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.