohammed for 9 years, and he knows he is a good man, and will stay true to the Court system. Although Mohammed ended up being sworn in by the State of New Jersey a few months ago, that doesn’t take away from the fact people were overly judgmental and racist towards him and not happy about him being appointed.

 

“Why Americans Hate Muslims” Uploaded by ‘theresident’ on Oct 15, 2010

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LNkhTUsusUY&feature=related

This video talks about the broad idea of how misinterpreted Muslims are in general, and how upsetting it can be for Muslims to have to deal with all. The two Muslims speaking in this video speak first of Islamophobia, which is when people of different religion or ethnicity are offended by and dislike Islamic people. The man in the video discusses how the media and politics are two huge factors encouraging Americans to look down on and judge just about all Muslims.  He explains that what happens with terrorists, and 9/11 has absolutely nothing to do with the way the rest of the Muslim community are living their day to day lives.  Just because that’s what the media and society wants everyone to think doesn’t mean you should follow along with it. Everything the man and woman in this video are saying is very relevant and unfortunately true for the way most Americans act and think.

 

Western attack on Islam is caused by fallacies

By: Arab News  Published: Apr 28, 2011 22:23 Updated: Apr 28, 2011 22:23

 

http://arabnews.com/lifestyle/islam/article376537.ece

This article is definitely eye opening for a number of reasons. It shows that just because we are on the other side of the world, it doesn’t mean that those in other countries aren’t still very affected by what we speak and write about. Mahmoud Safar is a Muslim writer who wants people of Western culture to understand the effect they are having on Islam’s and Muslims because of the way we talk and write about them. Safar thinks that Muslims need to take a stand against the way they are being spoken about by Western cultures. He explains that the writings of Muslims by western society are not true or accurate at all. He says there is no scientific evidence of anything they write about, and he wants something to be done about all of the lies and accusations. Safar is writing the book in order for westerners to understand that what they are thinking of Muslims need to be taken care of, and the truth should be told. Although very upset and discouraged with the way his religion is being talked and written about, Safar really just wants people of other cultures to get the facts straight of what they are writing about before they right incorrect statements that harm the morals of other cultures.

 

After reading some of these articles, and watching videos on the way Muslims feel about the way we think of them, I have a different perspective on the way I look at not only Muslims, but all other cultures and religions as well. Watching the Hijabi Monologues also introduced me to a whole other way to look at Muslims. The three women that acted out different ways in which Muslims were misunderstood made me really think of the way I thought about different cultures and religions.  I feel like I have not been open to different cultures as much as I could be. I really started realizing that the media and politics have had an enormous effect on the way I look at and think about different cultures. Unless you do research and obtain actual facts, we are only going to know what we do from the News and other sometimes unreliable sources. Muslims in western culture are looked at as a threat.  Terrorist attacks, and events like 9/11 also have a large impact on the reason we see Muslims as a threat. What most Americans don’t look past though, is that that is not the way every Muslim is, and therefore should not be treated as If they are doing something wrong. Although I always respect other religions, I can admit to having certain stereotypes and misunderstandings of just about every other religion or culture aside from my own. In particular, I now look at Muslims in a much different way after seeing the monologues. The women showed such passion for the points they were trying to get across to the audience. They are normal women, and do not deserve the threats that they have to live with every day for simply being different. I think it is time all Americans do their own research and open their horizons to different cultures. The typical American is afraid of anything out of the ordinary, and sees anything “different” as a threat. This is why not only Muslims, but all other cultures are looked down upon. Once people can look past different beliefs and backgrounds, Muslims and Americans will be able to live without threats from each other.

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Ocean Exodus

Art Prize

The past three years Grand Rapids has held an art fair in the down town part of the city called Art Prize. This Art Fair has been extremely successful, and it has brought in thousands of viewers. The city has benefited immensely from it each year so far. Art Prize can set itself apart from many other art fairs because out of all the contestants, the artist who is able to get the most votes wins $250,000. I walked around art prize a few times so far, and each time I see a work of art something new stands out to me. There are so many incredible works of art, and an absolutely incredible amount of talent that are involved with the fair. I decided to critique and look farther one piece in more detail than the others. Ocean Exodus was one of the pieces of art that captured my attention most, as well as intrigued me with the story of how it was created.

