Saturday, April 24, 2010
Sunday, April 18, 2010
On the other hand, it's hard to imagine not living in Beligum anymore. It has become such a huge part of my life, and I'm so used to waking up in a beautiful apartment every morning and being submersed in a completely different culture. I have had many highs here and also a few lows. This week on Tuesday night, I was coming home by myself around 10:30 pm, and made it all the way to my building door (and I live in a very safe, rather high class area). Before I know it, as I'm putting the key into the door, these 2 men grab my purse so tightly off of my shoulder and immediately I go into defensive mode. They almost had it, when I grabbed the straps right as they were taking it away from me. This absolutely monstrous yell came out of me exclaiming 'STOPPPP' and thank you Lord that a car also saw. The car slammed on breaks and honked the horn as loud as possible so that the men would know the driver was watching. I was so shaken up and the men were still standing pretty close to me, and I was desperately trying to get the key in the door but my hands were shaking to bad. The car was asking me in French if I was okay, and I told them to wait until I got inside my building. Finally I was able to make it inside and I ran up my 4 flights of stairs faster than I ever imagined possible. I made it into my apartment and just bawled on my roommates shoulder for a while. She said she heard me scream outside and was wondering what was going on down there. I had never been so terrified in my life. I felt so violated and to imagine if they had actually been successful and if I didn't have the strong grip on my purse that I did; I feel like my life would have been over. I would be passport-less, no camera, no money, no cards, no phone...literally I can't even imagine. That's why I never take my purse out at night anyway, it was just a random reason that I had it on that night. Anyway, thankfully I'm okay and I still have my belongings.
Onto my progress, I was able to get my interview done this week by Professor Megan Mowrey (Law professor at Clemson) about her take on public transportation in Belgium, mainly the metros. For my video about an important issue in Belgium, I'm talking about the importance they place on using public transportation and saving gas. I cannot even tell you how many hundreds of times I've ridden the metro here, and it's going to be strange back in the states not riding it anymore. It's become a part of my everyday life! I think it's great and I'm interested to see how that video turns out.
Stay tuned, CLAMers! Good luck to all this week. Lots of finals approaching and videos to be finished!
Saturday, April 10, 2010
Plan of action: I've been reviewing past videos from the syllabus links. I plan to do some good interviewing this week! Still finalizing interview questions and still playing with Imovie. Man...I truly hate technology sometimes! I can just be pretty bad with it. I need to watch more tutorials on Imovie so I can become an expert :) Cannot wait to see everyone's final results! I believe they are due in just 2 weeks!! AHHHH! We can do it :)
Tuesday, April 6, 2010
While thinking of what media artifact to analyze around Belgium, I couldn't help but think of all the metro advertisements I see everywhere here. There are several different kinds of advertisements to ride the Brussels metro, therefore saving gas of your own and helping the environment. These ad's also catch my eye because I'm a marketing major, so I love to see how marketing is similar/different in Belgium compared to the US. I have not been able to walk around Brussels for an entire day without seeing some form of a STIB/MIVB advertisement posted on the streets or inside the metro. I always knew it was promoting the metro line, but I had no idea what exactly it stood for. I’ve now found out that the letters represent French and Flemish language. STIB is French standing for ‘Société des Transports Intercommunaux Bruxellois’ and MIVB is Flemish meaning ‘Maatschappij voor Intercommmunaal Vervoer te Brussels’.
I believe the marketers of STIB/MIVB do an incredible job of promotion by having catchy, yet different types of advertisements posted everywhere. I also believe it is an advertisement very worth while, by promoting to ride the metro instead of drive your own car and waste unnecessary gas. By riding the metro you are helping save the environment! I honestly think the US would really benefit by having more local public transportation, and not almost requiring everyone to own their own vehicle to get from Point A to Point B. At least Clemson has the CAT Bus service!
