Thursday, April 21, 2011

drum roll please.....

Ladies and Gentlemen, it is my pleasure to present you with my FINAL VIDEOS!!!!!
This video is about my change in eating habits while in France to adapt to the change in culture. 
In this video I interview my friend Carlos, who does marketing for his family's hotel in Spain, about marketing in Europe.
After talking this video up for awhile now, I hope you will be able to see the way the excessive dog poop is interfering with the beauty of Vichy.

I am so thankful not only to have these done, but also to have been pushed to search deeper and take a more intensive look into the culture of France. It has been a privilege learning this culture and blogging about my experiences. I am now off on Spring Break...Milan, Florence, Venice, Verona, Prague, Budapest, Salzburg and Berlin here I come!!

Bon Voyage!

Sunday, April 17, 2011

video progress

So since I will be on spring break when the videos are due I have to have them all done by this friday...eek!! But so far, I am on a good pace! I have finished my personal video and all the filming for my video of Carlos is finished, so I just need to edit that down. I have 23 minutes of film of him, so I have a good amount to work with. The third video is still just in the process, but I will have to have it done by the end of this week, so its progress in the making. I am a little stressed about the amount of work I have left, but I know I will finish and I know it will be good. I am excited to have these done and also to share them with you all!

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Outline for Videos

Personal Video: My French Diet
I plan on starting out with photos of the typical American style diet, meat, vegetables etc then I am going to show the photos I have been taking of my meals here, which are all predominately pasta and bread.  I also have researched the specialties of my region in france. I have also gone and interviewed a restaurant owner here and I plan to put some of that in my video.  Then I video interviewed a lot of the other students here as they are making dinner, and how it changes from being back home. Then if need more time or more depth, I will talk about the lack of meat offered and how grocery stores mark up meat prices and how it compares to the pasta.
Marketing video
I am going to interview my friend Carlos who markets his family’s hotel in Spain, and what all that entitles. I am also going to show pictures from advertisements here and how in France they advertise more in public transportation areas than on television and on billboards. This is the video I have least developed, but I have some ideas that hopefully I can pull together. And I am hoping my interview with Carlos will spark some new ideas.
Social Video: Poop
I am really excited about this one! I plan on starting the video will footage I took while in Paris (playing nice sweet music) , and then I am going to flash photos of the dog poop I have taken (with ominous music.) Then I am going to talk about which place you would rather live. I have interview a student who is from the UK and she is looking for a job in France. She originally was going to try to get something in Vichy while she was here, but now has decided to look elsewhere because it is so dirty. I am going to talk about tourism in Vichy and how it is down, and how I feel it is because of the lack of respect by the residents for the city. I have some really great pictures that are perfect so I am going to use those as well!  Hopefully it will all come together the way I want!

I am one of those people that has ideas and becomes creative when I am working, so we will see what happens!

Finally!!! Internet and working posts!!! assignment 12

Facebook. Now I thought I was bad at being addicted to facebook, but man do the French students surpass me! I walk into the library to print off papers, there are probably 30 computers and not only will they most likely all be full but I can guarantee at least 90% of the people in there are on facebook. There is this one student that I see every time I go in there, sitting at the same computer...on facebook. I honestly question whether he ever leaves. Facebook is the social media of choice in France (as it is in America.) Facebook is convenient, accessible, easy to use, and social. It attracts users and retains them by offering options for communication and photos. Having met so many students from many nationalities during my time here, I am thankful for the social outlet of facebook to be able to maintain these relations when we all return. 