            Ocean Exodus is a 3-Dimensional sculpture figure made of wood. The piece is eight feet tall and ten feet wide. The sculpture includes carvings of different kinds of ocean creatures, including octopus, reptiles, plant life forms, as well as various fish. It is a vertical standing figure that is on a rotating axis. I think it being on a slow spinning stand is very beneficial for the piece. This way everyone will get a full view from wherever they are standing, plus it draws attention to the sculpture because it stands out since not all of the pieces are on a rotating axis. Ocean Exodus is very jagged and rigid looking. It is 3-Dimensional and has different colors incorporated into it to express the different life forms. Each of the different life forms were very large and had an immense amount of detail in each specific carving. The relationship between each of the shapes was compact. Each of the different life forms were overlapping with each other. The color scheme was very life like and realistic seeming. The base of the sculpture consisted of mainly deep greens and browns, somewhat like what the bottom of the sea looks like. The plants, animals, and fish were also the normal colors the creatures in the real world should be.

            The artists who created this piece is an environmentalist who is dedicated to preserving and studying nature. He made all of the animals, fish, and plants in the piece so cluttered and close together because he is trying to prove a point. It is showing most of the life forms moving away from the center of the base of the sculpture. By having them all moving away in the way they do, the artist is trying to show what is happening to our very own ecosystem. Between fishermen, pollution, oil spills, and many more devastating disturbances our oceans encounter, they are rapidly diminishing because of unhealthy living conditions they have to deal with living in. The artist wants people to realize what is becoming of our ecosystems. People need to be aware of what is taking place, and hopefully take all actions possible in order to begin reversing this detrimental situation we have put the oceans into. The most distinctive feature that stood out to me was in the life forms eyes, and facial expressions. I felt as if they all looked disturbed and sad. Even the plants seemed to be twisted and wilting. To me this really stood out and set the tone for the whole piece. It was a very chaotic structure and helped let the viewer’s understand the main point of the work of art. The life forms feel cluttered and chaotic in the environment they are living in. I thought that was a great way of presenting it. It was very shadowy and dark looking, which as well was another factor in setting the tone that the artist was hoping to portray to those observing. In one sentence, I would say this piece was created in order to have society be aware of the grave dangers our ecosystem is facing, and something must be done. I think compared to other pieces of art it really was able to stand out because of the deep meaning it had supporting it. It is a moving piece or art work that makes you ponder the way you take care of the environment, if you do at all. The criteria that is most important is simply if the artist was able to get his point across for himself and those who observe the art work. With this said, my judgment of Ocean Exodus was great. It was so apparent what the artist was trying to portray and like I said, that is what I judge it by.

            All in all Art Prize was a great experience and it opened my eyes to a whole new way of looking at art work. There were so many abstract structures and paintings that told so many stories and brought about new ideas. Art Prize has been so successful the past few years, and brought a great number of tourists in to the city. Therefore I look forward to visiting downtown Grand Rapids and Art Prize for many years to come!

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Kids Food Basket

There are some things in your day to day life that you simply expect to come easily without having to worry much about them. One of these things is getting enough food every day. Most of us end up eating too much food by the end of or days, but what you may not realize is that there are 36,860 in Kent County alone that are not getting as much food as they need in order to live a healthy life (KFB). Last week I attended in helping out at the Kids Food Basket downtown Grand Rapids packing sack suppers for kids not receiving the proper amount of nutrition in their diet. Helping out and learning all the facts of this hunger issue were definitely shocking to me. I think more people need to be aware of what the Kids Food Basket is doing for the greater Grand Rapids area, and hopefully get the most volunteers possible in order to help out as many kids as they can. Kids Food Basket started up 9 years ago, serving 125 kids a day, and now they are up to serving 4,800 kids each school day (KFB). This as an enormous increase in sack supers given out, and it just goes to show how much progression has come from the organization. The Kids Food Basket is unique compared to other hunger organizations because they are going the extra mile and making the kids super instead of lunches. Lunch should not be the last meal that kids have during the day. This time of their lives they need a full dinner meal in order to stay healthy (Grand Rapids Social Diary). They have also done a great job of getting the word out there. They only way to make the most of the group is to make people aware of what it is they do. Last year they had a bike race in downtown Grand Rapids and all of the proceeds went to Kids Food Basket (WZZM Online). It is fundraisers such as these that keep KFB going strong and serving the community’s youth. At the rate Kids Food Basket is going, they will hopefully be able to fulfill their main goal of ending child hunger in the Greater Grand Rapids area. The organizations has come such a long way and has made massive strides towards fulfilling their main goal. I believe that if they keep providing the youth with such amazing quality meals and excellent and safe services they will without a doubt meet it. The unique nature of the KFB program and all of its success, it will surly set examples for other cities and hopefully those other cities will follow Grand Rapids example and join in in ending youth hunger in their area as well. This was such an eye opening experience witnessing just how many volunteers were so dedicated and hard working in order to make everything run smoothly. I hope to get the chance to go back and work as a volunteer and help end hunger in Grand Rapids. http://www.kidsfoodbasket.org/why http://www.wzzm13.com/news/story.aspx?storyid=120873 http://grandrapidssocialdiary.com/events.php?article_id=119

