Books or Movies?

It’s the constant fight between book lovers and movie lovers. If a movie is adapted from a book, what’s better: the book or the movie?

As an avid reader, I have to cast my vote in favor of the book. Writing allows for description and narration; a book needs these things to survive. Movies are more about the showing. This is okay but to me, nothing can beat an paragraph written in exposition.

Then there is the fact that a lot gets lost in translation from page to screen. Take for example the recently released trailer of This Is Where I Leave You. As someone who has read the book, I noticed the differences already. I am used to being disappointed by movie adaptations so I usually don’t let this stop me from watching the movie at least once. Rewatching is something that depends on how much I can tolerate the changes.

Currently, the anticipation for Gone Girl is my biggest struggle with movie adaptations. I love the book but like most readers, the ending left me in suspense as well as frustrated. Gillian Flynn, the author, also wrote the film’s screenplay and she admitted to changing the ending. She tried to take back her statement but the damage had been done. What is the new ending? The trailer for the film doesn’t give any hints. Now, I HAVE to go to the movie theater to watch but will I be pleased or disappointed?

Overall, I’m disappointed that when a book gets the Hollywood treatment, the story changes. Whether it’s by deleting or altering the finest detail, the story is different. If I fell in love with the original story, why would I want to watch a different one unfold before my eyes? Most of the time it’s just because I like to brag about how much better the book is after the movie’s over.

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Interview Skills

As the term winds down, round A co-op interviews are just getting started. Whether you’re returning to co-op or this is your first co-op or you’re graduating and looking for a real job, here are a few reminders of interview skills.

1. Know your resume. It seems obvious but perhaps you fudged about joining a club or two. If a potential employer asks about that club, have a description ready to go. Also, be able to point out what skills you learned from previous jobs and how that would help you at the job you’re interviewing for.

2. Know the position. At least know the title of the job you’re interviewing for. Try to also memorize the duties you’ll be performing. You can always ask for a more detailed explanation but show the employer that you know enough about the job to be interested.

3. Do your research. This also seems obvious but know your facts about the company. It will make the conversation between you and the employer go smoothly and it will allow for more dialogue about the position.

4. Ask questions. Don’t be afraid to ask your potential boss questions about the position or the company. It shows that you’ve done your research and that you’re interested in learning more about the job and corporation.

5. Bring a notebook. This is my personal tip for interviews. I have a small notebook where I write all my research and questions for the jobs I’m interviewing for. When I’m at the interview, I can reference my notes and write down the answers I receive as well as any other important information that’s revealed. It also shows that you’re organized, which is a valuable trait in a job.

If you are interested in brushing up on more interviewing skills, stop by the Steinbright Career Development Center or check out their website for drop in hours and events. Good luck fellow interviewees!

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Book Con

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Everyone has heard of Comic Con. If you haven’t, let me explain. It’s basically an event where people dress up in costumes like their favorite superhero and people can mingle with other super fans as well as attend panels of authors, writers, actors, etc. Imagine how wonderful this event would be if it was about the culture of reading and writing.

I’m here to say that dreams can come true! On May 31, the first Book Con will be taking place at the Javits Center in New York City. There will be autographing sessions, trivia contests, and panels that range from a conversation with John Green about the adaptation of his novel The Fault in Our Stars, discussion of writing with best selling authors like Kathy Riechs and Jodi Picoult, and a special sneak peak of the adaptation of This Is Where I Leave You with the author, Jonathan Tropper, and movie stars Tina Fey and Jason Bateman. There will also be a special panel called “The World Agrees: #WeNeedDiverseBooks” that will continue the discussion about how to diversify book shelves in children’s literature and beyond.

This is the perfect event for anyone who loves to read, write, and meet some very cool people! Click here to get your ticket!

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Summer Term Sadness

As we enter into Week 8 of spring term, I’m right on time to have my usual panic attack of finishing the term on a high note and preparing for the next term. Since I have a fall/winter co-op cycle, I will be attending classes for the first time during summer term. (I will then attend classes for the next four years during summer but let’s not get too depressing.) For those of you who don’t have to take classes next term, good for you! I’ll share a few fun things that hint my summer will be peachy.

Did you know they offer less classes during the summer? Imagine the number of courses offered in the fall. Then divide it. Then hope and pray that your time ticket is on a good day. My time ticket was the second week of registration but I still was wait listed for three classes that I need for my major.