Another media outlet used often is the radio. Surprisingly the songs are predominately in English (for instance this is an extremely popular song here, I am talking 4-5 times a day I hear it Sun is Up ), however advertising on radio stations is more relevant than on television. Especially now that tv shows are recorded and then played back skipping ads all together. Advertisements are also found in the form of songs as well. "Funny Bear" is a childrens song used to advertise gummy bears, and it is also used for beginner French students. However I question it 1) because in the video the gummy bear's ear is bitten off and his pants are falling off and 2) the lyrics translate as followed
je m'appelle funny bear
je mappelle funny bear 
je m'appelle funny funny funny funny funny bear
J'ai un p'tit ventre mou et un slip kangourou
je suis pas comme les autres tout doux moi je suis un p'tit loup
literally means...
My name is funny bear
My name is funny bear
My name is funny funny funny funny funny bear
I have a little soft belly and kangaroo briefs
I'm not like any other sweet I'm a little wolf

Please watch the video...Funny Bear Creepy and a little disturbing right? Yeah! And this is what French children watch! Such a weird media outlet! 

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Assignment 11: interviews

So for the three videos I plan to incorporate interviews into each. I have given it some thought and I believe for the first video on which I am discussing the dietary changes that I have made since being in France that obviously I myself will talk, but I also plan to ask my classmates what they made for dinner that night (and maybe some other nights) and use the responses to justify that they eat less meat and so many more carbs in France than in the United States. I would like to conduct these interviews in everyone's rooms while they are preparing dinner. I feel like that would help set the stage. I have also taken pictures of many of my meals and the grocery stores and I plan to continue doing that.
As for the video on Marketing in France, I am actually taking an international marketing course while I am here, so ultimately I would like to interview my professor and get his take on French marketing. I would ask questions like the popularity of marketing, what jobs are available, is it a predominate major at universities, what companies utilize marketing the most etc. I also have a friend here who does international marketing in Spain, so I might interview him as well and get his take since he is a young person involved in marketing.
For the video on my social issue regarding dog poop and how it distracts from the city and makes it a less desirable place, I plan to interview my friend Jo. Jo has already graduated college in the UK and is looking for a job in France. After living in Vichy, she refuses to search for a job here. I also ideally would love to interview a dog owner and of course some more citizens, but I need to practice my French some more for that one.
I am excited to start the interview process and begin creating my final projects!

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Assignment 10:Tropos of digital videography

Well, I did not realize that I have literally posted zero videos on my blog, and since I am in the process of shooting and editing final projects I am going to post a video I found on my town in France, Vichy. Some background before you watch: Vichy was the capital of the Pro-Nazi government of France during WWII. While there is zero to little evidence of this "ugly side" of Vichy, that is what comes to most people's minds when mentioning the town. Vichy also was and still is a spa resort town. The natural "healing" waters of Vichy are world renowned and people come from all over the world to bathe and drink their ailments away. There are of course different springs that heal different ailments, but let me be the first to tell you the water tastes absolutely disgusting! There is an area where you have to have a prescription for this water, because too much can do more harm than good. But apparently it really works (or so I have been told) It is definitely an interesting theory!

Now I know that the narrator speaks in a monotone and is somewhat boring, but his information is accurate and extremely interesting! Now to discuss the tropos of this video. Obviously choosing the subject had to do with explaining the history behind my beautiful Vichy. This man does "revists" of French cities, and since Vichy is rich in history and culture, it was an easy choice for one of his documentations. I enjoyed that there seemed to be no bias in any way towards or against Vichy, he very accurately explained the role of in the war, but also the luxury experienced here. My only complaint is that he kept saying things that led the audience to believe that Vichy no longer thrives on luxury, and although Vichy is very small and very old, there are still some luxurious elements, and the spa resorts are still thriving. Also by including the old photos, the narrator was able to place in our minds the picture of what he was describing. Although a video reel of Vichy would have been nice, he did a good job using the photos to illustrate his points. His use of zoom on certain part of the pictures helped capture the drama and the depth in the photograph, again telling the story he wanted to tell. 

If it ever gets sunny again here, I will go take photos of the places you saw in the video and you can see for yourself the way things have changed and remained the same. Have a wonderful weekend all!

