The Diving Bell and Butterfly

My school had a viewing of the 2007 Cannes Film Festival Winner, The Diving Bell and Butterfly. This was based on a book that was actually a true story. Russell Union hosted the film a couple weeks ago and I have to say I really enjoyed the film. Subtitles have never bothered me, so this was not a difficult adjustment. The make-up of the audience consisted mostly of what appeared to students and professors. I caught myself wondering how many students attended only to fulfill a school obligation and how many came solely for entertainment purposes. The movie was set in France and thus french was spoken. I am not totally familiar with France but I do know that it is a beautiful place and the scenery in this movie was gorgeous. I believe that the film did give an accurate portrayal of the culture firstly because the actors were speaking in french. I know this may seem like a given but it is ridiculous how many films are supposed to take place in foreign places and everyone speaks English with bad accents. The worst case of this I have ever encountered was in Valkyrie. Wow that was awful! They were all suppose to be Germans, however they were all speaking in English and everyone had different accents. That movie was dreadful, but back to Diving Bell and Butterfly. The film would probably be categorized as a type of medical drama so I did not learn much about the French culture that seemed to terribly different from the United States. Perhaps the hospital rooms seem a little nicer in France, but nothing really significant due to the plot of the film. In viewing a foreign film I cannot relate to being part of a different culture, however, I do find myself envious of Europeans whenever I watch their movies. They, in general, just seem more intellectual and artsy. Even in the context of this sad movie I wondered how fantastic it would be to live in Paris. Maybe one day I will! I think this viewing was very successful as far as expanding our(GSU students) horizons and becoming more well rounded and cultured. We revere movies like Spider Man, which is great, but there is room to applaud the indie films as well. I will recommend this movie to friends and family for sure!

December 3, 2009. Uncategorized. 1 comment.

Twi-Fan

I must admit I am a die hard Twi-fan- someone obsessed with the Twilight Series by Stephanie Meyers. The series is comprised of four books: Twilight, New Moon, Eclipse, and Dawn. Thus far, the first two books have been made into movies and the third movie is in the making as we speak. The books/movies follows a teenage girl who falls in love with a vampire. It may seem a little juvenile but I have to tell you it is one of the most romantic love stories I have ever read/seen. Bella is the main character and she is desperately in love with Edward, a “cold-one” as they call them. Edward and Bella live in Forks, Washington where it rains constantly so Edward and his family of vampires- Carlisle, Esme, Rosalie, Emmett, Alice and Jasper, are able to exist among humans without exposing themselves in the sunlight. In this book, when vampires are exposed the sunlight they do not shoot up into flames and die, but instead they sparkle. They also smell like sparkles…kind of hard to explain but if you saw how incredibly beautiful vampires are you would just get it. In the second movie/book, New Moon, a new aspect is thrown into the mix, werewolves. There is a pack of werewolves that live in Forks and one of the werewolves happens to be Bella’s best friend and is also in love with her. I don’t want to give anymore away but I must strongly advise you to pick up these books and then rent the movies. If for nothing else than to look at some very delicious eye candy courtesy of Robert Pattinson who plays Edward!
EDWARD!!!

December 2, 2009. Uncategorized. Leave a comment.

Is Cheney Framing Torture?

There has been a recent heated discussion between President Obama and former Vice President Dick Cheney over Guatenemo, the prisoners being held there and the methods that are being used to retrieve information from them, in this case various forms of torture.

Cheney won the debate by framing the concept of torture by telling Americans they must decipher between what is good for national security and what is “nice”. In using this word “nice” Cheney is engaging in ugly republican vs. democrat semantics which I personally believe only make Cheney seem foolish.

The question is why is it that what is best for the country be what is morally correct as well? I believe it is one in the same. Never the less, this is simply my opinion but I think Cheney is playing quite the spin doctor with his twisting on torture.

What is so sad is that some people still have complete faith in Cheney and his wacked out ideas. What kind of message is this sending to the American people? to the children? to the rest of the world? I don’t think torture could possibly be sending a good message so I’m going to have to jump the conclusion a bit here and say this is sending a barbaric image of Americans to everyone listed above.

