Live Life to The Fullest

My thoughts about life; as my semester abroad is coming to an end my feelings and emotions start to develop. My time these past three in half months have been unexplainable. I have learned so much about myself and others. I do not want being abroad to end more than anything but as it does I reflect back to the amazing experiences that I have had. The time that I have spent here I would not change for the world. It was worth everything. I have learned about myself, how to make travel plans last minute, being in other countries knowing nothing about the language or culture and learning while you are there. This trip has made me grow up more than I could have imagined. I have met amazing people and have shared so many great memories with them. As this chapter ends in my life, another one begins. I have to back to reality and continue on with my goals in life. I am going home to study for the LSATS, a test you take before law school, and also find an internship. Having to go back to reality and work makes me sad but I have learned one major thing being here in Barcelona. Life is worth so much. I love living the life I do and I wish more people felt like that. Each day is a new day to go after your goals or ambitions and every single person should take advantage of that. Open your hearts to others and learn things that you would normally think you wouldn’t. Help out someone that is need because actions speak louder than words. Life moves fast enough as it is and never wish your life away. Live in the moment. I appreciate that my parents gave me the opportunity to come to Barcelona and experience another culture. I can now bring back my experiences and views to my home and maybe share them with others. Many people are ignorant to change or accepting others. Many people do not fully understand that life is a beautiful thing. For all of those people I feel sorry for. I wish people would stop judging and accept. Stop hating and just have peace and love.

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Barcelona life and American life

american-flagI arrived in Barcelona, Spain on January 12th with many different feelings. I was ready to explore Europe and live the next four months of my life completely different than I ever have. Once I arrived here I knew things were going to be completely different than my past few years attending Florida State University. Right away, I noticed the relaxation that Barcelona has even though it is a fast past city. People take there time when they sit down for a meal or stroll to their next destination. Americans are always on the go. They act like they do not have time for anything but themselves and what makes their life more convenient. But in my opinion life should not be lived like that. Studying abroad I have realized much about life. There is so much more to living than getting up, going to work, coming home and repeating the same thing everyday and I feel that a lot of Americans, and most likely not just Americans, are guilty of this. I love that in Barcelona people sit down and enjoy a nice leisurely lunch with friends or family. I like that life is not pressed for time and competing for the next corporate position. There are also bigger situations that are much different while living in Europe and traveling. Overall, life is much more relaxed and much more is accepted. Americans are on the defense about many new things that are brought to their attention. We also put negative emphases on certain things that should be a part of life.spain-flag

For example, in Europe they do not make a big deal about nudity, which in my opinion is right. The human body is a beautiful thing and America wants to look down upon it. Growing up I was never afraid to express myself and my parents taught me to except who I was as an individual. I would say that a lot of Americans have problems with accepting who they are. America is plastic surgery happy. Every other person is breaking the bank to get something done that they don’t feel comfortable with. Now I am not saying that Plastic Surgery is wrong but when people are taking advantage of it, than there is a problem. There is so much more to life that everyone needs to sit back and realized. Life goes to fast as it is, there is no need to try and make it go faster.

Podcasting

Podcasting is the way of the 21st century. Now you can get most songs, television shows, music and much more online through podcasts. This simple term has made its way around the world. In simple terms, Podcasting is a new type of online media delivery. With podcast, you have the freedom of creating your own radio or online talk show. With this new technology, you can transfer your podcast to your iPod and watch or listen to it anytime. I never realized that I used podcasts until I came abroad. Now that I am over here in Spain I have to download Podcasts to see my television shows from home that I miss. It works out great because the television websites do not allow me to watch them because I am not in the United States at the time so I have to download them from other sites. Because of the huge demand for iPods and being able to put them on your iPod, I think that Podcasting has made its mark. I believe it will be around for a long time. The convenience of it is amazing, and we all know that Americans are all about their convenience. We want things fast and right away and Podcasts give that to us.

Besides making things simpler for all of us, Podcasts give those struggling music artists a change to be heard without paying to be in a studio. Or even someone who wants to be a talk show host they can create a Podcast in their benefit. Beyond Podcasts, the internet has made so many things possible. Things that we never thought would be done. Millions of people are on the internet every day using it for several different reasons. The internet is a way of connecting with other people and it has made that impact. Now the internet and podcasts can be received on your cell phone. Making everything more convenient once again.

Now you do not have to go through the hassle of finding an agent and being discovered when you want to become famous. If you want your voice heard than make your own Podcast. People around the world have made their own show and put it on Youtube. Depending on how many people view there videos, shows their popularity. A few guys in Spain were videotaping shows, making fun of celebrities and such, and it received so much publicity that they now have a spot on the local channels. As I stated before it is not easy keeping up with what is going on in America. Podcast´s make it easy for me. When you got podcast.com I can listen to several different American television stations news or even a clip from discovery channel. For example CNN, the news channel that I watch at home, is on this website for me to watch conveniently.

