Tuesday, December 3, 2013

It all comes to an end

This will be my last blog post. This semester went by so quickly, only have about 2 more weeks to go. Blogging was a new experience for me and it has thought me what to put out there and what not. Although this was my first time doing this, it wasn't too bad. All I had to do was remind myself to blog every weekend. It helped me learn more and understand some of my classmates as well. In fact, it’s good that Sweeney chose something active that involves all students. This has helped us connect and hear what others have to say about different issues. Professor Sweeney's class has been one of my favorite classes here at Bland and I will definitely miss this class.  


Main character of the movie se7en are Detective William Somerset, detective David Mills, and John Doe. Somerset is one of the most important characters that thinks society is getting more evil and wants to leave the horrors of the city. He is patient and has the ability to do well at his job because he’s smart in investigating the details and solving crimes. Before his retirement, he is partnered with a young and naive Detective called David Mills. John Doe is another significant character. Even though, he doesn’t leave any fingerprints while committing a crime, detective Somerset and John Doe share some traits. They analyze their thoughts before acting out on them unlike David Mills who’s more aggressive. In fact, they’re both irritated by the evilness of the city they live in. John Doe kills people that have sinned to change society while Somerset takes criminals under control and interview suspects, witnesses, and victims until he gets enough evidence and information to solve the crime. Doe’s plan to kill his victims was according to the seven deadly sins: gluttony, greed, sloth, wrath, pride, lust, and envy.


        We Real Cool and Harlem are the two poems we read this semester written by Gwendolyn Brooks and Langston Hughes respectively. These two poems were written during a cultural movement in 1920’s called Harlem renaissance. We Real Cool is just four stanzas each containing two lines with the word “we” by the end of each line. As an outside observer, we think the boys might have dropped out of school, be drinking gin, staying out late at night, enjoying jazz, and will have short lives. Brooks says the inspiration for this poem came when she saw the boys playing pool in a bar on her way to school one day. Harlem is a poem that talks about deferred dreams which is a dream left behind. He brings up how sometimes we all have a tendency to push our dreams away. He mentions how we can accomplish our dreams if we make an effort to make them reality. Our efforts will make us feel satisfied when we achieve our dreams. In fact, creating dreams can help us set bigger goals in the long run. Hughes describes different possible ways a man can dream. After reading and understanding both poems, I've came to realize that both poems kind of connect in a way.


Thursday, October 24, 2013

Second beyond class assignment: TyRuben Ellingson

For my second beyond class assignment, I went to the event here at Richard Bland. The Honors Program at RBC hosted a guest speaker, TyRuben Ellingson. He talked about his career, how he create his designs from shapes, and his skills as a special effects artist. His background in design and talent has led him to work on movies such as: Avatar, Elysium, Casper, The Flintstones, Pacific Rim, Jurassic Park, and so on. He has a master’s degree in fine arts and currently teaching at VCU in the Communicative Arts department. It was interesting to see the designs and special effects he came up with. He also mentioned how he likes working with cheap ball point pens like the ones in a bank or hotel rooms.

            I was impressed when he mentioned about Avatar and the amount of time to finish the work. It took him about 2 years, focusing on details, designs, and this and that until it was finally approved. I appreciate people who devote their time into something they really like to do because the more time they commit, the better they’ll get. It’s really about focusing, commitment, having a great confidence, and networking with people that got him to where he’s today. It was a great event to attend and click on the link if you would like to know more about him.

Friday, October 11, 2013

Beyond class activity: Virginia Museum of Fine Arts

I went to Virginia Museum of Fine Arts for one of my beyond class activities. It was college night and students came from VCU, VSU, John Tyler, and of course RBC. I liked how they had popcorn’s, drinks, and games. Also, while eating and drinking we got to see different artworks from different schools and states through a huge screen. For the games, they offered postcards and we had to cut it out into pieces and design them to make some kind of art and they gave prizes so that we can stay motivated. It was interesting and unique since I never visited an art museum. The museum galleries were amazing but it’s more than just paintings in there. They have ancient icons from different countries and cultures they also have abstract pictures, which were very interesting. It was hard to understand what all those pictures meant but they all have their own meanings and are unique in their own ways. VMFA has jazz nights every Thursday. Since we went on a Thursday night, they had a room where people could just go in dance and enjoy their time listening to a live jazz. It was more than what I expected. For people who like art or for those who aren't really into arts, I suggest you go and see for yourselves. 

Hills like White Elephants

      This story was kind of interesting because in class we got to be creative and come up with an ending since it didn't have one. We formed a group and discussed about the story and how to come up with an interesting ending. Overview of the story goes like this, the American and his girlfriend are in Spain inside a train station. She express her opinion on the hills that surrounded the station saying, "the hills look like a white elephant." The American seems like he’s more in control of situations throughout the story than she is. He mentions about an operation. More of like an abortion. Instead of taking responsibility for herself, it seemed like she was more concerned if he will still love her, live with her, and their relationship in general after the operation. They talked about it but neither of them listen or understand the other’s point of view. Besides their communication issues, she seemed really uncertain about the abortion. By the end, he goes to the bar to get a drink and she stays at the table which foreshadows no future relationship between them. Therefore, we never get to tell if she had the abortion or not. Our ending was more of like a life lesson. As a group, we came down to a decision that she gets hit by a bus and dies but doctors save the unborn child. Since the American is the father, he had to raise the baby. Now that all the pressure was on him, he learned the hard way raising a child by himself as a single dad which made him look back and wish he was there for her on the first place. 

Everything That Rises Must Converge

Everything that rises must converge is a story written in 1961 by Mary Flannery O’Connor. It was written in the middle of the American civil rights movement. Julian's mother has refused to take the bus alone since integration. So Julian escorts his mother to her weight loss class. They board on the bus where Julian’s mother is happy because there's only white people on the bus. Soon, a black woman and her son get on the bus. The little boy seat next to Julian’s mother and the woman seat next to Julian. Both mothers and sons got off the bus at the same time. Besides, Julian didn't like the idea that his mother will try to give the little boy a nickel despite the fact that she does this with all kids. As she looked in her purse, she only found a penny. Ignoring Julian’s warnings, she calls after the little boy, Carver, and gives him the penny. Carver’s mother gets mad and swings her purse and knocks Julian’s mother onto the sidewalk. As she got up, she stumbles off. Julian reaches out to grab her arm then soon sees a strange expression on her face. She tells him to call Grandpa or Caroline, her nurse. Julian starts to run for help but returns quickly as she crush to the pavement. He rushes towards her and finds out that she actually had a stroke. He felt bad after he realizes it and he couldn't help her since it was too late.