Thursday, April 24, 2014

End of the Year

Yesterday was the last day of classes, which means I only have 5 finals separating me from summer break! Freshman year flew by incredibly fast; it feels like it was only a few weeks ago that I was moving into my dorm and meeting the other people living in my building. I've lived with an incredible group of people in the Quad this past year and have made some incredible friends along the way. I've spent countless late nights studying and talking with people about personal issues and global topics and have gained new perspectives from other people's points of views. I discovered what some of my passions in life are and have had two incredible academic advisors that have helped me sort everything out. Overall freshman year was incredible and I cannot wait until sophomore year and everything it will bring.

As some of you know, I successfully transferred into International Studies and decided to concentrate in Economy & Environment, and I am geekishly excited to start the three economics classes I'm taking in the fall (plus one economics-focused political science class and the next level of German). I've started the application process to study abroad in Germany next spring, although I won't find out if I've been accepted until November. I already have a list of things to do to prepare (get my courses approved, get letters of recommendation, figure out a cell phone plan, get my passport renewed, etc) but I'm stoked about living overseas for 5-6 months. To prepare for the trip, I'll be working a LOT this summer. Most likely I'll be working at Starbucks again, but I have a few applications out for jobs on campus in the fall to save up a bit more money for my trip.

Regardless of whether I get a job on campus this fall or not, I have already decided that I need to be more involved in campus activities during sophomore year. I was a General Assembly member on my hall council and was involved in a small group study and the International Studies club (or at least until it fell apart this past semester), but there were numerous other opportunities that I wanted to pursue but never did. Next fall I hope to join the sailing club (something I've always wanted to do but have never had the time to learn) and find an undergraduate research opportunity. As I'm thinking of pursuing a research position post-graduation, getting involved in a project now is obviously the best first step.

As I'm planning to be working all summer, I don't have anything too exciting planned, but all the anticipated adventures of sophomore year will more than make up for it!

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Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Personally Significant Films

A few days ago charlieissocoollike, a YouTuber, posted a video about some of the films that are significant to him and some of the lessons that they've taught him. I thought it was a cool video concept that hasn't been done on YouTube, and as I've been floundering around without any blog post ideas, I decided to use his general idea. I tried to pick a wide variety of films that all have different meanings for me and encompass the general film categories of interest to me instead of just a list of favourites that all seem to have had the same influence.

I'm fully aware that this does not at all seem like a film that should be inspirational or memorable in any way, but it was the medium that first introduced me to the wonderful world of the Muppets and the truly comedic gold therein. I watched it when I was 7, became instantly obsessed, and have now watched it upward of 30 times. I could (and probably still can to some extent) quote the whole thing, including songs, from memory. It made me want to go on a grand high seas adventure and was the movie that kickstarted my love of pirate stories (which explains my later obsession with Pirates of the Caribbean) and punny humour. When I think back on my favourite things from childhood, this movie is among the top things on the list. If you've ever wanted a quick look at early elementary school Kate, this movie and the first two Spy Kids films are all you'll need to know.