Monday, March 14, 2011



So I just got back last night from Geneva! It was absolutely amazing! I had heard mix things about this city, so I went in with an open mind and I was completely blown away! Upon arriving we immediately located a McDonalds so that we could access internet to find our hotel in relation to the train station. Once located Ally and Tyler went to check in and BJ, Hayley and myself went to walk down by the river and wait for Michael (who had missed the train (surprise surprise) and was getting in a few hours behind us) It was absolutely beautiful! In that time waiting for Michael we saw street performers get arrested, walked by the river, got free wine and cheese and ended up sitting on rocks out in this peninsula in the lake. The sky was blue and the weather was fair. It was amazing!
The rocks where we sat! probably spent an hour there just relaxing
So after we finally caught up with Michael we attempted to find our hotel. Attempted being the key word in that sentence. We ended up on some other side of Geneva in some residential district, however the greatest part of being "lost" was we stumbled upon this chicken griller who literally just had a truck on the road, was potentially the best chicken I have ever eaten! (might have something the do with the fact that French people hardly ever eat me, and therefore I hardly ever eat meat) After walking sketchily across some highway (after asking approximately 7 people where our hotel was) we managed to make it!   That night we went into the heart of Geneva for dinner (note: the buses are free for non-locals) Everything in Geneva is super expensive, but we managed to find this little Italian place that was too bad. It ended up being a terrific decision! There were two people who worked there/ owned it and they were hilarious! They spoke some English too which helped! We had pizza and pasta, but the greatest part of the evening was when BJ told them it was Michael's birthday, so they brought out their signature tiramisu. Now if you know anything about me you know that my absolute favorite dessert (besides my grandmothers german chocolate cake) is tiramisu. I was in heaven! It was fabulous!

The Italian restaurant, it probably sat 25 and was packed! (for good reason too it was excellent!)
On saturday we got up and went exploring Geneva! We started at a "flea market" in the center of town. Essentially it is a large yard sale, it was something I highly recommend experiencing! It was crazy to see everything and how the people interacted with others. I definitely enjoyed it. After the market we went to find the Hotel De Ville (town hall) and the cathedral. We walked around for hours just taking in the sights. After a lunch of sandwiches we did some shopping (chocolate shops, H&M, etc) then we headed to the UN. Unfortunately we couldn't go in since it was the weekend but it was cool just being there. Then Ally, BJ, Michael and Tyler headed to the 81st International Auto Show while Hayley and I (who didn't know enough about cars to pay the money and actually care) went back to do some more shopping/exploring and then took naps!
flower clock
United Nations
Reformation wall
Hotel De Ville
Jet d'eau

Cathedral St. Pierre

On sunday we woke up and walked around a little bit more than headed to the train station! We had a sleeper train from Geneva to Lyon, so I took a nice two hour nap. We arrived back in Vichy around 10:30 pm. Geneva was an amazing weekend! I loved it!

Final Videos: the beginning

So for the final project of my online course through Clemson I have to shoot and present 3 videos on my experiences in France.
The first video has to be related to my personal experience here in France. Since I literally take a picture of almost everything I eat, I think I might make this video about the differences in the food, essentially stealing from "Eat, Pray, Love" and "eat my way through France." Talk about the high carb diet of the French, and the little meat that is consumed, and how that in turn has affected my diet and moods.
 The second video is on how our desired career path is portrayed in the host culture. This is an easy one, considering I am a marketing major, marketing, advertising, and sales are everywhere! I plan on interviewing my marketing professor here in France and get her take on marketing in France.
The third video is on public issues. From my first week here, I have known what I was going to do this video on. Poop. Yes that is right, I plan on discussing the amount of dog poop that litters the streets and how that affects the look of the city and the residents. I am not talking about the poop in the grass, although there is a lot of that as well, dogs literally just plop down in the middle of the sidewalks. It's gross and displays and utter lack of respect by the owners for the other people that are walking. What is worse is when there is a box of dog bags right beside it. If this occurred in America people would be in an uproar. On a given day walking to my University (about a 7 minute walk) I probably have to dodge a good 6 or 7 poops. It drives me crazy! So my third video will be on poop.
I cannot believe I have been here a month already and that final videos are starting to loom in the future! Eek!