Everybody is Irish on March 17th-Media Story

saint-patys-7“The first St. Patrick’s Day parade took place not in Ireland, but in the United States. Irish soldiers serving in the English military marched through New York City on March 17, 1762. Along with their music, the parade helped the soldiers to reconnect with their Irish roots, as well as fellow Irishmen serving in the English army.” This quote I found on the website History Happens Every Day and it was very shocking to find that the first parade was in the United States. This day use to be a holy day but now it is more of published holiday. I feel that the United States does celebrate Saint Patrick’s Day as big as Ireland does but I feel as though this website proved me wrong. When I was little I remember going into class and my teachers would all dress up and have everything green with a pot of gold candy in the classroom. I thought of this day as fun and a day where we did fun activities in the classroom. As I got older it became a day to celebrate and another reason to drink.

I never understood what Saint Patrick ’s Day really was but I learned in Dublin. I learned that it started out as a Catholic celebration and that it was said Saint Patrick himself rose from the dead and fought off all the snakes. This to me does not really make sense but that is what I was told by an Irish person. When I went to Dublin I was expecting it to be less commercialized than it was. There were a lot of American and also a lot of Scottish people as well, which I did not expect. What I learned about Saint Patrick’s Day while I was there, from the true Irish, that in the beginning of the day they attend church and then drink and eat for the festivities the rest of the day. The festival that I went to in Dublin was full of food, face painting, music, dancing, and fireworks. Everyone seemed to be enjoying themselves, including me and my friends.

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At night there was heavy drinking and dancing at bars all throughout the city. Dublin also makes the festival a week long, having different events throughout the week. Now Saint Patrick’s Day is celebrated in so many different places. “Today, St. Patrick’s Day is celebrated by people of all backgrounds in the United States, Canada, and Australia. Although North America is home to the largest productions, St. Patrick’s Day has been celebrated in other locations far from Ireland, including Japan, Singapore, and Russia.”

You can also take an irish quiz

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Amsterdam and Legalizing Marijuana

This past weekend I went to Amsterdam. Probably one of my favorite trips, and not because of the legalized weed or the red light district but because it was a beautiful city. I was there for four days and every day had plenty to do. I thought that people there were extremely nice and the food was amazing. I was there the weekend of the Scotland Netherlands soccer game and if I didn’t know better I would have thought I was in Scotland. I stayed in a great hotel, the Bilderberg Hotel and overall had the best time. Now that I have bored you with the details of my trip I do actually want to talk about the fact that marijuana is legalized in Amsterdam. I can honestly say that I do not smoke pot but that I think Amsterdam is smart for legalizing it. Walking around the city and walking into the coffee shops, I realized that they have such a relaxed atmosphere. I feel that because they make marijuana legal nobody makes a big deal of it. Living in the United States and then living in Barcelona I have realized how uptight Americans are. What a lot of people do not realize is that legalizing marijuana could really help the economy. We are spending way too much money putting those behind bars for selling weed or smoking it when we could use that money for far more important issues. The government wants to make arguments against marijuana and that its considered a “dangerous drug” but who said that it was dangerous? In an article about legalizing marijuana I found this, “Marijuana is not toxic and lethal the way the other drugs are that it is often grouped with. Scientific studies show that marijuana is not toxic to humans, and the “overdose” amount is so unrealistic as to be laughable. As in 1,500 lbs. in 15 minutes. Smoking that much pot is impossible. One thousand people couldn’t do it. Alcohol and tobacco are both more addictive and dangerous than marijuana.” What does not make sense to me is that tobacco and alcohol is more addictive but they want to look at marijuana as a so called “gateway” drug. They make buying tobacco 18 but the drinking age is 21, which makes absolutely no sense to me, and they look at marijuana as illegal. All of these things do not make sense, especially when tobacco and alcohol are both more addictive. What really bothers me about the drinking age is that you can go and fight for your country but you cannot sit down at a bar and have a beer. Who made this stupid law is beyond me. I wish that the government would wake up and realize that making a big deal about something makes people want it more. It goes along with the saying “you want what you can’t have.” This is human nature. Until the United States or someone else can prove to me that marijuana is more dangerous than tobacco and or alcohol than I still stand against the fact that it is illegal. Americans can die for their country, vote for a leader, smoke until they get cancer, drink until they die and gamble all of their belongings away but they cannot smoke marijuana.

