Saturday, April 19, 2014

Life Update

It has been a little while since my last post. Life got a little crazy...

If you have been following my blog for a while, you know that last summer I went to SoCal to visit my dream school. I loved it and after applying and getting accepted, things were starting to really come together. That was until my community college credits were reviewed after I had all ready said that I would be attending this Fall.

I received an email maybe two weeks ago. It laid out all my credits and what they would be taking and what they wouldn't. When I visited the school I was told that almost all of my credits would be accepted but the email I received told another story. The email said in short that I would need to spend an extra year at the university to receive my desired degree. I was devastated!

All my hopes and dreams had been set and pictured around this school and I had worked so hard to earn the money and get good grades at community college and the new school wouldn't recognize the work. I had to start again.

When I applied to colleges back in the day, I only applied to two. My mum required me to have a back up plan, however I didn't really like my back up plan anymore. I never expected to have to use it...

After about a good three hours of straight crying, and a good 45 minutes of wanting to punch something and scream, I pulled myself together enough to come up with a new life changing plan.

This is where the irony of life comes in!

Two days prior to the heartbreaking email, I visited a university that's about two hours drive away from my house. I had never considered the school before and had in a sense judged it by an image that I had made up in my head. It is the school that my best friend will be attending and so we thought it would be nice to visit. Well, the school was gorgeous. We spoke with her academic advisor when we first arrived and then a nice young man gave us a private tour of the school (we didn't come during set tour time so it was super sweet of him to show us around.) The first thing he wanted to know was our name, age and what we were studying. I casually introduced myself and said that I would be attending school in California and studying film. He thought that was really cool and that was when the moment happened. I would call it fate or a "God" moment. He mentioned that the university also had a great film program...

Why I never looked before I do not know. Maybe because I got sucked up into the stigma of the Cali life style and the idea that to study film I had to go to California. Well, in my moment, or hours, of panic, I remembered him mentioning the program so I looked it up on their website and sure enough it was exactly what I wanted. Not to mention I could double major in Film and Communications for cheaper than the SoCal school. I quickly filled out my online application and sent off all the other paperwork. I have just been admitted and have actually been looking at apartment housing with my best friend!

It is crazy that your life path can be changed in a split second. So, what I hope you take away from my story is:

  1. Always have a back up plan! In the case of college, make sure you have multiple universities that you would like to attend. Keeping your options open is key.
  2. Stay calm. There is a lot in the college process that you can't control. You have to be patient and try not to stress out.
  3. If everything goes to s@$! take the time to grieve. College plans are something you get excited about and when that gets taken away from you its hard. You feel like your having to settle. That is until you find the RIGHT place!

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

The Book Thief (2013)

Today I watched The Book Thief by Brian Percival.
I had been waiting to read the novel written by Markus Zusak before watching the movie, however when I visited my local Red Box kiosk and saw that it had recently been added, I just couldn't help myself. So, I added it to my selections and brought it home with me.

The movie is set during Nazi Germany and tells the story of young Liesel, an orphan of sorts, who has gone to live with her new parents. Soon after arriving, and as the character set up is complete, the viewer is introduced to a Jewish refugee who is being sheltered by Liesel's adopted parents. As the movie continues, it shows the struggles that the family goes through in order to keep each other safe as well as the tough time that Liesel has understanding World War II.

This movie is presented in an unusual way as it is narrated by Death. As the movie starts, Death introduces the young girl and as it ends, Death concludes the story. I found this to be a very unique  and powerful perspective to choose, which makes me want to read the book even more.

Overall, this movie was great and I highly recommend it. It showed innocence and glimpses of humanity during a dark time in world history. I would put this movie right up there with The Boy in the Striped Pajamas by Mark Herman. Both show the heartbreaking reality of war through the eyes on innocent children and both made me cry.

The Book Thief (2013)

"One small fact: you are going to die. Despite every effort, no one lives forever. Sorry to be such a spoiler. My advice is when the time comes, don't panic. It doesn't seem to help."
- Death

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

I had a great day today!

I decided to spend the day exploring and getting back into photography. I'm really looking forward to having so much extra time on my hands. I think it is going to be very beneficial to my photographs. With the help of my trusty friend, we got in the car and headed to one of the local beaches. The beach is one of my favorite places to take photos. It is always peaceful and beautiful. It doesn't matter what time of the year I go, I am always inspired there. Hope you enjoy the photos and if you have any tips I would love to hear them!

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Thanks for swinging by!

Monday, March 31, 2014

New Beginnings or None At All...

Today was supposed to be my first day back at Community College for my final quarter of classes. Well, the last couple of weeks have been extremely stressful and have changed that path. I had my finals just over a week ago and did great... on two of them.

