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French Film Festival

imageThis week I had the opportunity to attend the french film festival at McDaniel. While in attendance several things caught my attention.

First off it was extremely packed for a Monday evening film. And although the French department makes it a requirement for current French students to attend, a lot of staff also make it out to the event.

The film festival is all month long for the month of September. Each week the French department picks a day to show a film in McDaniel’s amazing Decker Auditorium. The films are all in French, but you do have the luxury to see English subtitles (which help out a ton)!

This is a great event to learn about the French culture and also enjoy quality films. I already can’t wait for next weeks film!

Tailgating is back

 

Yes, that’s right tailgating is back on the hill. This past weekend our football team had it’s home opener here on the hill. While the outcome of the game didn’t go as most of us Green Terror fans had hoped, the atmosphere was lovely.

The weather at the game was amazing. It was about 76 degrees. Yes, perfect football weather! What made the tailgatinimageg experience even better is seeing alumni from the college coming back to see the game. What’s better than that? Great food, great weather, and great friends always makes a great tailgate. No wonder, we are ranked top ten in the country for best places to tailgate.

 

 

Nostalgia – Italy

Last semester, I studied abroad in a tiny town in Italy called Tuscania.  I spent four months there getting to know the people, the places. I miss it immensely and I began to feel nostalgic today and decided to write about the beautiful scenes of my study abroad experience, hoping that you too would feel the beauty of this place.1896962_10203207996870554_859869903_n

Silence. Morning delicately fell upon the face of the mountains, kissing them sweetly with each ray of brilliant sun. The sky morphed slowly, from a serene brush of violet, to a desolate grey tone, and finally into the glorious illumination of the daytime sky, solid blue brilliance. With every passing moment, the morning became more bold, more full, as the streams of sunshine burst forth from behind the massive land forms. The sonata of the morning birds serenaded the newly blooming flowers, bringing them closer to life with each song. The radiant fuchsia petals uncurl ever so slowly before the wide open sky, drinking in the sunlight of the new day, thirsty for what is to come. Thin, Cyprus trees bend gently in the winds and the sun reveals their majesty as they learn to dance again.

Focusing closer than the distance of the mountains, rolling green hills sweep across the foreground. The grass, luscious and rich, soft and deep, a dazzling color green that does not resemble anything else of this world, but rather more closely parallels what one imagines Heaven might look like. Stretching from one end of vision to the other, the fields of green run and run over multitudes of hiccupped hills, until finally the landscape dips behind the largest hill, leaving the rest to the viewer’s imagination. In stark contrast to the green are the brilliant warm colors of the homes, nestled within the Tuscan hills. The edge of the hills breaks into the now blue and glorious sunny skies. The clouds are the color of fresh fallen snow, fluffy and immense. They closely resemble pillows floating through the otherwise unadulterated cerulean. So close, yet distant. If one could reach those heights, it feels as though he could prance along the edges, bouncing from one ball of fluff to the next.
Along the horizon, the stately castles welcome the morning in a new way. Currently static and immovable, they do not change with the day’s sun as the flowers do, but rather they stand firm as uncompromising structures, soaking in the golden rays that have been washed upon them. Every intimate crevice of the massive structure, illuminated, glowing. The impassive fortresses leak majestic whispers of days gone by, of glorious victories and bitter defeat, of royalty and of wealth. Within their walls, they hold the stories of the centuries, stories that may never be known to the world. Here in the stillness of the morning, there is so much to be said, though they will never speak loud enough to be heard. They leave the largest mysteries to one’s imagination, while they sit quietly upon the exquisite green hilltops.

Outside the castles, blanketing the subsequent fields, lie bountiful olive trees and grape vines, in very meticulous rows, running up and down the slopes, eventually overflowing over the top, pouring down the backside of the mountain where they are no longer seen. From the distance, the lines of fruit appear so eternal, as if the stripes of the dark green rows will never come to an end. The pattern is so rhythmic that it is mesmerizing, almost leading the eye and mind into a type of hypnosis if one lets go of consciousness long enough to feel it. The trees and vines are all waiting patiently for their season. This sunrise is not their time. Their still young branches will see many more cycles of day and night before their fruit will come forth, blossoming to fullness. Waiting is a long process, yet in the early morning light, they continue to anticipate, with quiet composure, the day on which they will reach wholeness.

In the utter silence of morning, the solitude makes it seem as though there are only one pair of eyes watching the unfolding of the day. Watching and waiting for the fresh renewal brought upon the landscape. Hoping that there is enough of this luminous radiance to heal the human soul as intricately and fully as it draws flowers back to life.

Arabian Nights

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Me with my Riqq (tambourine) :)

Every day, I wake up with Arabian drumming patterns stuck in my head.  Not because I have Aladdin DVRed on my TV and saved for all of eternity (though I do), but because Global Drumming Traditions happens to be a part of my crazy, full schedule this semester.  In this past month, I have learned enough combinations of dum and tac, the different sounds on the drum, to drive my roommates up the wall. They even asked me to practice in my car a few times.  But nonetheless, I feel lucky to have the opportunity to broaden my horizons in this way. Because I am a social work major, I don’t get around to the music building very often and for someone who can’t clap and sing at the same time, college music courses do not sit well with me.  But I stepped out of my comfort zone for a bit to take this class on rhythm.  Who knows, maybe by the end of the semester, I will be able to clap along to a song!  I also find it fascinating to learn about the culture of the Middle Eastern nations where this music comes from.  Middle Eastern nations, especially now, are portrayed as ruin, as fighting, as war, as hatred.  But in taking this course, I have been encouraged to research what else goes on in these countries, and there is oh, so very much.  From food, to music, to customs, I am learning so much about Iraq, Syria, and other Middle Eastern countries.

In addition to Global Drumming Traditions, I am taking Organization and Community Practice, Spanish, Field Seminar, and my 16 hour/week field placement at Family and Children’s Services.   Things get a little crazy and I am usually going, going, going from 6:30am until 7pm (that also includes working, not all classes).  I love scheduling classes because I feel like I have the opportunity to try whatever I can fit into my schedule.  Eventually I ended up with these core classes, though I also tried out Legal Forensics, Changing the World, and a few others.  These classes unfortunately did not end up working out with my schedule, but when you have a clean and open slate, the opportunities for classes seem endless!

Baugher’s Adventures

 

Today, I made my first trip to the Baugher’s Farm. The Baugher’s restaurant is within walking distance so that is where I thought my friend and I would be going, but she wanted to visit the farm; I had no idea that there was a part two to Baugher’s, but it makes perfect sense because all of their delicious fruit has to come from somewhere.

The farm was so awesome! They had an apple picking option or you could buy them from the store. They also had delicious apple pies there among other sweets. My friend and I got ice cream and then walked to the petting zoo.

I enjoyed seeing all the families around. There are not really any kids on campus, and I miss them, so this was a happy surprise for me. It was a nice place to relax for a bit, and it was nice to have a chance of scenery. Going to the farm was a perfect homework break, and I hope we can go back again to visit soon.

 

Pig pen!

Potbelly pigs eating in their pen

Amanda and the pony!

My friend, Amanda feeding the pony

A pretty peacock

A pretty peacock