This year in class, I learnt quite a number of things, mostly being the content of the books we were assigned to read. I learnt that the selection of books we received (Beowulf, Grendel, Jekyll and Hyde, Dracula, Brave New World just to name a few) had a set of the most annoying female characters, who were never truly independent and had some type of annoying factor that never truly let me connect to them. But this does not mean I necessarily liked the male characters either. I learnt that, I am a bit picky about the people I like. I never knew that until I read the books. I also learnt that the sentence patterns I used without thought were actually categorized and labelled so that people could use them. It seemed interesting that the ability to write well was based on the fact that the writer could form sentences of varying styles, making the piece interesting. I also learnt that I work faster under pressure and writing extended pieces has shown me exactly how I cope with it. I also learnt this year, that the amount of variety that can come from students is phenomenal and in any case, I truly enjoyed seeing what people were capable of doing. I saw that group work can’t always be easy, and conflicting personalities always happens. Luckily the year has passed, and we’ve grown up, I’ve grown up and at least in my opinion, we all ended up somewhat satisfied.

More like old versus old.

Anyways

After watching the 1931 and 1992 versions of Dracula, I must say, I wish there was a movie that was faithful to the book. I mean, I understand it is difficult to write a screenplay or whatever, but it would be nice to see at least some effort to follow the story line.

The 1931 I think was far too contrived, just too many things were occurring at once. I didn’t really like it. I’ve watched plenty of great black and white films, and this is not one of them. Just something was off about the entire thing. I just kept thinking, condensed much? Dracula says his name in this odd accent, it’s funny though.

The 1992 version was better, but I found the beginning also rather contrived, and a bit cheesy and cinematic. The director experimented with too many over the top things, like Dracula’s shadow, which I personally think detracted from the movie. I wish the movie had a bit more of a surreal air, almost like the way the Illusionist (2006) made the movie almost like a fairytale, which I consider Dracula to be. Only a bit more darker and grungy.

Note: Dracula (1931) is owned by Universal Studios, Bram Stoker’s Dracula (1992) is owned by American Zoetrope.

I like that I get my curiosity fixed. But nowadays, that’s a bit more difficult to achieve because I’m not as curious, as I take the same courses over and over. Perhaps next year will be more interesting because I’ll be taking new courses. I guess I also like how some parts of learning explain certain things in life we take for granted. I think that’s pretty interesting concerning that we even taking the learning for granted.

I also find learning itself an interesting notion. Cognitive skills are something that so far, only the brain is known to do. I saw a research article from MIT, talking about how the mind harnesses cognitive skills that computers have yet to achieve. It becomes further and further complicated to teach a system about recognizing patterns and memorizing exceptions, and that’s only scratching the surface. It’s amazing how we’re able to learn languages so easily when we are young, and yet when youth passes us, it becomes increasingly challenging to speak any language except one’s mother tongue.

mhmmm

Picture source: http://www.flickr.com/photos/dierkschaefer/2961565820/

I love listening very closely to song and hearing every component of it.

If I particularly like a song, I can listen to it many times and each time will be different because I’ll focus on a different part of the song, like the bass. I love listening to bass lines, sometimes they’re deep growls that pound with the beat, or they play a scale to sound awesome. I also like listening to the drum part, especially when the drums have a complicated beat and I have to concentrate to keep up with the pattern of the beat.

I also love the little nuances in the song, little tinkles and bells that enhance the song so slightly, but it makes the difference. When I hear these, I wonder how those composers do it, some songs are just genius, the accompaniment and melody flow together like they can’t part.

Unfortunately no pair of earphones seem to want to latch onto my ears properly, so I have to jab them into my ears manually. I guess sometimes I would look like someone who really does not want to listen to whatever someone is saying.

Picture source: http://www.flickr.com/photos/juliannehide/1117324684/

Please visit:

Wipe It. Clean and Glassy.

This blog is not only of my good friend, but she has an interesting voice and some quirky language that always cracks me up. Just take a look. She has a pretty intriguing view on mostly anything she talks about, whether it’s a daily activity or something about the anime she watches (a caveat, she’s a voracious watcher of anime).

meh

Written by another one of my good friends, Blogman! But yes, this is another one of my friends who has an interesting take on anything that pretty much passes her way. She’s pretty well rounded in many subjects, so I guess you should take a look and comment if it’s about something you disagree, agree or whatever. (caveat, she has some pretty strong views sometimes).

Melody…

This is one of my classmate’s blog. She’s an interesting read, and I like her thoughts. It’s a nice read to go through sometimes. Check out her interests and maybe you’ll find a person to talk to. Her writing style is also good to read through. (no caveat for this one)

I learned that there seems to be an equation to solve many problems that we probably don’t even notice. For example, I did not know the exact equation for compounded interest, and from there I learned about the number e. It’s like pi. I won’t elaborate further.

