My Wander Lust…

So it is less than a month until I leave for Europe to do my study abroad.  You know, it hasn’t really hit me yet, and it probably won’t until halfway through the plane ride.  So there is really minimal excitement at this point.  It’s just a vague twinge, and mostly nervousness really.  I try to get pumped up for it and make myself realize that it’s actually going to happen, but no matter how much I talk about it, it still feels like I’m spending the summer in Auburn.  I felt the same way when I went to Japan, and I actually think several people feel the same way.  It’s a weird feeling living your whole life in the southern United States, and never venturing out, and then suddenly going to all over the world.  It’s quite an adventure.

Another strange feeling that hit me not too long ago: I’m graduating in less than a year.  I’m mildly nervous about it, but more excited than anything else.  I have a love hate relationship with college.  I love the people and the freedom, and even the actual learning, but I hate the tests, homework, and low paying jobs.  And I know I’ll have some decision making to do after my study abroad trip (mostly I don’t want to totally rule out Europe as a post graduation long term destination until after I’ve been there), but it’s got a lot to measure up to right now.  So I’ve been thinking (along with another friend who is as passionate about Japan as I am) about going to graduate school in Japan (or teaching English because then I’ll get paid).  Japan has a lot to offer right now.  Not only do I love the food, culture, and language, but several of my friends are living in Japan, and not to mention Shunsuke is there.  Nothing is decided yet.  A lot can change in a year’s time, but as of right now, I would rather do nothing besides live in Japan for an extended period of time.

Just some thoughts I have been tossing around since it’s getting close to go time.  Man, I’m already a senior again…

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Movie Reviews: Priest, Run Lola Run, and Tonari no Totoro

Something I haven’t done in a minute (to use this new fangled slang) is movie reviews.  I haven’t done it in a while, because, well I got tired of it.  But working at the movie theater and taking a film class last semester, I have watched tons of movies.  These three are the most recent (that I have really enjoyed).  They are each in a different language as well, which to me is awesome (nerd).

Priest: This movie just came out, and while I thought the trailer looked decent, I still didn’t have a lot of hope for a vampire movie.  One of my favorite parts was that the vampires were actually something to be feared, and not sexual objects which sparkle in the sunlight.  I also dug the modern clashed with old 1800s western frontier.  It sort of paralleled cowboys and Indians for a time.  I also enjoyed the church element to it.  However, certain messages were said a little too much for my taste.  The story was also kind of predictable, but still very enjoyable to watch.  I would give it about a low 4.

Run Lola Run: This is kind of an older German movie, but it is talked about a lot in German class, so I wanted to give it a watch.  Honestly, I was sort of wondering where most of the movie was going to go, since it is about a total of 20 minutes in this girl’s life.  You can kind of guess after a bit, and it is not a new technique.  But I enjoyed how the director played with it.  There were a couple of scenes which ran a little too long to be 100% effective (mostly the in bed conversations).  But it had some really interesting tid bits and artistic flare in it, which really makes it stand out in my mind.  I would give it a mid 4 and I would highly recommend it for a watch.

Tonari no Totoro: This one is a Miyazaki film, and I’ve wanted to watch it for some time now because apparently, every kid who grew up in the ’90s in Japan has seen this movie.  It was definitely entertaining, and the little girls were adorable, but I also think there are much better Miyazaki films.  I think my brother-in-law is right when he says that sometimes Miyazaki lets the art get in the way of the story sometimes.  The music and the animation is really what makes this movie great, while the story is lacking at times.  Nonetheless, I would give it a mid to high 3 and say that if you like Miyazaki films, or anime in general, you should watch it.

That’s it for the movie reviews for this post.  Next time I review movies, I will probably do several from my German film class, because I enjoyed several of them.

Post Finals and Laziness

So I really haven’t done much after finals except a girls night and be sick.  Okay, that’s partly a lie because I worked a good bit too.  One of the most interesting things I did do, was begin tutoring a Korean girl in English.  It was very difficult, and even though we were speaking English, I couldn’t concentrate after about two hours and we had to call it a day.  She was nice, and her English was fair, so it wasn’t like she was speaking mostly Korean (which I don’t know anything about), but it was still mentally taxing.  I really need the experience though.  I especially need it if I decide to go to Japan to teach English for awhile.  So I will be tutoring again, and I will possibly add other people and start charging when I feel I am capable lol.  And now I know how my Japanese friends feel when I ask them questions about Japanese.  Sometimes you don’t know why your native language says things that way.  The only way you can distinguish between right and wrong sometimes, is based on whether or not is sounds right, which is a frustrating explanation for learners, and that’s the main challenge of tutoring for another language.  You kind of have to research your own language and find out why something is the way it is.

Outside of all of that, I’ve been doing a lot of sleeping.  I think my body wanted to make up for all the lack of sleep during finals so it decided most of this week would be dedicated to sleeping.  It also probably has something to do with the sick part, but whatever.  I’ve had some pretty fun dreams as of late as well.  My favorite being the one last night involving zombie and my brother in law trying to shoot them.  It later turned into an old video game style dream where I was the main character but I kept getting eaten or shot and had to start over.   And it ended up in a desert.  My mind is a strange place.

The good news is that my finals have gone well.  The bad news is that I’m already starting to forget some Japanese due to lack of practice.  I will be doing a study group for part of the summer and plan on studying some in Vienna so I don’t forget any of it.  The goal is to take level 3 of the Japanese Language Proficiency Test in December.  Hopefully I can pass and then start studying for level 2, or go to Japan, whichever is the most viable option heh heh.

Well, that is all for now.  Just wanted to update on all the random goings ons since finals have finished!