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Lecture by Michael Sandel

Last wednesday our class went to L.V Eberhard Center to hear a lecture by the great speaker, Michael Sandel. I was really not exactly looking forward to going and listening to a lecture about something I wasn’t necessarily interested in, but when all was said and done I was very impressed and enlightened! He drew in a large crowd, and they even had to have an overflow room because so many people showed up and they couldn’t all fit in the main room he was physically speaking in. We found out a bit of his background during the presentation that was quite impressive as well. Sandel is a Harvard professor who has had a New York Times best seller, and has had more than 15,000 people enroll in his “Justice” class (GVSU). He worked with the audience and made all of us think in depths of the topics discussed. The discussions made us open our minds and understand why we thought the way we did, and if we were able to back up our thoughts with logical explanations of whatever point we were trying to get across.        

            First, Sandel brought up a very interesting question that maybe no one would put too much thought into, but when the issue arose everyone got very into the topic. He asked everyone if he thought it was “right” that late night host David Lettermen was making so much more money a year than the average school teacher. It seemed like the majority of the audience thought teachers should get paid more. The controversy was that David Letterman might have more of a rare talent that average teachers/people don’t have. Most of the people thought that although Letterman may have a specific talent that not all may have, teachers in the long run should be paid more because they will affect more people in a positive way, and they essentially build our futures. One girl stood up and spoke about how her father has been a special education teacher for many years, and told us about the thousands of people’s lives he has improved and been a part of.  Another student from the audience then stood up and shared with us how he thinks David Letterman should continue to make more money because of the millions of people’s lives he affects every day he is shown on national television. After the debate between the students was ended by Sandel, it seemed as if the audience was still sticking to wanting teachers to make more money. Such an interesting topic to bring up felt really good to think about, and broaden the ways you could go about trying to fix the issue.

            After the first discussion, he brought up a new situation for the audience to interpret and talk about. Casey Martin was a PGA golf professional who had a crippling disease that made it very hard for him to walk. During golf tournaments he would have serious issues making it from hole to hole in order to make his next shot. The question Sandel wanted the audience to think about was, whether or not the PGA tour should allow Martin to use a golf cart during tournaments so that he wouldn’t have to put so much painful strain on his legs. We had to think about all of the factors. Some people thought that part of golfing was walking from hole to hole because it wore you out. What we had to think deeper into was if simply walking was really going to make that much of a difference in a round of gold. The majority of the audience thought that it wouldn’t make that much of a difference and that Casey Martin should definitely be allowed to use a cart during the golf tournaments he wanted to play in. it was good to hear at the end of this part of his lecture that Martin did indeed get the court ruling of being able to use the cart.

            The other main topic he brought up was the very debatable issue of same sex marriage. This discussion seemed to hit the audience hardest, and was the issue people had most reaction and input on. Sandel wanted to know if we thought same sex marriage laws should stay as they are, or if they should be changed.  Some people that spoke thought that marriage should not be regulated by the government at all, and that people should be able to love whoever they want and no one should be allowed to have a say in what they want to do. Another few people spoke about how they thought same sex marriage (or anything other than man and woman) was wrong and should not be legal. They think that it is biologically incorrect and that society should not run this way. I realized that people feel very strongly about this issue, and most people are not willing to budge in opening their mind to each other’s opinions if they are different than their own.