Saturday, March 27, 2010
I am still continuing to sharpen my focus for my interviewing, and deciding exactly the interview questions I want to use. These videos definitely helped me understand better how to properly hold an interview. I would love to interview Frederique, the Belgian woman who works at our Clemson University Brussels Center here in Belgium. I plan to ask her about the differences in advertising in Belgium versus the United States. Also I plan to talk to her about recycling in Belgium for my video about an issue here in Belgium. The problem is since our school is strictly American's from Clemson (about 35 of us), I honestly don't know many Belgians (if any!) to interview. But now what I can continue to work on is exactly which interview questions I want to use and for which video of my final projects. I am also glad to be more knowledgeable about editing audio files; I feel like I will have a few issues with that. I can definitely look back on these videos though for help and advice. I love your expressive and interesting beginning to the video by using different sound clips while looking like you were in a scary movie. It got me even more interested to learn!
I plan to start pinpointing down my questions and interviewing very soon!
Tuesday, March 23, 2010
Ahh yes yes you are right Mr. Nichols, I thought my last video had posted through Blogspot but apparently it didn't. Butttt after much time spend trying to figure out the whole youtube posting thing (it STILL wouldn't post to youtube either but I found a tutorial that explained the correct way to save an IMovie video and upload it to youtube correctly). So, read the blog below and then watch this video!
Saturday, March 13, 2010
I know this video is not the best, but I am honestly proud of myself that I was even able to get this far with IMovie. I'm glad that we had this assignment so I can begin to learn different things about the program and get more familiar. I literally had no idea about Imovie or how to even put video clips together-- so I feel quite accomplished for having made it at least this far so far!!
What I wanted to do was show what a pain it can be to go to the grocery store most of the time. It's quite the process....we go to the metro, take a tram, walk for quite a while, get to the grocery store...and don't forget you have to bring your own plastic bags! Also, you can never get more than you can carry home! Which also involves being very crowded on a metro, so literally you cannot get much. It does truly make me miss Walmart- where you get your own bags, can get as much as you want because you have a buggy that takes it to your car for you, and actually drive your groceries home! That is quite a luxury. Honestly though I do really appreciate Belgium's efforts to conserve and have us bring our own bag; think of how much money and plastic they save.
Working with Imovie was quite the experience, we had a few fights but I can't wait to learn more about the program and definitely improve my skills. I need to continue working on putting together my final projects!
Sunday, March 7, 2010
I am a marketing major, so for my professional video, there are unlimited things that I could look at and examine how it's marketed. I could examine how beer is marketed here in Belgium versus in the United States; I have found that very interesting. Drinking beer here is a much classier affair, and advertisements are greatly different. Belgium is also home to many many breweries; Belgium is incredibly famous for beer and many people want to responsibly experience several different types while traveling through Belgium. If not beer, I could look at how chocolate is marketed here in Belgium vs the US. Chocolate is something else that Belgium is very famous for. Any ideas or suggestions?
For public issues, recycling is HUGE here. They take it very seriously and make sure we sort all of our trash into different color bags for proper disposal and reuse. I find it great how important the environment is to Belgians over here. I feel the US should take note! Belgium is definitely doing their part. There does seem to be some confusion though about which items to put into which bags, so I have now seen notices and posters around Belgium explaining proper disposal. Or for my public issue, I have thought about the topic of 'Going Green', especially with incredibly small 'smart cars' and promoting public transportation everywhere. I take the metro everyday and it is packed!!! Any thoughts?
I look forward to exploring IMovie and hopefully staying frustrated free!
Sunday, February 28, 2010
Picture 2: The symmetry of this picture is what is so impressive. Antonio Gaudi's architecture is incredible. The way the shot was correctly framed is what really shows off the symmetry, and then us as the subjects just adds a little more. This picture tells the story of our travels through Barcelona, and how seeing architecture was such an important thing to all of us.
Picture 3: I just couldn't resist the opportunity to capture the beautiful sunset while taking a plane home from visiting my brother in Idaho (he's a fighter pilot for the Air Force and was stationed there). The colors in this picture are so vivid and contrast each other so well, and the angle that the picture is taken has the sunset going down right beside the wing of the airplane which I just love. Off in the distance you can even see the rivers that we're flying above. The purples, pinks, oranges and yellows make up my perfect color scheme and I am just in love with this picture.