If that is what Cheney believes in, fine, but, don’t you dare say that we have to torture people for national security. Call it what it is Cheney. If it’s pink, has a curly tail and oinks, we’re gonna call it a pig.

bush

December 1, 2009. Uncategorized. 1 comment.

The U.S. News~Something is not right here!

In my international public relations class, every student was assigned a news channel they had to watch everyday for a week at the same time and record their findings on international news, however, the international news could not be about the war. The following week each student presented their findings and I must say I was shocked and a little disgusted.

I watched the NBC Nightly News for a WEEK and did not hear one international news story unrelated to the war. I was completely surprised and thought this must be a fluke. Maybe there was not a lot going on in the world for a week, or Nightly News was one news show which focused completely on the U.S. I was wrong. After hearing my fellow classmates reports I found that my experience with watching the news was not very different from my peers. Although most of my peers were at least able to find an international story they were incredibly minimal. Our class as a whole found that to get international news you must either go online or be able to read incredibly fast as on Fox News the international news is run on a banner on the bottom of the screen.

I worked with a group of women who watched NBC news at different times for the week. We came up with four possible theories that may have been the cause for this lack of international news for this station.

  1. Censorship is the suppression of speech. Could the media not be relaying information just because they believe it is harmful, sensitive, or objective?
  2. Agenda Setting is the media’s influence on audiences by their choice of what stories to consider newsworthy. Does the media believe that only U.S. and war stories are news worthy?
  3. Cultivation theory is the public’s dependence on television. Should people be looking for news elsewhere, other than television?
  4. Ethnocentrism is the belief that one’s country is better, or more important, than others. Is our country full of itself?

I personally believe that all four of these theories could be plausible ideas behind incredibly small international coverage. The question however is, what does this mean for the american people? It is a sad truth, however, it is our truth and I think something must be done about this. People all over the world are familar with the United States and what it stands for. People around the globe know who President Obama is and I don’t think most of us could name more than one, if that, president of another country outside the U.S.  I believe we are breeding ignorance among our citizens and ignorance, in this case, is not bliss. Outside of moral aptitude to seek information outside of our own country tell me how on earth we are going to compete in a global arena without basic knowledge of other lands. As an aspiring public relations professional I know I will be forced to go online to get my international news just to keep up with competition. This ethnocentric attitude that is being bred in America is toxic and dangerous and is creepily resembling the Roman Empire. We must demand international news coverage, because without it, we are only crippling ourselves.

December 1, 2009. Uncategorized. 1 comment.

What I’m Thankful For….

I absolutely LOVE this time of year, the holidays. I have the most amazing family and although we are all in different places at this point in my life, we can count on eachother to be there every fourth Thursday of November and December 25. We have a tradition in my family of going around the Thanksgiving table and saying what we are thankful for every year. Although it might sound cheesy to some, we cherish these kind words from the people we love most and it never gets old being told you are appreciated and loved. This year my blessings are infinite. I am such a lucky person to have all that I have and gratitude is something that I feel is very important in life and if you can think of just one thing you are grateful for, you can change your whole perspective. I even have a gratitude journal that I try to write in every day to give thanks for five things I’m grateful for that day. It can be something big, like “I am thankful for my health”, or it can be something small like ” I am thankful that my teacher accepted my homework assignment late”(although this may seem big to a college student like me!” I want to take this time to express somethings I am grateful for this year:

  • My family-my support system, the loves of my life. I love you all more than words can explain. Thank you for picking me up when I don’t have the strength to pick myself up. 
  • My boyfriend, Robert- my best friend and rock in statesboro. I am so lucky to have you in my life to love.
  • My friends- my eternal source for laughter and silliness. Thank you all for always being yourselves and loving me for being myself.
  • My health
  • My education
  • My security- this one is really my father, your support and ability to believe in me is what has gotten me this far, Thank you, thank you, thank you.

I love you all and cannot wait to spend time with you next week! To everyone, have a fantastic thanksgiving and never feel ashamed/embarassed to tell those around you how much they mean to you because hearing it feels prettty darn good!

November 19, 2009. Uncategorized. Leave a comment.

