Archive for the ‘Family’ Category

A Look Inside Vada Spa and College Discounts for Students

Tuesday, September 3rd, 2013

First-time-spa-user here. I’m not really one to make a big fuss over nothing, even crazy college savings,  but I have to say– there are certain things you must try in life, and one of them is getting a professional massage. This is a level of pampering that will absolutely erase your bad day, and the Vada Spa employees go well out of their ways to make sure you leave feeling like royalty. I want to take a minute and describe my trip to you.

Vada Spa, located in downtown Manhattan, is committed to excellent service that is affordable and accessible to anyone. It has two floors: the nail salon on ground level and the hair salon and spa upstairs. When I walked in to make the appointment, I was greeted warmly at the front desk, and was even offered a glass of wine to sip on while I waited for massage. (I mean how classy is that? That’s what I mean when I say they go the extra mile.) I decided I’d get a manicure before my appointment, so I picked out a pale pink Essie color and took a seat at table right away. The woman who did my nails was extremely thorough when she was prepping them, and very neat with the polish itself. I learned that all of Vada Spa’s employees all had at least five years of experience before coming there, and anyone who’s ever gotten a messy manicure knows that this really makes a huge difference.

When I was finished drying my nails, it was time to get my massage. My masseuse came to meet me at the front desk. He introduced himself as Tibor and then escorted me to the spa on the second level. It looked as though there were about four or five separate massage rooms on this floor. My room was dimly lit as if by candlelight, and there was soft music playing in the background; it was easy to get comfortable there. The massage itself was one of the most relaxing experiences I’ve ever had, both mentally and physically. It’s funny how you have no idea how tense your muscles are until someone works out all the knots. I’d had backrubs before just from friends, but this is on a completely different level. By the end of it I was so relaxed that I didn’t want to get up– I couldn’t believe an hour had gone by!

This is one experience I’d like to repeat. Those of you who’ve had massages before, you know exactly what I mean! Those who haven’t? Well, you’ll just have to take a trip to Vada Spa!

Check out this college discount before going!

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Laura DeFrancisci, Manhattan College. Check out my Blog!

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Family: Should call ASAP, now, later, laterish, or in 3 days?

Wednesday, August 7th, 2013

     Let’s face it, most of us start getting too preoccupied as semesters start every year.  Classes, assignments, sports, friendships, relationships, and those lazy weekend afternoons you inhale a zillion calories make it so we have no time for family. Is that really the case? Can we not take a few minutes of our lives, or stop eating that second serving of Chipotle to phone our family?

     Classes are arguably consuming depending on  your semester level. For one mathematics course, which will remain unnamed, I had to solve 6 problem sets. “Bring it,” I wanted to yell, but resisted the urge as it would be not only weird but disruptive too. It took 3 hours to solve one problem–mind you this was higher level calculus where numbers barely exist. I still had 5 more solutions to find. I would not leave this spot, I said to myself, not even for caffeine (Ok, I did for coffee but it was life or death, but not really).

     24 hours later (about 10 a.m to 8p.m actually) my thoughts were scattered, murmuring mathematical concepts, seeing distant white specs, and I was overall unfocused when leaving the library. The last thing I wanted was to call my parents that night. Arguably, the call would have helped me adjust my focus. It has been noted that discussing and thinking  about other subjects clears your mind so that when you return to an assignment you tackle it differently this time around.

   Professors suggest you shouldn’t fixate on one assignment for hours on end. Don’t leave it to the last minute either because that  is just unnecessary stress on you. Instead, take breaks, walk around,exercise, eat, or talk to someone to help clear your mind. You could get a drink from T-Magic, they offer a free bubble tea with the Campus Clipper coupon.

    When you start an assignment, you never see any fault in your approach because you’ve molded your brain to one perspective. Rest your mind by calling your parents during tough situations. Perhaps they’re not prodigious math professors, but they may help by giving you a much needed boost that you’re no failure and everyone else has identical ordeals in college. Your parents will, of course, feel loved and cherished that you trust them during such small scenarios. It lets them know you think of them foremost during your academic debacles.

    Don’t habitually phone them every time you suffer a school related mishap; trust them enough to talk about relationships, friends, food in NYC, and professors. You should not set your parents, or immediate family, aside because you’re now ‘busy’ or too ‘stressed.’ There’s no decree for the correct time to call family. It’s largely your choice whether you want your family incorporated in your college life or semi-integrated, but once those years end they’re the ones who are picking you up and whisking you off back home.