El Periodico Newspaper

sunsentinelLooking over the El Periodico I noticed that most of the sections, such as sports and economy, are pretty much the same. My newspaper from home, The Sun Sentinel, is very similar in that aspect. They also both have newspapers for different regions. The Sun Sentinel for example is most of south Florida. It’s my area, Boca Raton, and the surrounding areas as well. While I was looking through the El Periodico I noticed that in the classified section they advertise women; women selling theme selves for money, also known as prostitution. This type of thing would never happen in a newspaper in the United States. Prostitution is illegal in the U.S and I am assuming from the newspaper it is not here. I think that it is vulgar and should not allow being in any newspaper. Women should not be selling themselves as though they are an object meant for sale. It disgusted me that they would even consider having that in a newspaper. I know that prostitution still goes on in the United States but it is not as clear as it is here.

Another aspect of the newspapers is that the El Periodico is a lot more colorful. The Sun Sentinel uses color but I felt as though the newspaper in Spain had more, and also seemed as though it had more pictures but that might not be true. The Sun Sentinel, while looking through it online, I noticed that they had a few articles about Spain and the El Periodico had a few articles about the United States. For both countries they mention each other, in my opinion, about the same amount. They write articles on what they believe should be printed.

Overall, my conclusion, is that media has influence on most people. Whether or not you read the newspaper or see little clippings of it while you are walking past a news stand, something catches your eye and that’s the point. Every newspaper is out there to get your attention one way or another. I am a mass media communications major and have learned the ways of media. They are all after one thing, you. Newspapers, radio shows and news shows, whether they will admit it or not, place things in certain orders and timing to make sure you hear exactly what they want and for how long. Even the newspapers control the length of the article and tell the writer the strong points to make sure they are in the article were the reader can easily spot it. Media has a way of getting to all of us whether we like it or not.

War Journalism


“Why photograph war? Is it possible to put an end to a form of human behavior, which has existed throughout history, by the means of photography?” This quote by James Nachtwey, in my opinion, sums up the reason one chooses to be a war photographer. A war correspondent is a journalist who covers stories about a war. In my opinion, one of the most extreme jobs out there; their life is constantly in danger. These types of journalists have come across a lot of controversy in their day. They have revealed things to the public that we would have never found out if it were not for war journalists. They tell a story about an event through photos. They show the world what we need to see. I never thought about photojournalism before I took this class and I never stopped and thought about how much goes into it, especially when you are a war photographer. It entails more than just snapping photos and getting the next great shot. They have to be physically and mentally prepared. War journalists almost, in my eyes, have to relate with a criminal. They have to pretend they do not have a heart in order to receive the picture they want; to be able to go back and tell their story and get their point across with his or her pictures. James Natchwey could not have said it more perfect when he said “And I realized that many of the people I was photographing might have been the very ones who had committed the massacstarving-african-children-aidsres that I had witnessed just a few weeks before. And it was like taking the express elevator to hell.” He knew by taking the photos that he wanted, he was choosing to participate in something immoral. Even when Ahmed Fadaam made the statement about his pictures telling the world what is truly happening during a war, I completely agree with him but he is still participating in this circle of choosing immorality. Pictures that war journalists take are showing everyone what is really going on and letting us know what human beings are capable of committing. But what makes it right for war journalists to jus take the pictures and not help? When I saw the picture with the little boy starving and the volcher looking at him, with the intentions of eating him when he dies, I was disgusted. I was not disgusted at the picture but at the idea of someone taking this picture and than finding out that he took the picture and left the boy. I understand that journalists want the world to see the truth. To be aware of what is going on in the world besides what people and the government says. I am in agreement with this but what I do not understand is how they can just let the boy die. You have time to take the picture and save the boy because by you leaving the boy, in my eyes, you are just as guilty. You are participating in the war. I am a firm believer in the saying “practice what you preach.” These photographers want to relay the message back to the public but they also decide not to be involved. In my eyes, becoming a war journalist, you are involved. I will also sate the counter argument that if they save one, they have to save all. I see that point but when you have the chance to take the picture and save a human life, than do it. Yes you are risking a lot, but people know what they are risking by choosing that profession. Betrand Russel made the choice of taking that photo without saving the child but is that right or wrong? I feel that this is a debate that has gone on for a very long time and will continue to as long as journalists continue to take pictures like this and not help.

