Friday, August 29, 2008

Remembering those who paved the way

You may have already read this, but I wanted to share.

Life After August

I'm excited. Why? Well, one might think it's because it's Friday, meaning I have a entire weekend coming up. Or perhaps I'm excited because it's Labor Day weekend, which means three days off instead of two, not to mention two days I can actually sleep past 6:30. These are very valid reasons, but, more importantly, it's Labor Day weekend, my FIRST one in seven years where I will not be doing any homework! And, that's what I'm celebrating this weekend. I remember my first semester of college, I spent Labor Day doing math homework and labs. Last year, I was writing a thesis proposal and trying to stay on top of reading for History & Theory. In 2008, I don't have to do any of that. Yah!!! I can do things Kira wants to do instead of sacrificing for the greater of academic good. :)

While I haven't made any specific plans for Monday, there are several projects I can either continue or begin.
  • Start my graduation scrapbook. I had the pictures printed two days ago and already bought the supplies. I could celebrate my first holiday with NO homework by reliving graduation. Hmmm....this would be fun.
  • Continue editing my oral history transcripts.
  • Transcribe another twenty minutes of my thesis oral histories.
  • Clean out my closet and make room for new clothes!
  • Vacuum the inside of my car.
  • None of the above. Spent the day sleeping in, watching movies, reading, or whatever my heart desires.

Whatever happens, it's just nice to know I have a life after August! Happy Labor Day everyone!

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Highlights from Iowa and Wisconsin

On the road to Cassville, Wisconsin (population 1085!)
First town we stayed at, and one of the prettiest

Mississippi River. Illinois is across the river.

Me posing by the Mississippi

We saw enough red barns to satisfy anyone's curiosity

Another view of the Mississippi, this one from Cassville. Iowa is across the river.

Pictures do not do this view justice. We saw green and the river far as
the eye could see. This was a highlight of the trip.

Fox river in De Pere, Wisconsin

The clouds are gorgeous.

I think I have a problem. I seem to be addicted to my computer. Now that I am no longer a student, I technically don't have to be attached to my computer 24/7, but I find that I still take it with me everywhere. I do have several post-graduation projects I am slowly plowing through, and most require the use of MS Word. I still sit and watch TV with my computer on my lap. I take it with me on trips just in case I need it. (it did come in handy on my most recent excursion since we needed to look up directions several times) I can always think of something to that I have to do on the computer. I seem to have forgotten how to sit and relax. It is such a habit to always be doing something. Any tips on how to solve this little problem? Perhaps I should just quit cold turkey!

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Welcome to Dubuque, Iowa!

Greetings from the Midwest. I have truly been all over the US today. I started in Orange, CA, traveled to Fullerton, flew out of Ontario, had a layover in Dallas, then Chicago, and finally land at our final destination of Dubuque. I just watched Bridges of Madison County and I admit, part of me was hoping for a glimpse of Francesca Johnson's Iowa. The other part of me was hoping for modernity to have hit the area. I think I ended up with a mixture of the two, however, it is definitely more rural than Southern California.

My day began dark and early at 2:30 am! Yes, I really said 2:30. All in all, the traveling part was fairly smooth. We didn't have any delays and or lost luggage. We also had some funny mishaps throughout the day, however the funniest by far was at DFW. We had a short layover and decided to grab breakfast (after all, it was 9:00 our time) and then I had a hankering for a latte from Starbucks. So, down we went to buy one. The funny thing was neither Janet nor I looked at the time and were talking about touring the airport further. We honestly thought we had time to roam the expanse called DFW. As we walked by our gate we noticed people were standing in line and Janet had the presence of mind to ask what flight they were waiting for. Turns out our flight was boarding and they were past the individual groups and move on to general boarding!!! Yes, while our flight was boarding we were down at Starbucks buying me a mocha latte. To top it off, our plane pulled away from the gate about ten minutes after we boarded. We laughed over that one for a while. If we had missed our flight how in the world could we have explained that one away...

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Flying the friendly skies

Although it seems I just returned from one trip, I leave again on Tuesday for Iowa and Wisconsin. I'm going with a friend and co-worker to conduct 10-11 interviews for the El Toro Oral History project I have been part of as a graduate student and now as an employee. I'm going as interviewer and videographer! We will be gone for 8 days, two of which will be travel, and the rest will be interviewing galore. I hope to blog while I am gone, however we have a very intense schedule so it might not be possible. Much of our downtime will be spent driving and preparing for upcoming interviews. There is one rather large drawback to the trip, however...our flight leaves at 6:05 am. That means we have to be at the airport by 4:30, up at 2:30. You may all think of me as you sleep in your soft, comfortable beds on Tuesday morning!

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Thought: A Lost Art

I love movies that make me think. I love movies that are entertaining and fun too, but movies that lead to continued discussion have the ability to influence our lives. A couple of nights ago Adam and I watched Lion for Lambs. Critically, the movie bombed and the ending was terrible, but I appreciated its message and honesty. Lions for Lambs centers around three separate story lines, one being between a politician and reporter. These characters engage in a political tennis match questioning each other and their professional foundations. In turn, they challenge the viewer's perception about journalism and the media. Today's society seems more interested in which celebrity is dating whom, who is having an affair, and Angelina Jolie's pregnancy. Whatever happened to 'real' journalism where we actually learn about world affairs or read intelligent editorials from people willing to critically and somewhat unbiasedly report on viable news stories?

What I took from this movie is a question of responsibility. Who is responsible for the state of journalistic affairs? Is the media providing this to the American people because we actually want it or because that is what they think we want? Furthermore, what can I do to make a difference and make a positive change in this area? What can I do as a citizen of the United States of America, and what can I do as a citizen of the world? It is so easy to talk, complain, or share opinions about the state of world affairs, but if I choose to sit back and do nothing, do I have the right to say anything at all?

It seems all I have done is ask questions...but, like I said, I like movies that make me think and encourage me to make a change in society. The question is how?