Good Bye

So this is my last blog post… I haven’t said that I started this blog for a class that I am taking in college. As we approach the end of the semester I no longer have blog related assignment for the class and thus I will not post on this blog after this.

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I enjoyed blogging and used it as a place to kind of word vomit.  Which is nice because I like to talk a lot but am pretty shy. I also really like typing which may seam pretty weird and it is but the blog was a good reason for me to type a lot. It was also a relatively easy assignment for the class that it was associated with which is honestly probably the best part of the blog.

I didn’t love the blogging experience though. It was a lot of work and isn’t something I am passionate about. Also I definitely was not putting out my best work which is something that I would want to do if I were to continue blogging for my own pleasure.

I am not creative enough to come up with a new topic every week or so. Time is also an issue. As a college student my time is already spread thin and adding the responsibility of creating new content for a blog every week is not something that I want to

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take on.  Were I to continue this blog in a more personal way I would want to spend more time perfecting my writing and putting out better content which is definitely not something I have time for. That is especially true because I barely had time for the quality of material that I have been putting out.

So basically I will not be continuing this blog because I don’t have the time or creativity. I did enjoy some parts of it but overall blogging just isn’t something that I love.

If you want to read some other blogs here are some I enjoy.

Aspen Ovard talks about lifestyle, travel and beauty.

Emily Noel has similar content but focuses more on beauty.

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Vermont

Sooooo… I live in Florida. The hottest, most humid place on the face of America. A lot of people who live in Florida have never seen snow much less gone snow skiing. (Ironically I have never been water skiing which is pretty common here in Florida.) Unfortunately for me snow skiing is my favorite sport. I love it. Its pretty easy to pick up and is a lot of fun.

When you ski you get to hurdle yourself down a mountain and feel the cold air sting your face as you stay in complete control ( at least most of the time…) That is part of the reason I love skiing, you have as much control as you give yourself. If you can only do the bunny slope in a controlled way then you can do that but you can give up your control and go down the black diamond too if you want. The other reason is just how much fun it is the snow allows you to glide perfectly over it which gets you going pretty fast. You also get to see some beautiful places. There is nothing quite like looking over Vermont while it is perfectly covered in snow.

The reason I love skiing in Vermont is the sugar coated waffles

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. Yes they are exactly what they sound like. A German yeast waffle coated in molten sugar and no they are not as good as they sound they are so much better. They are  even better than that when they are the only hot thing you can get you hands on. To get a sugar coated waffle you first need to go to Ludlow, Vermont. There you will find Okemo Mountain and on the slopes of Okemo there is a little cabin that serves the waffles, and yes you can only get one by skiing to the cabin. If you manage to get one to the bottom of the mountain before you eat it they are delicious when added to Vermont’s own Ben and Jerry’s ice cream. (Yes ice-cream is still good when it’s bitterly freezing outside.

Don’t get me wrong if you go skiing you will be freezing and the cold stings. But it is all so worth it in the end.

 

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Book Review: Romeo and Juliet

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Romeo and Juliet by William Shakespeare
is one of the most classic tales and has been retold a thousand times in a thousand ways. The version that I will be discussing is Romeo and Juliet by Gareth Hinds. This version uses text that is similar to that of the original version by Shakespeare, but tells the story as a graphic novel.

Personally I believe that Shakespeare is better in its truest form a play with minimal staging or a video of just that. Of course it is not always possible to view Shakespearian plays in that case I believe that it is best read in its original language.

That being said I appreciate that the author of this graphic novel tried to keep the text in its original form. I also understand that when rewriting a story, especial when it is in a different form, it is difficult to keep the original text. Especially when the original text is so intricately written.

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I also appreciated the changes in ethnicity of the main characters. As I have said before I am a fan of Hamilton by Lin Manuel Miranda. I bring this up because both chose change the ethnicities from the expected. I like this because it makes something like history or Shakespeare more accessible to people of color. This also helps to modernize the stories of Shakespeare which everyone can relate to.

In the authors note Hinds explains how he changed the story and geography and why he does this. I really appreciate that he explains his reasoning because like I said before I prefer Shakespeare in its truest form. I like that he explains why he changes things because it proves that he was trying to stay true to the story and cultural context.

Overall I like this version of Romeo and Juliet because it tries to stay true to the original text but changes things so that the story can be seen for how applicable it is to everyone.

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My Favorites: Music

As I have mentioned before I am a pretty big band nerd. Along with that comes some pretty varied favorite genres and because of that favorite songs. So in no particular order here is a  (long) list of some of my favorites.

  1. O Magnum Mysterium by Ivo Antognini – I love it because it is beautiful and and heart wrenchingly sad. I played a concert band version of this piece in high school and coincidentally had a pretty sad experience to go along with it.
  2. Rest by Frank Ticheli- this piece is kind of hilarious and kind of beautiful. I would say more but I don’t want to ruin it and there’s really not that much more to say about it.
  3. How Great Thou Art by Stuart Hine- this is the piece that I played as my solo in marching band my senior year. I actually don’t like this piece because I like it but because it was really special to me. I was really lucky my senior year in band because not only was I band captain but I also got to play this piece as a solo.
  4. Anything klezmer that is played by Giora Feidman
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    this is so weird that its good. Klezmer music is solely associated with Judaism. It has a pretty unique and indescribable sound. Feidman is an amazing klezmer clarinetist, he has an amazing tone on his instrument and is very expressive.