The only bright spot is that I have classes on Monday through Thursday. During the spring term, I don’t mind having a full schedule. However, with my summer schedule I’ll still be able to take trips to the shore and enjoy my long weekend. This will be the first time in a while that I’ve spent most of my summer in the city. While I’m not excited for the heat, part of me is excited that it’s my first summer term at Drexel. It’s what the college experience is all about, right?

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Searching for a Muse

There are times when I’m going about life and suddenly, WHAM! Inspiration hits me and I have to grab my notebook before the idea goes away. Then of course, there are the times when I’m at my computer and I decide to spend my time on Facebook, Buzzfeed or even watch my nails grow instead of writing. What I really need in my life is a muse who will constantly inspire me to write. Here are the qualities I look for in a muse:

1. Be funny but strict. I need someone who is up for a random stop at Zavino after a day of classes. However, as soon as we’re done, I need you to sit me down in front of the computer and force me to write. I mean, it is Week 7 so maybe we shouldn’t frequent Zavino so much.

2. Keep me focused. When I’m at the computer, stop me from logging onto social media. Seriously, no one has tweeted since I last checked two seconds ago.

3. Be inspiring. My writing needs to vary so encourage me to do things outside my comfort zone. Then, I’ll have something new to write about it.

Until the position is fulled, I’ll continue being my own muse and encouraging myself to write. I mean, it’s worked out for this long!

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A Night at the Ballet

Julie Diana and Zachary Hench in After the Rain

Recently, my friend had plans to see the Pennsylvania Ballet and she let me tag along. The dance company celebrated its 50th Anniversary Season with Director’s Choice. The program was divided into three parts: a two part scene from After the Rain, the four scene world premiere of The Accidental, and the company premiere of Grieg: Piano Concerto.

For each night of the performance, the line-up of the program differed meaning that a person would literally never see the same show twice. This series also marked the final performances of Julie Diana, a principal dancer who joined the company in 2004. She has recently found another passion in writing. Even though Diana may not be on stage, don’t expect her name to disappear.

The performance was breathtaking and magical. Each of the pieces showcased the diverse talent of the dancers within the company, especially in The Accidental. The dancers pirouetted across the stage to modern, indie music. Seeing classical dance moves set to modern music was jarring at first until I focused on the beauty of the dancers. After that, everything else disappeared. For two hours, I watched in fascination at the strength, poise, and dedication of the dancers.

Although the Pennsylvania Ballet’s season has ended, I encourage you to explore other shows taking place in the city such as the Walnut Street Theatrethe Academy of MusicWilma Theater, and the Philadelphia Theatre Company.

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Short Story Struggle

Growing up, I was that kid who read books above my grade level. I wasn’t interested in a five page story book; I wanted the chapter book. From then on, I only craved the book that had a lot of pages. I wanted to stick with one story and read about the beginning, middle, and the end. For this reason, I have struggled to find an interesting collection of short stories. (It’s also hard to find a writer who can write a short story as well as my favorite, Edgar Allen Poe, but that’s another topic.)

In my writing class, we are currently reading two collections of short stories: one is called Jesus’ Son by Denis Johnson and the other is What the World Will Look Like When All the Water Leaves Us by Laura van den Berg. When I’m reading the first collection, I’m forcing myself to read until the end. I’m not interested until half-way through the story and somehow, at the end I’m always left with confusion. Part of me wants to reread so that I can understand it and the other part of me does NOT want to go through that roller coaster of emotions again. Then I move onto the second collection I mentioned. The words draw me in and keep me turning the page. I suddenly wonder why can’t other short stories be like this; why they can’t make me feel as if my heart is heavier. To make a short story shorter, after reading van den Berg’s work, I understand the appeal of short stories. I still wish that I could continue on the character’s journey after the short story ends but I don’t see that as a frustration. In truth, it means the writer did a perfect job of making the character come to life.

Now, I’m forced to create my own short story. In the end, I hope to make my short story come alive for the reader like van den Berg was able to do for me. It’s been a while since I wrote something that didn’t relate to an academic topic. It’s an intimating fact that my creative muscles are out of shape but with a few breaks to reread van den Berg’s collection for inspiration, I think I’ll be able to write what I want.

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