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Tropos of Digital Photography (assignment 8)

For my assignment this past week, I was asked to evaluate the "tropos" of my previously posted photos.  Tropos are things such as the reasoning behind the picture, the angle, what is included and excluded from the frame, what is in the foreground and the background etc. Basically it's taking the picture and deepening the meaning and direction behind it.

In the photo below I chose the angle because it made the architectural details of the side of the cathedral stand out. I liked the way it added depth to the photo. I also chose this because you can see the wear of the weather. It also makes you stop and almost have to take a second glance. Your mind doesn't immediately recognize what it is, so it makes you think and maybe see the picture instead of just browsing over it.

I also chose this picture to take not of the foreground and background. Immediately your eye is drawn to the foreground where you see the (insert smart knowledge of what this is actually called) Also in the foreground are the pillars and columns that make up the interior of the cathedral. But if you take time to really look at the photo, you will see the alter as well as the people walking in front of the alter. 
I feel that by not just taking what I would call your "typical" picture over and over again, you allow those looking at your pictures to explore deeper into the origin and reasoning behind them. It creates more of a story by capturing different angles and weird objects. It plays with the eyes and therefore entertains more than the average photo. 

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

the best thing you will ever eat

Okay that the internet actually works, I can start using this blog for more than assignments! yay!
Let me begin by saying Vichy is wonderful, and as soon as there is a sunny day, I will take pictures so you can see for yourself! I love all my friends from all over the world. But right now I just want to tell you the best thing that you will ever is called "pain au chocolat aux amandes" basically its a croissan that is baked with chocolate in the middle and then is baked again with almonds on top and then sprinkled with powdered sugar. Below is a photo...its essentially like eating heaven. I have only limited myself to one while I have been here and I am saving them for special occasions, but I literally dream about them. So amazing! Well I am about to go eat dinner at a creperie :) Au Revoir!

some photos from Clermont-Ferrand

 this is my residence in Vichy, France. I love how its so modern and it juxtopes with the old charm of Vichy.

 This is a church (not the cathedral) in Clermont-Ferrand

 Side of the Cathedral. I loved how you can change angles and the photos are so unique

 this is a zoomed in photo of the top of the cathedral

 the alter of the cathedral

 spanish influence in Clermont-Ferrand


 Cathedral! So gorgeous! I love this picture!

 This is actually the ceiling inside the cathedral. I changed the ISO levels so it would take a sharper image! It turned out so cool!

 stormy sky with the sunset. So pretty!

I wish I could post more, but I love to mix between horizonal and vertical and play with zooms and ISO levels. The video we had to watch gave me some great ideas!


okay, so my internet has been terrible for the past two weeks. I am literally having to get up early to get any kind of decent signal. And even then it takes FOREVER! But I finally have enough to upload pictures so that I can complete my assignment! yay!!
so McDonalds....
This past saturday, some friends and I ventured to nearby Clermont-Ferrand, France. Our first stop? McDonalds. How excited we were to have a cheeseburger and a mcflurry! (of course I was sad because my favorite is a reeses mcflurry and the French do not believe in peanut butter) But none the less, I was beyond pumped! Upon entering, we were surprised at how much more modern and cool the decor was then the ones in America. I mean sure in the states we have upgraded to the "McCafe" versions, but still....this McDonalds was three stories...THREE and it was packed! I mean literally it took us 15 minutes to order! But this is the best thing about McDonalds and being a student...if you purchase a meal and show your student ID card you get a free sandwich (the same one your ordered in your meal) So hello saving money and splitting meals between two people, well only if you are a girl, the guys demolished two surprise. But the favorite thing of the guys in the group was that they could order beer with their big macs. I do believe at one point every guy made some comment about how they are going to bring this trend to the states. One even went as far as to say that he was going to run for a legislative position and his first duty would be to allow beer in mcdonalds.
So to compare: French McDonalds have generally the same menu items. They do have a "Royal Delux" it has some different special sauce on it. This is what I ordered and it was fantastic! They have all the frappes and things that are becoming popular in the states. Their website is fairly similar to the United States website...only it's in French. French people enjoy their McDonalds just as much as Americans do. I mean we are students will walk 45 minutes to the closed McDonalds...that is saying something.