            Sandel did a really impeccable job of making all opinions heard. He wanted to get the viewpoints of as many people as he could so that the rest of the audience could look into each different perspective and hopefully open their minds to different opinions and thoughts. I felt that I really had to think harder into what my own thoughts and opinions were so that I could really find out what I truly thought of each topic discussed. I found this lecture extremely interesting and insightful. I found myself thinking about the lecture and the different topics discussed even after the lecture was over. He really knew what he was talking about and got his points across very clearly. What made it most intriguing I thought, was his passion for what he was speaking about. Sandel truly wanted us all to look deeper than the surface thoughts about the situations he presented to us to think about. He forced us to dig deeper and interpret the topics on a deeper level than usual. It was a great speech/ lecture and I would suggest anyone who has the chance to listen to him speak!

http://www.gvsu.edu/artscalendar/90102-fall-arts-celebration–distinguished-academic-lecturer-michael-sandel–justice–what-s-the-right-thing-to-do–.htm

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Dangers of Tanning Booths

 

Have you ever known someone with skin cancer? Well I have, and have seen first-hand just how horrible it can be to try and live through. Any kind of cancer is a big deal and a life changing disease for anyone who gets it, as well as anyone who is close to that person. Unfortunately, not all people take skin cancer specifically, as serious. There are so many deathly dangers to discuss that come from tanning booths. What people need to understand is that there are other options to getting tan glowing skin instead of putting unnecessary ultra violet rays into their bodies. The best fix for lowering the skin cancer victim numbers is to begin shutting tanning salons down for good. Most tanning bed users aren’t even aware of the shocking statistics that those who tan are accounting for.  Also, they clearly don’t know what the future may hold for them down the road it they continue exposing themselves. I want people to become aware of the harms they are causing themselves. I will talk about doctors’ thoughts and opinions on them, and will hopefully be able to educate anyone who is debating tanning enough, so that they don’t put themselves at risk. First, let’s look at some statistics pertaining to tanning bed users.

Behind every decision people make there is some type of rhyme or reason for their actions. One of the main reasons people decide to go to tanning booths is because it is what they think looks most socially acceptable. Media plays an enormous role on society, and unfortunately if you were to look at commercials, magazine advertisements, and many high society people, you see toned and tanned bodies. When citizens see these people portrayed like such, they feel as if they must mimic these perfect looking bodies. While a tanned body is attractive to some people, the problem is that there are also many tanning bed dangers, some that people know of and some that are hidden. People also do it because they want to stay tan all year, and in winter there is not as much sun outside, so they resort to indoor tanning. Although there can be plenty of facts thrown out to the public of why not to use tanning beds, there is one big component that doesn’t help doctors and health professional’s cause. Unfortunately this is not a small industry, and because money is mainly all people focus on it makes it tough to persuade everyone. The total indoor tanning consumer base is 28 million, and the total economic impact of indoor tanning facilities is $5 billion (American Tanning Institute).  Those numbers look great at a business stand point and because it is such a prospering business the government really doesn’t want to shut them down. These are just some excuses people who tan are using. Another disturbing reason people subject themselves to hurtful ultra violet rays is because they believe if they tan before they go out in the sun they will not get burned as easily. There is no evidence that this ethic is effective. If you go out on vacation and decide to sun bath, you should wear sunblock instead of trying to get a base on your skin before going into the strongest rays.

Now, people may try to give themselves excuses as to why tanning in tanning beds is a good idea, they just need to make sure they know all the facts.  More than 70% of the on average 1 million people a day using tanning beds, are Caucasian females aged 16 to 49 years( Health Central). After looking at this set of statistics, it looks like this may mean that adults and parents are letting their teenage girls go to tanning salons…but if they knew the serious dangers maybe they would be wearier of letting them go. The younger you are when you start indoor tanning, the greater your risk of melanoma. Also, your risk of melanoma increases by 75 percent if you’re exposed to tanning beds before the age of 35(Dr Hema Sundaram). Knowing this, it proves that young adults are at huge risks in this area, and should be monitored by parents or adult figures in order to prevent these numbers from going up. Another shocking fact is that using a tanning bed more than 10 times a year made people seven times more likely to develop malignant melanoma than those who did not use tanning beds as often. Some people think that if they only go once and a while they will not be hurt by the effects of those who go very often, when in reality the risk of melanoma was increased by 300% for those using tanning beds occasionally and by 800% for those using tanning beds more than 10 times a year(Health Central). So although percentage wise those who go more are more likely to become ill, but on the other hand those who only go occasionally still run an extremely higher risk just by going a  few times.