Dr. V Speaks to My International P.R. Class

Dr. Michaela V. is a professor at the College of Technology at Perdue University. She is trained in Communication Arts and teached public relations courses at both Clemson and the University of Dayton in Ohio. She recieved her PHD and Masters degrees at Perdue University and is now back to her roots teaching there. Dr. V hails from Romania but has been in the states for quite some time now.

One of the first points Dr. V made was that she absolutely loves social media and what it is doing for the P.R. world specifically. She now spends a lot of her time researching this ever-growing phenomenon. Her PowerPoint slides were entitled “Social Media in the World”.

Dr. V began her discussion with some incredibly interesting “guessing games” as she called them, where she would ask the entire class a question and after hearing our answers show us the correct response through statistical data. The first question was what continent has the most internet users? We actually got this one correct, Asia. Asia has the most internet users with 42%. Europe is second with 24%, then the North America with 14%, the Middle East and Africa tie with 3% each and South America and Australia tie with 1%. These numbers show that there is not a direct correspondence between population and internet users.

Dr. V then began to discuss the social media aspect of the internet and how there are three main types of social media:

  1. Social Networking
  2. Reading Blogs
  3. Watching Videos

Dr. V told us that all three of these are incredibly important to public relations. She then gave us the top 6 social networking sites in order of most popular to least:

  1. Facebook
  2. Myspace
  3. Friendster
  4. Orkut
  5. Bebo
  6. Skyrock

I personally had only heard of the first two, so this made me wonder how much social networking is going on outside the U.S. Which lead to Dr. V’s second “guessing game”. What country uses social networking the most? We answered U.S. however the top countries using this medium is the Netherlands, UK, Taiwan, and South Korea in a 16-54 age group. Next, what top 5 countries are reading blogs?

  1. Netherlands
  2. South Korea
  3. Spain
  4. USA
  5. Japan

Dr. V then informed us that overall, people worldwide like watching videos online more than reading blogs or participating in social networking sites. So, top countries watching sites like YouTube and Hulu?

  1. Brazil
  2. India
  3. China
  4. US
  5. Germany

Finally, Dr. V listed the top social media use countries which were Netherlands, USA, and South Korea. She then decided to focus on the differences between the social media of South Korea and the U.S. She pointed out 4 different aspects:

  1. Blogging is very personal in South Korea, whereas in the US, blogging is used more often for professional means.
  2. In South Korea, people have a high trust in company information and public relations. This was found by Edelman South Korea which places an ethical responsibility on the P.R. practioner
  3. South Korea is fine if companies ask them to give technological or gadget reviews through their social networking
  4. Finally, South Koreans find pitching through social media an invasion of privacy since it is such a personal thing. She gave us the example of a door to door salesman.

Dr. V finished her discussion by discussing Social Norms and how one must cultivate a relationship through social media with those from different cultures. She explained that there must be a fusion between social media norms and local cultural norms. She says the P.R. personnel must be familiar with both to be successful through social media. She advises doing research on this, “what do they want” and “what do they want to talk about”.

Dr. V ended her discussion by saying simply, “We(the U.S.) don’t own social media!”

Dr. V was a great speaker and I will definately be reading her blog at Socialconnections.com!

 

 

November 19, 2009. Uncategorized. 1 comment.

Diversity at Georgia Southern University

Diversity at Georgia Southern University is a little tricky to tell you the truth. From a student population stand point there seems to be a high percentage of caucausian students followed by a medium percentage of african-american students. With the exception of a few, this seems to be the majority of students represented at this school. I could not tell you why this is the case. I think some of it might have to do with the rural/small town/ southern georgia location of the school that does not draw in many different races and/or cultures.

Although a variety of cultural groups may not be represented in the student population, I believe the school is taking many efforts to broaden the horizons of its students by cultivating various events centered around diversity. The International Coffee Hour is held every friday morning where students gather and discuss various topics. Another example of GSU’s determination to educate the school’s population about different culture’s is the French Week that occurred just a couple of week’s ago. Everyday that week a different event occurred that was centered around french cuisine, films, and many other french oriented events. The point I am trying to make here is that there are plenty of opportunities to become a more cultured person by means of Georgia Southern’s campus activities.