Saturday, February 19, 2011


i finally made it! yay! after much traveling and wayyyy too many stares, I finally arrived in vichy france! so the assignment for this past week when i was traveling was about mcdonalds. I know there is a mcdonalds in my town and I want to experience it before i blog on it. soooo i am going to wait a few days! hope that is okay!! I am getting acclimated and getting excited!!

Friday, February 11, 2011

New Literacies

In response to Kevin Kelly's comment on a "2nd Gutenberg shift" I would 100 percent agree! I didn't realize how much of my life revolves around things on a screen now. I mean even my teachers either post the material online, or use powerpoints and such to teach. Now my math homework is no longer written down, but rather typed out into a computer program. You can even order food through touch screen order systems now. Just looking around my room, there is my computer, a TV, my smart phone, calculator, ipod, and a digital picture frame. But I guess the biggest thing to back up Mr. Kelly's statement is the recent hype of digital readers. I mean we don't even read books in print anymore. Instead we pick up our kindles and nooks and read books and magazines that way. Things like the ipad, which allows every necessary media device to be combined into one. Think about the amount of time teens and young adults spend in front a screen playing video games.  Do Video Games Cause Depression? In this article in the NY Times, it is suggested that children who play video games regularly are less social and therefore become more depressed. It's sad to think that we are a generation who spends so much time in front of a screen that it makes us depressed. The whole idea behind technology improving was to make life simpler and easier, but the influx of visuality may be turning our culture from the greatness it can achieve. Now I am not by any means against technology or screens, I probably check facebook three times daily on average, and I have a few shows I watch on a regular basis. I guess my fear is that as we turn more from the simple yet beautiful aspect of sitting down with a text and pouring over it, that we might lose or miss out on the knowledge behind it. The original Gutenberg shift changed the world, in a good I guess I can only hope that the 2nd shift does the same.
Less than a week until I am in France!!!

Monday, February 7, 2011

my culture

first off, sorry this is late, I was hit with the flu pretty hard and I am just now able to actually move from my bed.
I was substitute teaching at my high school this past week and I had the privilege of teaching english to three columbian students who had come to my school to play soccer in hopes of going to college. So I asked them what had surprised them about American culture. They talked about the modernization of everything and the technology as well as the way people acted and behaved. They were surprised with how friendly and open the people of my school were, but most interestingly how much they relied on their cell phones.
If I was hosting an exchange student..especially someone who had never been to the US, I would discuss the importance of individuality. I feel that America really allows for creativity and for uniqueness that some cultures do not have. I also feel that in my own ethnos as a southerner we have strong ties to food and friendship and faith. How nomos are important, and in the south especially, most names relate to previous relatives, names in the Bible, or southern gents and belles of fiction and fantasy. Because we name children and pets after things we cherish. Mythos are the stories we cherish, like the tales of great grandfathers fighting in wars, that get passed from generation to generation.  I would describe how in my own family we value our family dinners and time spent together. We cherish such archons as the family christmas card, that we hang on a wall that has one for each year. And techne, the amount of time that we spend on our cell phones and computers. We value instant communication.
As we read about in the last unit, knowledge and learning go hand in hand with reading and understanding. I feel that America places a lot of value into education, especially higher education. Granted there are a good amount of Americans whom are uneducated, but at least in my culture and the cultural group I identify with, education is extremely important. Also in my culture, family legacy is important. This past summer I was presented as a debutante of North Carolina. While that sounds stuck up and snotty, anyone who knows me knows I am nothing like that. It is just something that my family has been doing for generations (my mom, and great aunt were debutantes.) This also shows how southern families value family traditions. To the left is a picture of my cousin and I as debutantes with my very southern grandmother.
Another thing we value in the south that goes hand in hand with high education, is football. As evidenced by the picture I posted in the previous blog, I love Clemson football with all my heart. Even after heartbreaking losses, I will remain a loyal fan.
I think that it would only be through experiences that I could fully explain America, and namely southern culture, to an outsider. But I agree with the "Cross Cultural experience and the other" video when it says that sometimes our mentalities shield us from seeing ourselves as the outsider. That is definitely something I will carry with me to France. 10 days until I leave!!