There are other options to get a tan glow, besides putting unnecessary ultra violet rays into your body. Because many people feel more attractive when tan, they should use other options available to them instead of tanning booths. There is always the option of spray tan. Spray tan is effective, gets the same look as tanning beds, and is 100% safer. The main reason it is wise to use spray instead of UV rays is because you run less risk of many skin cancers. Also, you will preserve your skin down the road. Another option is tanning pills. These pills speed up the tanning process, and have no cancerous side effects.

After hearing these facts I hope you start recognizing the great dangers of tanning booths. You should all see the seriously damaging effects of tanning in booths, and hopefully become more aware and make the safe and smart choices when it comes to ways of giving yourself fake tans. In the future I hope to put some kind of ban on tanning salons in general, or at least make an age limit.

 

American Tanning Institute. “American Tanning Institute – New Salon Resource Center.” American Tanning Institute – Home. American Tatooing Institute, 2009. Web. 22 Sept. 2011. <http://www.tanningprogram.com/new_salon_resource_center&gt;.

 

“Indoor Tanning | http://www.aad.org.&#8221; Home Page | http://www.aad.org. US Department of Health and Services, 9 Sept. 2011. Web. 22 Sept. 2011. <http://www.aad.org/media-resources/stats-and-facts/prevention-and-care/indoor-tanning&gt;.

Sundaram, Dr. Hema. “The Dangers of Tanning Beds: Five Fast Facts – Skin Care.” HealthCentral.com – Trusted, Reliable and Up To Date Health Information. Health Central. Web. 22 Sept. 2011. <http://www.healthcentral.com/skin-care/c/75934/24339/beds-fast-facts&gt;.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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500 Days of Summer

In order to truly get involved and swept away with a movie you need to be able to connect to it and relate to the characters and plot ideas. The film “500 Days of Summer” was one of the biggest hits of 2009, and also turns out to be a perfect example of a movie that will sweep you away. The film is a romantic comedy aimed at anyone who is in love, was in love, or anyone who thinks they may be in love. It tells a story of a young man, Tom, who falls in love with a girl named Summer. The Director of the movie is Marc Webb, with Scott Neustadter and Michael H. Weber who were the writers. Webb is a music video, short film, and motion picture director. He graduated from Colorado College with an English degree. The movie“500 Days of Summer,” has been his biggest picture so far, with critics especially loving it. He is in the process of directing the 2012 Spider Man movie. Scott Neustadter based the script on experiences of his own life. He had two relationships that resembled Tom and Summer’s. So, because of this he is very in touch and close with his characters, which bring them even closer to being real for the viewer. Both Scott and Michael agree the best kind of stories come from real experiences. They speak about how their own life happenings are more interesting and engrossing than movie story lines! Some of their thoughts and comments were recorded through interviews on the following website,  http://www.variety.com/article/VR1117987707. One of the main purposes of the movie is to make you really think about your own relationships. The character Tom, in the movie, is madly in love with Summer, who unfortunately for Tom, doesn’t believe in love. For many, people will take this movie and relate it to their own lives, questioning and critiquing the way they are acting to the one they love. Also, maybe looking for any signs Summer shows, making sure to find out the true feelings of their partner so they don’t wind up in the same boat as Tom! The film really pulls people in by appealing to their emotional appeals. The audience becomes very close with the character Tom. We know what emotions he is feeling, and what kind of struggles he is going through almost every moment of the movie. So by portraying clearly how in love Tom is with Summer, the viewer really feels for him and also feels his pain when she breaks his heart.