I ended the quarter with an A- in my French class and an A- in my Geology class. I am quite satisfied with those marks. However, it was my Math class that was killing me. I left all my Math classes for the end of my two years at my school. Looking back it was probably not such a good idea...

I was put into a low level math class and was told to work my way up to the 107 class that I needed in order to get my Associate's degree. So, last quarter I took that first class and got all A's and B's on the first half of the course. Then the class got more difficult and even more boring. Let's just say Mathematics is not my forte. My grade started to drop and in the end I had a huge panic right before the final test. I was unsure if I would pass the class or not and it all came down to THE FINAL EXAM.

Turns out I just passed the class.

Well, I then had about four days to decide if I was up to taking the next two Math classes that I needed to take this quarter in order to receive the degree. Thankfully, my California school informed me that none of the lower level math classes would transfer to my future school anyway. So, I dropped the classes and got my money back!

Now, I am done. No new beginnings. Or at least not until the end of August when I got to SoCal. I will need to take Intro to Statistics once I get down there but for now I am Math free... and school free :)

So, that means I will spend my days working my job and exploring my passions. I will admit that it feels strange to not be going back to school when my friends are, but I can only hope that everything works out in the end and that I can finally study what I want to study.

Hope you are all well!
- Susie

Friday, March 28, 2014

Movie Review: Divergent (2014)

I recently read the book Divergent by Veronica Roth and really enjoyed it. It was an easy read dealing with finding oneself, love, and dystopian societies. I feel like I must have read ALL the dystopian teen books out there before, but the book was still good and I am sure I will read the next ones in the series.

My reason for reading the book, was because I love reading a book and then watching the movie afterwards. A lot of the time, the movie version is a disappointment, but I hold out for that dream production, where a book and it's movie have perfect harmony ( awesome example = Harry Potter movie franchise).

The Divergent movie directed by Neil Burger just didn't cut it for me. There were little things from the book that I found didn't translate over to the big screen, which made it lack ultimately giant connections.

One of the major problems for me was the connection between the main character Tris, played by Shailene Woodley, and her love interest Four, played by Theo James. The problem wasn't the acting but rather the script. It lacked the small flirtatious banter between the two characters that the reader gets with the book. The looks that the two share in the book are completely stripped from the movie, and the next thing you know Woodley is confessing her love James. It wasn't natural and the movie just didn't portray the chemistry leading up to the "love" point... It was a let down.

Also, Miles Teller's character, Peter, wasn't as menacing in the movie as he is in the book. In the book, the reader despises Peter for his violence and bullying. In the movie, there is mild bullying by Teller but not to the point where you really hate him like you do in the book. He was supposed to be one of the main antagonists. When you pair his character up with Jai Courtney's character, Eric, you have to bad guys that aren't that bad. Let me just say that Jai Courtney was probably the best thing to happen to this movie because he is super HOT! His evil character was a nice treat for the eyes to look at but still not as horrid as the Eric from the book.

Overall, I think that the movie was okay. I prefer the book and suggest reading the book. The movie was just average. No Hunger Games. No Hobbit. No Harry Potter. Just an okay book to film movie.

Divergent (2014)

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Movie Review: Lee Daniels' The Butler (2013)

I just watched the movie Lee Daniels' The Butler. Let me start by saying YOU NEED TO SEE IT! I loved this movie not only because of the well demonstrated arc of historical events, but also because of the strength of the characters and those who played them.

This movie portrays the life of an African American man, Cecil Gaines, who faces the struggles of inequality in American society as a sharecropper's son. Gaines works his way into better circumstances and eventually becomes a butler at the White House where Gaines serves eight presidents and witnesses the civil rights movement and the war in Vietnam. 

Cecil Gaines is played by Forest Whitaker in the movie. Whitaker does an impeccable job. He manages to present the viewer with a "real" character whose joy and struggles you can really feel. With the support of a star studded cast, Whitaker takes you back in time.You can check out more about the movie and the cast here!

One of my favorite quotes from this heavy movie was from one of the lighter moments:

Freddie Fallows: Are you political, Mr. Gaines?
Cecil Gaines: No, sir.
Freddie Fallows: Good. We have no tolerance for politics at the White House.

This made me laugh!

Don't get me wrong, this movie was wonderful but it isn't a happy, easy to watch, movie. It deals with a deep topic and a dark time in our world and in American history. Yet, I think that it is an important and touching movie which is why I highly recommend seeing it.

Lee Daniels' The Butler (2013)

Friday, March 21, 2014

I spent some time today in the garden just messing around with my camera to get back into the swing of things. Obviously I played with the editing in these photos as well but it was a great way to kick start my Spring Break. I have multiple adventures planned and can't wait to share my photos with you when I'm done!