However, we all know that just because something is available does not mean that people will take advantage of the opportunity. I have a rather large group of friends and school peers and I know for a fact that they are not participating or observing the different diversity events located on campus. I honestly must say that before this semester I really hadn’t attended many events on the diversity calendar and, unfortunately, if I did, it was to fulfill a requirement set out by a professor for a grade. I believe this is the case for the majority of students at GSU and I wonder why this is so? It makes me ponder the values the students at GSU possess as a whole. Are we a population of self-involved ethnocentric ignoramus? I hope not but when all these fantastic opportunities are practically being thrown at us and we simply turn a deaf ear, what other conclusions can one come to? The only other excuse I can muster is a lack of marketing for the different events. However, I think that piece of this saddening puzzle is just fine, I think the apathetic attitudes of GSU students for different cultures is the real issue here. I don’t know how but I do know something has to change because this is a debilitating mindset that will negatively affect us in the long run.

November 17, 2009. Uncategorized. 1 comment.

GSU Homecoming Week

I have to be completely honest in letting the world know that my school spirit is lacking rather intensely. I love my friends I have made at college and the teachers are amazing instructors, however, when it comes to Georgia Southern as a school, I’m not a huge fan. The reason, it’s in Statesboro which is a tiny litttle town with NOTHING in it besides a Wal-Mart and TJ Max. I mean I have to travel 3 1/2 hours to get my hair done because the one time I took a leap and got it done down here my hair looked like the Scarecrows from the Wizard of Oz. Sadly, I’m not exaggerating. I grew up in Atlanta and travelling to places like NYC and Boston on a pretty regular basis so this town is just so far out of my element. I’m not down on small towns because I think some small towns are quaint and perfect, however, Statesboro would not be categorized as this. Sorry locals…I just think a lot of work could be done. That being said..GO EAGLES!

November 13, 2009. Uncategorized. Leave a comment.

Jodi Picoult!!

Hello my name is Meghan and I am a reading-holic. I absolutely adore reading. One of my top five things to do for sure. There is something about reading that puts me at ease. It is this complete escape from reality, and sometimes you just need to get away. I usually don’t play favorites with authors since there are so many fantastic ones out there: Chuck Palanuik, Eckhart Tolle, Stephanie Meyers, just to name a few. However, last year my sister gave me My Sister’s Keeper to read and I have never been so touched by a novel. Some of you may have heard of the book from the movie that was released this summer based on the book(the movie was great but it definately did not do the book justice). I literally bawled after finishing the novel, I mean really! Since then I have read 4 more of her novels my favorite of which was Plain Truth which is about an Amish girl who is on trial for murdering her newborn baby. I know it sounds pretty morbid, but it is surprisingly not so. The way that Picoult writes in such a smart and enticing way will force you to never put the book down, I promise! I could gush about this woman for 20 more minutes but I won’t! Just do yourself a favor and pick up one of these fantastic novels. I promise you won’t be disapointed!

November 4, 2009. Uncategorized. 1 comment.

Paranormal Activity

A large group of my friends and I went to see the new horror movie “Paranormal Activity” on Saturday night. Was it scary you might ask? Well, let’s just put it this way I have had nightmare two nights in a row and lay awake in bed with the lights off trying to fall asleep but only affectively freaking myself out.

When I saw the commercials I knew right away, this is going to scare the be-jesus out of me! Although the commercials only show the audiences reaction and not footage from the actual film, the looks on those people’s faces were more than enough proof for me. My boyfriend thought the movie looked a little stupid because of the commercials but I knew better!

The movie is about a couple who are experiencing “weird” experiences around their house so they buy a camera to record everything going on inside their home. There is a complete “Blair Witch Project” vibe to this movie and let me tell you I have not been so scared since the “Blair Witch Project” which completely scared me also.

If you are in the mood to see a real SCARY movie, this is the one to do it! There isn’t any gore which I think is completely overrated in the first place. This movie is kicking it old school Poltergeist style. Although I have not had the best sleep the past two nights, I have to admit it was totally worth it! Go see Paranmormal Activity Soon before it is kicked out of Statesboro!

October 27, 2009. Uncategorized. Leave a comment.

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