Picture 4: The tropos behind the 4th picture is the beauty behind NYC. So many times we think of New York City as a city constantly moving and people in chaos everywhere, yet this picture captures my walk through Central Park and there are no people in this picture; I was focusing solely on the water, duck, and buildings in the background. I love how all the elements of this picture work so well together. I especially like the lighting of the shot, it was dusk time right before dinner , which was able to really bring out the lights of the buildings in the background. I would love to go to NYC again soon!
Saturday, February 20, 2010
This first picture is an example of a horizontal picture. This was from New Years Eve 2010...what an incredible time we all had together!! Everyone in this picture is from all over and it was so fun to come together for a night of celebration. My Aussie friend was even there!
This is also a horizontal picture and an example of lighting. I love this picture...we just took it in Barcelona, Spain and it's amazing architecture from Antonio Gaudi...his style of architecture is absolutely bizzare and so incredible. I would recommend you look him up! I really enjoyed exploring Barcelona and seeing his mark on the city. We used no flash.
These two pictures are examples of rule of thirds. The first picture I took out of the airplane when coming back to SC after visiting my brother in Idaho. The next one I took while walking in Central Park in NYC to go to one of my friends agent's apartment in the Upper East Side. Remember Miss Teen SC USA on the national pageant that made the big fumble talking about maps and 'THE Iraq??' http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WALIARHHLII . That's actually one of my friends from home that I grew up with, so her agents had us over for dinner in NYC when I was visiting there. Too cool and I even got a great picture out of it! I had both of those pictures blown up at my apartment in Clemson. I really like them!
This is another cool rule of thirds picture that I took during the Clemson snow last year, March 1st, 2009. I can't believe I just missed the Clemson snow that happened over Valentines weekend! I have come to hate the snow in Belgium, but really love the snow in SC for some reason. Go figure!
Thursday, February 11, 2010
I've had the chance to visit several McDonalds locations in Belgium ALREADY since being here :) Who can resist a little taste of home when you pass it on the street? I've already been to McDonalds in Belgium, London, and Germany.
I was in Europe two years ago, and I remember taking this picture in the train station of Berlin, Germany. It was before the USA McDonalds had adopted the new 'McCafe'. They started 'McCafe's' over in Europe to test the market here first, I suppose. I remember literally being in awe that a McDonalds had a cafe attached to it, which is absolutely my dream. And just seeing how modern the McDonalds are over here, just look at the tables! Seeing this was absolutely huge for me 2 years ago, but I am very excited that they are starting to adopt this new modern, cafe theme in the USA as well.
This McDonalds in Brussels is so cool, because the outside architecture is of course old European architecture, but the inside is McDonalds! :)
Look how advanced and nice the inside of McDonalds is here! I love how they have all of the world clocks, so you can see what time it is in different large cities around the globe. Although the insides of the McDonalds here are way cooler than they are at home (everytime I pass a McD's here, I get so excited in front of everyone and HAVE to go inside to see it...), I do have many problems with the McDonalds here. For example : PRICE! Everything at McDonalds here is crazy expensive. The euro already is terrible for us compared to the US dollar, so even the small 'Euro menu' that they have here doesn't help. Also, the Euro menu here only has a hamburger and fries on it. I ate at McDonalds one night this week, and got a small fri, medium drink, and little chicken wrap (that they have on the dollar menu at home). My whole meal cost 5.80 euro, which is equivalent to about 8 or 9 USD! AH! Also, I saw that there was no ketchup, so I asked for some ketchup. Of course at home they hand you as many packets as you need, but here, for ONE packet, I was charged 60 euro cents! Not kidding! I had to have my ketchup so I HAD to buy it, but that is absolutely ridiculous. All in all, going to McDonalds in Europe is considered a 'treat' for me, versus going to McD's in the US when I have no other options and it is the last choice. Never would have thought that McDonalds would be a luxury, but for the remainder of my stay, it will be. At least I find every McD's here very interesting with the way it is decorated. Maybe I'll run into some McDonalds while I'm traveling Spain this weekend!!