Thursday, January 27, 2011

3 weeks until I go to FRANCE!

just sharing my excitement :)

Cultural Literacies

I pride myself on being an avid reader, I always have been and I probably always will be. However, I will admit that I wouldn't describe the books I read as "diverse" or even "culturious." After reading E.D. Hirsch's excerpt, I found myself questioning whether or not that played a role in my ability to learn and be knowledgeable. I do agree that knowledge builds upon itself, and those who have knowledge (especially in specific areas) are able to more quickly grasp new concepts and ideas. I see that all around me in classes. Take Economics for example; never in my life had I taken any course that related to economics, yet as a business major I am required to take it. Needless to say, I struggled, I mean reallyyyyy struggled, especially first semester of Econ 211. I sat next to a boy who had taken econ in high school and he had no problems with the class. I barely passed, but moving on into Econ 212, it was soooo much easier! And it was because I already knew the general concepts. (I know that was a bit of a rabbit trail so back to the point) E.D. Hirsch definitely captured my attention in his statements correlating knowledge and reading. After watching the videos, I realized that I honestly know nothing about the culture I am about to enter. I saw the importance of knowing and understanding different customs and traditions, and I feel after finishing this blog, I will probably google French culture and see what I can understand before I leave in three weeks. Understanding cultures builds knowledge, and knowledge is power. I have been given a gift in the opportunity to study abroad, and I intend to make the most of it...and it can all start by being "culturious."

Saturday, January 22, 2011


Okay so I did the picture post incorrectly so once again here is my original photo (it is of course of Clemson's death valley :)

and here is it reduced to 480 X 640

Now hopefully this is correct! 


Today we had to post photos at different sizes to show the way we can change the pixels so that they can be better posted to our blogs 
So this is my original photo

and this is my smaller photo

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

technology and me

Facebook. Facebook. Facebook. It is basically my life. It is a little ridiculous the amount of time I spend on it, and the importance it has in my every day routine. But, that is just me. I have had my facebook since 2006 and was the third person at my high school to have one (a fact I am very proud of, although it just shows my obsession) I love being able to interact with my friends and family, I am a self proclaimed "creeper" in that I will spend hours looking at pictures and comments on friend's pages. I believe that what one puts on facebook can tell a lot about him, so I enjoy getting to know people better through their pages. I really enjoy meeting new people and then finding them on facebook and getting to know them better, and being able to communicate. I feel that while personal interaction is the best way to evolve a realtionship, that facebook opens doors that might otherwise be closed. I personally utilize uploading photos, writing on walls, chat, messaging, poking (yes i still do that), events...basically all the basic functions of facebook. I was NOT a farmville user and I do not play games through facebook. Recently I did finally get a twitter account, but I just don't enjoy it as much. So I tweet and I facebook, and those are my online communities!

Friday, January 14, 2011

new beginnings

Never in my life have I had a blog, but I have many friends who do. So when I was presented with the opportunity to take a class that involved me blogging about my experiences in a different culture, I decided this was probably better than writing a ten page paper. I find it fun and exciting to be able to talk about my experiences abroad in a place where not only my class and professor can read, but also my friends and family. (My mother is loving that I am taking this class!) It definitely took me awhile to get the hang of this whole "blogger world,"and I am sure my page will be changing as I learn new things, or figure out what I am actually doing, but that is part of the fun right? I have exactly a month until I leave for Vichy, France and I am both nervous and excited! Hopefully I will learn how to adequately use my blog by then!