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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.

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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.

Munich, Germany

hofbraMunich, Germany is one of my favorite cities in Europe. I went there for the first time two and half years ago and I loved it. I just got back from their today and had a great weekend. We arrived on Friday and checked into our hotel, Novotel Hotel, it was a great location and very nice hotel for a good price. I visited the Modern Art Museum that day and went to the Hofbrauhaus house at night. The hofbrauhaus is one of my favorite places to go in Munich, even though it is a huge tourist place, I still enjoy it very much. If anyone ever goes to Germany, I recommend the Hofbrauhaus right away. The next day we went to Dachau, which is a concentration camp in Munich. It was an interesting experience and I learned a lot. After that we had lunch at a fabulous restaurant called Aran. It was a great lunch place with the most amazing open face Sandwiches. Later that day we made our way over to the BMW museum which was interesting but not as great as I expected. Saturday night we ate a great vegetarian restaurant. Sunday morning we woke up and went to a town called Fussen and went to an historical Castle which was absolutely breathtaking. Overall my trip to Munich was very successful and I felt I saw a lot. I felt extremely safe in Munich at all times, which a lot of places in Europe I do not feel so safe. They are very high tech in their technology, a lot more than Spain. They had the same phones and service they we have in America and it was extremely interesting to see that. My friend has T-mobile and they had that cell phone service in Germany. I love the people there, they are extremely friendly. Something I also noticed was almost every person we spoke to in Munich spoke English, which was great for us and it made me respect their country in the sense that so many people knew another language, not just because it was English. I feel that is one thing, out of many, that our country lacks. Not a lot of people can speak two languages. Even the lady at the McDonalds spoke English. It just goes to show how well educated they are.