Sunday, February 7, 2010
"Our writing equipment takes part in the forming of our thoughts"
Just like Carr agrees, I couldn't agree more either. When I have a pen and paper in hand to write a letter, my thoughts are so much more sincere. I feel that it is because it takes much more time, therefore more thought and preparation. When writing an email or a message online, it seems to be all about how fast you can type and how short of an amount of time it takes to send a message. Time is everything when you're online; you want to get things done so you can move onto the next website you're searching for. Just like one of Nietzsche's friends noticed a change in the style of his writing, I've noticed a large difference in my writing when it's typed on the computer versus being handwritten. Also, the fact that we can just search for anything online now without ever having to do research is complete instant gratification. Yes, I love the fact that I can do that and it's so incredibly helpful, but I feel in the long run it's really going to hurt today's youth. We learn to rely on sites such a Google, but what about when Google isn't there anymore or we are actually required to do real research for a thesis paper? I sadly wouldn't even know where to begin. Thanks Google for allowing me to be ADD and not having to focus on any one thing for too long; it will quickly catch up with me and ultimately hurt me.
Thursday, January 28, 2010
myself, Sany from Australia, Julia from Austria, and Christine
Halloween at Clemson!
There were many particular things about 'my people' and our American culture that I explained to them when they arrived in the states. They didn't understand why everyone was always so friendly, for example the ladies in Schilletter or the fact that everyone always smiles or says 'hi' when you pass them, regardless of if you know them or not. Through ethnos, or my ethnic group, my people truly like to enjoy life and not move too fast. I've noticed already with the European culture that everyone always seems to be in a rush and on the go. With nomos, the internationals seemed to be confused about religion in the US. Since the south is part of the Bible belt, many students here say they are Christians, but their behavior and actions greatly differ from that statement. I try greatly to keep my actions in line with my beliefs.
I brought 4 internationals home with me for Thanksgiving so they could experience a real American Thanksgiving like they've always heard about. They absolutely loved it and loved seeing how 'my people', family, celebrated this day. They really appreciated our culture for what it is and how we are. They absolutely LOVED the southern food also! It was such a great break together, being able to show them my town. I also had an Australian exchange student from Clemson live with me over Christmas break. Although it was hard at times not being with his family for Christmas, he really enjoyed the American ways for Christmas and also New Years Eve (He had NEVER heard of people having a New Years kiss! He said that is not a part of his culture).
their first American Thanksgiving in Lexington, SC :-)
before headed the the USC v Clemson game in Columbia over Thanksgiving break.
Countries in order: USA, Austria, USA, Australia, Australia, Australia, and USA!
In terms of 'Long-Term Orientation', I feel that my culture is way more associated with short term orientation. Short-term orientation is respect for tradition, fulfilling social obligations, and protecting your own image that you've built. I feel that southerns definitely fall under short-term orientation; the south seems to be all about protecting your image and definitely about carrying out traditions.
Masculinity is also definitely a part of our culture. It seems to be the 'correct' way to do things is the man should work and 'bring in the bacon', and the woman should stay home with the children and cook. Of course this is slowly changing, but for the most part this is how southerners seem to like it best.
Thursday, January 21, 2010
There are many things that have helped me become culturally literate in my own culture in the United States, and the more time I spend in Belgium, the more I realize how culturally literate I was at home. Obviously at home I have a ton of interaction with my own culture. From having a job, to friends and family, to driving my own car around town, those all involve being culturally literate. To be culturally literate you must interact with the culture, which is something at home that I don't even realize I'm doing, but I am doing it all the time in the U.S. Also I feel another way I am culturally literate in the U.S. is by knowing, understanding, and using 'slang' terms, especially my culture in the south. Words such as "y'all", "over yonder", etc. that are only specific to my region and culture.
In Belgium, I feel like there are many gaps to fill until I feel more culturally literate here. First of all, their is a huge language barrier here for me. I grew up taking many years of Spanish in middle and high school, then decided to switch over to German in college. Now I am in a French speaking country!!! So before I can even understand informal content in Belgium, I must first learn more of the language. Every day here can be a struggle when trying to read metro signs to get to specific places, and I find it especially hard in the grocery store. I can't read the labels on ANYTHING so that makes it very difficult, more difficult than I thought it would be. Even when cooking, when have to switch everything over to the metric system but we've survived so far and haven't poisoned ourselves yet :) The good news is though, I am taking a french course while I'm over here; it started a couple of weeks ago. I can already feel some of the cultural boundaries breaking down with issues that I had been struggling with. I am excited to learn more of the language so that I can get around more easily for the remaining time that I am living in Belgium.