The camera loved Summer, and would always have her in great light and camera positioning. Tom was always shown in a good light as well, unless he was upset about the way Summer was treating him, which is when it would cut to close ups of him sulking around, possibly breaking things as well. A clever addition into some of the scenes was whenever Tom would start thinking about Summer, then the song “she’s like the wind” would start playing in the background, as if it were just playing in his head whenever he had a thought of her. It was something small, but it added a unique touch to the film in itself.

One scene that really showed a lot of symbolism and meaning to the whole context of the movie was towards the end of the film when Tom finds out Summer is engaged. It shows the two at a wedding were they both are sharing drinks, dancing, and holding hands. In Toms head, he has Summer all to himself, when in reality it is quite the opposite. She invites him to a party at her house to celebrate her new engagement. However, unfortunately Tom thinks it will be more of a date with simply himself Summer, and maybe a few other close friends. The camera then splits the screen in half. On the left side of the screen shows what Tom’s “expectations” of the night are, and the other side shows the actual “reality” of the night and of what is happening in the movie. Tom is so happy and excited to be with Summer on the left side of the camera, and on the right you see what is really happening. He is terribly upset and disappointed. It cuts back and forth to Summer’s face and her glowing happiness, and cuts to Tom’s overwhelmed face of sorrow. On the “expectations” angle, everyone is cheery and talkative, while on the “reality” side everyone Is dull and unappealing to Tom. The stairs up to Summers apartment take forever to walk up on the “reality” side, yet on the “expectations” portion he bolts up the stair case in a heartbeat anxiously awaiting what he longs for at the top. These differences at this point in the movie really start showing how delusional Tom has become. He has become crazy from love and has no idea how to cope with his feelings and emotions toward her.

Another enduring and interesting scene is one of the very last scenes in the movie. At this point Tom has done everything he could to move on from loving Summer. He has gotten himself back on the right track in life, but still a small portion of him wishes he knew just what he did to push her away from him. Summer finds Tom at one of the old spots they used to go to together when they were dating. It was the old park bench sitting on top of a hill overlooking the entire city. This was where they had some bright memories and times with each other. Summer comes up cautiously and sits beside Tom just like they always used to, however this time something is very different. As they are talking right before Summer is about to walk away the camera cuts to Summer’s hand on top of Tom’s, with an engagement ring on it. Tom is choked up and tries getting Summer to explain to him why she decided to leave him. He explained to her how he doesn’t believe in love any longer and that all it is is nonsense. She says love is real, and that she just wasn’t the right one. After she leaves, inevitably leaving Tom confused and still slightly heartbroken, he goes to a work interview. He finds himself falling into conversation with a young woman whom he is attracted to from first site. He ends up asking her for lunch, and when he asks for her name, it is Autumn. This movie will keep you guessing the entire time, rooting for Tom, and wondering why Summer does what she does! Find out more information on the film by checking out,  http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1022603/

 

Sources: Kaufman, Anthony. Variety.com. N.p., June 2008. Web. 15 Sept. 2011. <http://www.variety.com/article/VR1117987707>.

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Struggles and Success

During this time of the year, New York is filled with thousands and thousands of tennis fans, and aspiring professional players. The US open is one of the largest  tennis tournaments in the world .It is extremely difficult to make it into this tournament, and each player who is competing comes from different places and has had different obsticales to overcome in order to get to play under the big lights. The article “Facing Danger to Aid Daughter”, discussed the story of a young rising tennis star and her viscous struggle she had to overcome in order to make it to the top of her game.  Sachia is a 16 year old talented tennis player who comes from a very poor family who has thankfully sacrificed and pushed through tough times in order to better her tennis game. Her mother was a waitress at a strip club in a very dangerous area. She was forced to do this in order to make enough money to send Sachia to tournaments around the country. The article talks about the way Sachias mother would go through anything in order to put her daughter in a good place. The author David Waldstein wrote this article not only to get the word out about the new tennis talent on the tour, but also to show if you have enough dedication and passion for something, no matter what situation you may be in, you can find yourself where you want to be through hard work and perseverance. It was written also to show that no matter what background you may be coming for everyone has their own shot at success.  I think this is a very relevant article and it is a great and encouraging story to tell any aspiring/struggling tennis player, or any athlete in general that is.

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