  5. Hamilton by Lin Manuel Miranda- I’m pretty sure everyone knows of this hit rap/musical by now. Lin Manuel is quiet the lyrical genus in my opinion. When I first heard some of the songs from this musical I hated all of it, I don’t really know why but I just did. As I heard it more and more I began to know some of the rhymes and the next thing you know I was in love.
  6. Roads Untraveled by Lincoln Park- I first heard this song wile researching some marching bands last year to compare my bands scores. I was watching the show of a band that we would be competing with and it started with this song. I loved the band and the song. I mostly like it because of the marching band who used this song but none the less its a favorite.
  7. Seduce Me by Celine Dion arranged and performed by Noah Kahn
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    this one is more specific than the others because I have never actually heard Celine Dion’s version of Seduce Me. This is another one of those band things. Noah Kahn was the Drum Major and soloist of Hebron high school’s marching band last year. As a 17/18 year old he not only performed but also arranged this incurable version of the song. It is one of the best musical moments that I have ever seen/heard.

  8. Jupiter by Gustav Holts- another beautiful piece by another amazing composer. Holts is incredible this piece is bold and emotional. It is a piece of music that can truly take you on an emotional journey.

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Woo Band Band

In true band kid fashion when told to “just talk” the first thing that I talk about is band. I was in band for seven years. Like I said in a previous post I play flute and piccolo. Those seven years were full of ups and downs and some of the hardest moments of my life.

Now I know that a lot of band kids like to say that they wtarpon-springs-outdoor-performance-ensembleork harder than the football team or that band in general is harder than football and were I don’t know if thats true or not there are definitely some ensembles that work pretty freaking hard. For instance Tarpon Springs Outdoor Performance Ensemble( that’s’ a fancy name for marching band.) I am constantly amazed when I watch them, even as someone who has participated in the event is incredible the show that a group of high schoolers can put on. Check this video of them wining the national completion two years ago. (source)

Now my band was not anywhere close to that good, but we did manage to pull out sixth place in class at the state completion last year. Which is pretty cool because that is the best we had ever done and it was my senior year and I was also the featured soloist and the highest level of student authority in the band. So I feel pretty proud of what we were able to accomplish last year.

Although last year was the best we did placement wise I  think almost anyone who marched in 2013 would agree that was the best and most fun year. My band did “Wonka Pure Re-Imagination” which was a Willy Wonka (Book by: Ronald Dahl, movie adaptations 1971 and 2005)  show essentially. We all had so much fun that year and we did really well only not making finals by .3 of a point. 071fc0742157759a24ff7f8949fcfcd1(source)

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My Favorites:Apocalypse Now

One of my favorite movies that I have discovered more recently is Apocalypse Now (1979). This movie follows the basic plot of the book Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad, which is also one of my favorites. It uses the Korean war as setting and explores the bounds of the human mind. Like Heart of Darkness, there are no good words to describe this movie because of the material that it covers. Though the plot is important it only vaguely describe what the movie is actually about. unknownAs I’ve talked about before I tend to like stories that cover more vague topics or the mind and mental capacity. This movie does exactly that.  (source)

I must admit that I watched this movie in school as part of a unit in an english class but there were plenty of rumors from the class above us about how good the movie was so we were all pretty excited to see it and to top it  off the day we watched it was the same day that teacher had surround sound speakers installed in his room so it was quite the experience.

I would recommend this movie to anyone who wants to watch something that will make them think. Also a word of caution: this movie is quite violent at times and definitely covers extremely mature subject mater. When we watched this movie as a class our teacher felt inclined to warn us when there would be a graphic scene, which was defiantly appreciated by some members of the class even though we were all seniors in high school.(source) 17_apocalypse_nowOverall I love this movie and would definitely recommend it to anyone who thinks they can handle it. I find it tells a really insightful story about human nature and the capacity of the human mind.

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Book Review: Cinder

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Cinder by Marissa Meyer is a wonderful book about a half cyborg half human girl who discovers that she is the key to saving the world.

Admittedly I read this entire book in what was essentially one sitting. I do believe that had an impact on how I felt about this book. What I mean by that is I really felt like this book dragged on and even worse I feel like Meyer was well aware of that because the story seamed to be a little bit crazy. The middle of the story in particular was kind of hard to follow because of everything that was happening.

My only other major critique of this book is that it is written at quite a low level for the material that it covers.  If you’re lomeyer20pic20credit20kali20raisloking for a light read with a familiar story then this is probably a good thing for you. However when I picked this book up I was hoping to be stimulated. Mostly because the story covers some fairly mature material.

Don’t get me wrong this was a great story and an incredibly detailed. Meyers doses a wonderful job of creating an entire world in the short space of this book. Not only does she describe the appearance of the changed world but she also explores the details of social classes and eventually the relationships between the different groups of people.  I found that this story very interesting and one of the more unique takes on the “Cinderella story.”

When I first read the summary on the back of the book I was nervous about reading a book that (source) included  space  robots and was still supposed to be a Cinderella story, but Meyer uses the different aspect of the main character in an refined way that is not at all what I was expecting when I read that it was about space robots.

Overall I would recommend this book to someone who is interested in young adult fantasy/ sci-fi that is looking for a fairly light read.

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