Blogs in the Corporate World

Why are blogs the way of the World these days? Blogs have made a huge impact in today’s society, especially because we are internet literate. Corporations are slowly choosing to make blogs between their employees and also for customers to read and discuss their opinions. There are both sides of the spectrum and I am going to discuss both. I understand why blogs could be beneficial to a company. They can receive feed back on a product and analyze how they can improve it. They also can become more personal with their customers and take into consideration their thoughts and feelings about different issues. I also think that blogs between employees is a great way to stay in contact. If a boss wanted to make a general comment to all the employees, writing it on a blog may be more beneficial than sending a mass email. Now for the other side of the argument; why blogs can not be useful. Companies, like Sony and Wal-Mart, take advantage of the idea that you do not know who the person writing the blog is and make up a fake story. This is one of the big reasons why my generation is not trustworthy of today’s society. You never know who is telling the truth, who is really who they say they are and so on. It makes us question everyone and this is not they way I would want things but it is the way it is because of people who do not tell the truth. Me, personally, I would not start a blog for my company because I feel that it has not made it big enough yet to make an impact. I feel that my generation is what companies aim to. We are the next generation of doctors, lawyers and politicians and we can make a difference. To further discuss the trust issue, I feel that Americans have lost the trust of many, even in their own country. If I was a company in a different country, I would probably have more motive to use blogs or even make a blog for my company because they are more trustworthy. I have learned this just by the few months that I have lived in Spain. I notice that Europe trusts their citizen much more, which I like. For example, even though this is the littlest thing, but when you go into a Tapas restaurant they trust you to bring the toothpicks to the front and pay. In American this would never happen. No restaurant would do this because many people would just walk out without paying. I wish things in America were more trustwrothy than they are. All of this comes back to why I do not believe the blogs out there. When they say that Obama has a blog and answers all of the citizens quetsions, I beg to differ. I do not have trust in many things of the world.

Ireland

saint-patys-51I choose to spend the weekend before Saint Patrick’s Day in Dublin, Ireland. I have never been to Ireland, so I was extremely excited to visit. I arrived in Dublin March 13th and we made our way to our Hostel, Abbey Court. This hostel was by far the worst hostel I have ever stayed in. I would highly not recommended it to anyone else. The rooms looked like jail cells and the bathrooms were very unclean. I stayed there three nights to long. The first day there we went to the Guinness Factory. The factory was displayed very well. That night was one of the girls we were with 21st birthday. To Americans turning 21 is a big deal, to every other country its just another birthday. We celebrated that night and the next because it happened to be another girls 21st the following day as well. Saturday we went to Saint Patrick’s Cathedral, one of the famous castle’s in Dublin and a museum. Sunday we made our way to a Saint Patrick’s Day festival that was going on downtown. I enjoyed Ireland a lot. The people were really nice and the food was very close to American. It was nice to have American food for a change. What I did notice about Dublin was the high prices. My friends and I had McDonald’s one morning and even that was a bit pricey. Overall I would recommend Ireland but even if you speak english you may need a translator.

Photography and Today’s Society

In my opinion, photography has made a change for the worse. The pictures are never what they seem. When a model takes a photograph for the cover of a magazine, that one picture is altered in so many ways. It makes the human look to perfect. One of the best examples of how fake today’s Ad pictures are, is from the dove commercial “Evolution.” It truly shows how much a person and a picture are altered from the beginning until the end. Not only is the woman in the commercial changed physically by make -up and hair stylists, she is altered by technology. When I saw this commercial for the first time in my Mass Media class at my university in Florida, it made me really think about the media as a whole. Photography is changing with the media, in the wrong direction. If my mom or dad thinks of photography, they think of great photographers of their time, ones that really made a lasting impression. If they asked me the same question, I would say one word, Photoshop. It does not matter these days whether or not you’re a good photographer, if the final photo is good than you make the cut. That is not how it should be and it is not how it used to be. Technology, in my eyes, is making the photography world crumble down. I look at the next Vogue cover and think to myself, how many times did they fix this photo before it was perfect in their eyes? For once, I would love to truly see a picture of a model or just an ordinary girl. I have even heard of celebrities getting upset when they see their final photo on the magazine cover and it was noticeably altered. Faith Hill was extremely upset when Redbook Magazine photoshoped her picture to look thinner. She made it known that she was extremely upset with them altering her picture without her permission. The fact that magazines and photographers are allowed to do that without someone’s approval is immoral. Photoshoping and editing pictures to make models look perfect also trickles down to society and what people are beginning to believe they should look like. When a man or a woman walks into a grocery store and sees the perfect female or male on a cover of a magazine, they strive to look like that. What is sad, is that person’s photo was edited so many times that they don’t even truly look like that. I am not completely blaming technology and the people who created programs like Photoshop and Pcnick because I am at fault as well. Everyone my age is at fault, for the most part. When I take pictures of a night out or a trip I have recently taken, I upload my photos, see how they look and then use Pcnick to change or enhance how I look. When the photos are exactly the way I want them, than I upload them to Facebook. Most people, including me, care what other people think so before any picture goes up, they are carefully altered and chosen.

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