What has helped me become somewhat culturally literate are the Belgian friends that I made while living at Clemson. I lived in the Cultural Exchange Community (CEC) in Calhoun Courts and there are MANY Belgians that come to Clemson to study abroad. I became great friends with several of them and have already seen some of them while here. My next door neighbor at Clemson, Renau, came and picked me up one of my first nights in Belgium and took me out for a night on the town which I could not have appreciated more. He got me my first Belgian beer, taught me a lot about the culture, we got REAL French fries (they actually orginiated in Belgium!! Who knew??), and took me to a town here called Ghent, about an hour away from where I live. We explored the city while he explained many things to me. Then we went to downtown Brussels and had a great time.
My Belgian friend Renau and me
First taste of real french fries...incredible!!
I look forward to become more and more culturally literate while I'm in Belgium!!
Saturday, January 16, 2010
With that said, I am having to keep in touch with my family and friends through many different types of online communities. I want to stay involved in my friends lives as best as possible while I'm away, and vice versa. Especially at this time in my life, I have never been so thankful for new technology and media! There are times when we feel technology is the worst communication ever; why can't we just talk face to face? While being abroad though, new social communities are my only lifeline to my relationships back home.
My knowledge of these new media is pretty large, I would like to think. I am not very familiar though with Twitter or video publishing. Twitter has always sounds quite stupid to me and it's not something worth getting myself addicted to. I am very involved with Skype, Facebook, and email though.
Through Facebook, I am thankfully able to keep in touch with my friends all around the world! I lived in the Cultural Exchange Community at Clemson, so when we all went our separate ways and back to our respective countries this December, we all vowed to keep in touch through Facebook. Also, we can share with each other pictures from our homes and upload pictures that we have together. Also with instant chat on Facebook, it definitely makes your friends feel not so far away from you. I am a huge Facebook supporter!
As for Skype, I could not love it anymore. I use Skype currently ALL THE TIME. It's the online community I use to keep in touch with my closest friends. Through Skype, I am able to talk to my parents whenever I want (you can make Skype phonecalls right to their cell phones--so cool!). Also, I have two very good friends in Australia that I can so easily keep up with through Skype video chat. What a genius invention by the Swedes!! Without Skype, I would be slightly depressed while studying abroad. My friends and family from all over the world are so important to me, and I can see their faces everyday because of Skype. Facebook can be slow and quite annoying at times, but Skype has never failed me! I am so thankful. It eases the pain of distance and separation.
Email is also a lifesaver. I am able to manage online bills, and keep in touch with Clemson. I am currently applying to be an RA in the Cultural Exchange Community for next year, but originally I thought I couldn't apply since I won't be there for the interview. But no fear, through email we will be able to communicate, and then set up a Skype date to talk! How incredible. I am keeping my connections at Clemson through email.
How did anyone ever survive without online communities?? :)
Saturday, January 9, 2010
Wow...what a whirlwind past 48 hours it has been! I've gone from Columbia, SC to DC to NYC and then finally arrived in Brussels, Belgium where I will spend the next almost 5 months of my life! What a culture shock it is already over here, but I am loving it none the less.
Leaving Columbia, SC
Driving to find out apartment!
Our beautiful apartment....not bad!
I am so excited to be in the CLAM class, I feel like it will help me truly express my thoughts and experiences while I'm studying abroad, as well as help me evaluate communication practices of different cultures and different media. I clicked the link to watch the 'Welcome to CLAM' video and it would not work on my computer; I also tried it on my roommates computer and it would not work there either. Is there something wrong with the video?
I have read over the syllabus and course outline and I know I will stay busy in this class, but it will be worth it. After reading over all of the class goals, I am excited to know I will have accomplished all of those by the end of the semester. I've always loved taking pictures and traveling, so hopefully this class will be great for me.
I'm looking forward to a great semester abroad and to keeping everyone posted!