Friday, March 29, 2013

"Telly"

Whenever I tell people I watch a great deal of British shows on Netflix, they always ask me which ones. So, I thought I'd share a few of my favorites that you may (or may not) know.
Sherlock - If you know me in person or follow me on Tumblr, you've heard me talk about this one a lot. This is one of the BBC's most popular shows right now, and for good reason. It's a modern retelling of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's Sherlock Holmes, with Sherlock played by Benedict Cumberbatch and John Watson played by Martin Freeman (the very same from The Hobbit). It is by far one of the most well-made shows I've ever seen - superb casting, story retellings, setting, cinematography, and chemistry. When people ask me for new things to watch, I always point them to this first.

Doctor Who - Most people have probably heard of this one as it's another one of the BBC's - and possibly the entirety of Britain's - most popular shows. It's a sci-fi/drama centered around a Time Lord who calls himself "The Doctor" (no one knows his real name, hence the title). He travels through time and space with companions in a spaceship that looks like a blue phone box called the TARDIS. It's hard to describe the show without it sounding completely mental, but it's actually quite good. I don't usualy like sci-fi but I love this one. Because it's been running since the 1960s, The Doctor has been played by 11 people thus far. It's not a show for everyone, but if you like sci-fi or good character chemistry, it's worth a try.

The IT Crowd - This was the show that started my love of British television. It's a comedy about a fictitious company's IT department, comprised of three members - a grumpy Irishman named Roy, an over-the-top nerd named Moss, and a technology-clueless woman named Jen - and the shenanigans they find themselves in at work. If you like British comedy, this is a good one.





Black Books - My friend introduced me to this one, and I have no idea how she found it, but it's another good quirky British comedy. Dylan Moran plays a cantankerous bookshop owner named Bernard whose favorite activities are smoking, drinking, and complaining about others. His hopelessly useless assistant, Manny, and his fellow alcoholic friend, Fran, round out the rest of the main characters. The plot mainly focuses the bookshop running into some sort of trouble and the hilarity that ensues from it. It's a bit odd, but I really enjoyed watching it.

Robin Hood -  This is a really cheesy family show based on Robin Hood and his band of men (and woman), but I still love it for some reason. The main draws of this show to me were the banter between the members, particularly with Robin's servant and everyone he encountered, and Richard Armitage. It was the first thing I had ever seen Armitage in so I like going back and watching old episodes and seeing how much his roles have changed since then. If you're into corny dramas and/or family shows, I recommend this one (Merlin is the same sort of show if you want to check that one out as well).

Spooks - All you need to know about this show is that you should not pick a favorite character because 95% of the time they die. It's an espionage thriller about a group of people working in Section D of MI-5 (the equivalent of the USA's FBI). It's full of famous British faces, including Matthew McFadyen, Raza Jaffrey, Peter Firth, Lara Pulver, David Oyelowo, Anna Chancellor, Keeley Hawes, and of course my favorite cast member, Richard Armitage. Any lover of crime shows will probably like this one.

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Monday, March 25, 2013

College Decision

On Friday night, I finally made the decision of where I'm going to college: North Carolina State University. Even though they had accepted me in December, I'd been waiting to hear back from UNC before making a decision.

But let me back up a bit.

If you really want to know the brief scope of my frustrating college experience thus far, here it is (if not, skip to the end).

I turned all my college applications in at the earliest deadline so that I would hopefully know where I was going by the end of January. I paid close attention to everything that needed to be sent in so that there was little chance of my application getting deferred. I heard back from everywhere except UNC by the end of December. At the end of January, UNC sent me an email saying they were deferring me to regular decision (the end of March) because I hadn't sent in my midyear grades. Now, I had actually turned in my grades. The community college I've been attending this year sent the UNC admissions office an official transcript. Apparently, what UNC actually wanted was an electronic copy, and they didn't accept paper copies through the mail. Obviously I was frustrated at this because I had never seen anything anywhere saying that this was the only way to turn in grades, but there was nothing I could do but wait until the end of March.

Skip forward to last week. The end of March was fast approaching and I was getting more and more nervous as the deadline came closer. I had a roommate picked out if I went to UNC, half of my friends were attending there, I loved the campus, it had a really good program for the major I'm currently considering - everything about it seemed perfect. And then on Friday night, I received an email from UNC, not accepting me to their school, but instead putting me on the waiting list. I was a little upset that I wouldn't be attending my top choice school, but I had been mentally preparing myself for a letdown since the end of January.

Now after spending a few days thinking over my decision, I'm content with it. I feel more at peace with the idea of going to NC State rather than UNC for several reasons. First of all, NC State accepted me right from the start, even before they saw my midyear grades. Secondly, they invited me into their honors program, which shows that they were impressed with my grades (rather than UNC, who obviously wasn't). And thirdly, I've felt more welcomed by them. Ever since I was admitted, they've sent me countless emails about wanting me to enroll there and different dorms I can stay in and different programs I might be interested in. I felt like they really wanted me at their school, which is not something I really felt from UNC.

I'm still a little upset that I wasn't outright accepted to UNC, but NC State is still a good school and I think I'll be happier once I better wrap my mind around the reality of going there. I'm also glad that I enrolled in the First Year College program, which is where people who don't know what they want to do go, instead of going straight into a major. I have a basic idea of what major I want, but it will be nice being able to explore all my options in a setting specifically designed to weed out the unwanted courses. Once I've spent a year at State and have a better grasp on what I field of study I want to go into, I can decide if I want to remain at State or if I want to transfer over to UNC and continue my studies there. Either way, I know God has a plan for me being at State and I won't know what it is if I'm just sitting here feeling sorry for myself.


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Saturday, March 23, 2013

A Place to Collect My Thoughts

I've been going back and forth for years trying to decide whether I wanted a blog or not. My conclusion had always been that I wouldn't post enough on it to bother making one, and anything I did want to say could be put more easily on a different social network. These past few days, however, I've realized that I want a place that I can write out all my long thought processes in a place that's entirely my own. I'm rubbish at remembering to write in a physical journal and I've gotten used to writing everything on a computer, so I'm hoping I'll remember to write something on here every once in a while. My idea is to use this as sort of a public journal that I can then go back and read in a few months and see how my life has changed and how things are going better/worse. I'm writing this all for myself so I'm fine if I'm the only one who ever reads it, but if anyone else ever reads it and has opinions or thoughts of their own they'd like to share, I'm all for it.


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