I also used to not understand asymptotes fully, it seemed rather odd that a line would approach a figure but never truly reach it. But now I understand, since numbers can get infinitely smaller. So a line can be uh infinitely close to a certain value. Cool.

Apparently asymptotes can be used to calculate the slope of beaches based on the grain size of the sand/pebble. Which makes sense I guess, because the bigger the denominator on fraction, the more the slope is gentler. Oh the wonders of Algebra II. I like it better than geometry and lovely proofs. Lovely.

I guess that was the highlight of my day.

Picture source: http://www.flickr.com/photos/quinnanya/3242155904/

What font is this?

Compare the chapter “Dracula’s Guest” with the published version of Stoker’s work. What is similar to Dracula? What is different? What elements of the Gothic genre can be found in this piece? Is it better or worse than the published version? Explain.

Anyways,

Dracula’s Guest differs quite a bit from what is followed through in the published version of Dracula. It might seem as though it is following some sort of Gothic sense of pathetic fallacy, but it’s the end that really throws one off. It is similar in that it has almost all the same elements and character (supposedly) and the mysterious plot line that is apparent in the published version. However, it creates a rather different image of Dracula, and perhaps if it had been part of the published version, there may have been some misconception about Dracula. I think it’s an interesting twist to mislead a reader like that, but then again the story doesn’t have too many twists concerning how much exposition Stoker puts into introducing one subject. His descriptions are heavily filled with foreshadowing so nothing truly comes as a surprise. Perhaps the novel would have been received very differently had there been this chapter. I personally think it’s an interesting piece, and by itself, it’s pretty interesting. It almost seems like a very old form of fan fiction.

Though I can’t really antagonize the wolf.

Picture Source: http://www.flickr.com/photos/45928872@N08/4272568627/

Ah yes, despite the rather overtly enthusiastic title, I must begin something to write about.

So what…

I saw on the news about the political instability and terrorism going on in Somalia. High school graduates were seated in front of a person making a speech. They were probably elated to be able to attend such an event. Then suddenly, the camera is obscured and loses focus. But this is also accompanied with an explosion. A very big one. And that was the moment brief, but lasting in the memory. I was scared by that image. These people did not deserve another suicide bomber plaguing a life they seek to avoid. Those suicide bombers owe far too many lives upon which they sacrificed to what? Make a stupid statement about what they believe in? There are far more powerful and peaceful ways to make an assertion. But they choose not to.

I wish hope for that country.

In class we were supposed to record ourselves reading each other’s One Paragraph Essays and then edit them based on what we could hear. Unfortunately, my partner’s computer was unable to function accordingly, so we only got my OPE to be recorded. Luckily for her, the OPE she wrote was edited beforehand so she still had material that was edited. Anyhow, nothing much is being missed, my voice will rest for another day.

I guess OPEs are beneficial in that they improve the ability to write more concisely, an improvement I need. One thing I did notice though, after I understood how to use [] these funny brackets, I used them for almost every assignment so far. They just help incorporate a better flow in the essay. I notice that some people just insert a quotation to prove a point, but personally I find that far too choppy to make a strong piece of work. Flow is important (it’s one of the components of one of the categories in 6+1 traits… right?). So my OPEs end up following a pattern where the sentences are basically part of the quotes too, so that they don’t have as much of a distinction as it would have if I hadn’t.

I think, of all the structures and skills we need to know to write well, being concise will be one of the most useful. I mean, if a person can’t get to a point, people will lose focus almost… immediately. Ah our little human minds. Every lasting image only lasts so long. I digress, so yes, the OPEs are contributing a somewhat useful skill. I wonder if my future self will agree…

VISUAL DISTRACTION!

This was supposed to be posted some time ago, but I guess I clicked on Save Draft instead of Publish…

Alongside the mundane title and my extreme fatigue, I don’t have much to say at the moment. I recently saw several new pictures of the post effects of the Haitian earthquake, and those people need help….

Also, the Olympics have gotten me excited, and watching Ohno argue and squirm his way into medals is just as frustrating as it is to be elated to watch people win medals. I remember seeing one Columbian athlete in the opening ceremony… I wonder how he did. It must odd to be the only representative of your country. Then again, he is basically the only Latin American that decided to participate in the Winter Olympics…

And these people prepare for this since when? They are basically infants when their talents are realized and then they’re put into vigorous training. I know this may sound cruel, but it’s almost like a human experiment, pulling out the best of the gene pool and testing exactly what natural variation and artificial selection can produce.

Must… sleep….

Seeya