 

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Sergio Hernandez, Skidmore College. Send Sergio a Tweet Tweet only on Twitter

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Arrival: Freakout, panic attack, wait are those the Olsen Twins?

Tuesday, August 6th, 2013

 

      You’ve just graduated high school, leaving prom night behind, and that comment you wish you took back but didn’t really because you felt it was rightly deserved, and are now ready to begin your new life in the city. You’re giddy because you hope you’ll be caught in a photo beside an A-star celebrity eating a light salad and sipping sparkling water at your favorite hole-in-the wall restaurant you read about. On arrival, however, you noticed no celebrities, chic restaurants:  just random people either playing music for money or those playing music but  being paid because others have assumed they’re only there for money.

          Hopefully, dorm life is the same as shown on brochures, campus tours, and other miscellaneous google image searches you did beforehand. Hurrah! Dorms are fantastic with enough space and lighting that makes you feel it’s not jail-cell B. You’ve traveled far, maybe crossed the Atlantic, and now you’ve arrived in the Big Apple. Parents are helping you unload bags, boxes filled with snacks, and then treating you to a rewarding feast for graduating high school and marking the next big chapter of your life, college. They leave. Now what? There is one scenario that pops in your head: people will start drinking, gorging on jello shots, and parading in the dorms until 6 a.m the next day. 

         Real scenario: you’re laying on your bed thinking how many calories did I just inhale and what to do next?  Should call parents, pops in your mind, but that will make them think you severely miss them and are ready to leave college to become the next pop musical sensation or viral Youtube star. Should call friends is another option you ponder. That decision also has its setbacks, you think, because friends will see it as you trying to live in the past and being overly clingy. Who else to phone then?  Former partner?  They’ll think you’re absurd. Only person/non-human near you are either your dog or that chubby cat meowing ferociously outside for food even though it clearly needs to stop eating.

        Have no fear. The worst things most new New Yorkers accomplish is to over analyze simple decisions. Moving away from home, leaving where you grew up, knocked that kid off his bike and then lied about it, is difficult for anyone. Call your parents immediately (well, wait until they’re on the freeway) to tell them you’ll miss them and promise to either call, video chat, face-talk, Facebook message, Line, etc, that night to update them on your new day.

        Don’t fear phoning friends because they’re in similar shoes as yourself, or worse, they’re hyperventilating and looking at graduation photos yelling “Why me?!!” Instead of staying in your dorm waiting for orientation, explore the local neighborhood; if you find a store you like, you can later discuss and recommend it to your new friends, it will make you seem knowledgeable like a native New Yorker; you even find a surprising discount for new students on the Campus Clipper, the local booklet that helps you save those extra bucks, on textbooks. Now you have both a new street-smart mentality and you can rent out a Chemistry textbook for a bargain at Shakespeare & Co Textbooks which up to today was only a dead guy who wrote amazing plays; but now he also offers stupendous offers to students.If you left the comfort of your hometown, city, or neighborhood, surely you can take those extra steps to acclimate to New York City. After all, no one is really a true New Yorker. Most of us fake it ‘til we make it.

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Sergio Hernandez, Skidmore College. Tweet Sergio on Twitter

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New Year, New Me

Friday, December 28th, 2012

A new year is upon us and with that brings the fresh start that so many of us desperately yearn for. We forget about what happened the year before and focus on the future and what we can do to ensure ours is the best that it can possibly be. As we start to think of exactly HOW this is going to be done, we usually end with a huge list of things and run for the hills due solely to its overwhelming nature.

 

We all strive for self-improvement (or at least I would like to think so) and we know that it’s way more than just jotting down whatever you can find wrong with you on a piece of paper, it takes a lot of commitment. Knowing yourself and your limitations is also very important.

 

 

I’ve always took a “one goal a year” approach when it comes to things like this. I think it’s important to know where you want to improve as a person and just focus on that. I know life will happen regardless but it’s more a matter of not stretching yourself too thin.

One thing I would love to focus on in 2013 is just letting people know that I care for them more and doing my best to be more emotionally available. I know, I know…that’s two things but I feel like they’re related in a sense. I’ve also learned that this is something I needed to work on based on the supreme workaholism I developed earlier in the year and in turned shunned out my friends and everyone who I care about.

Don’t worry, my family and friends understand that I’m busy, that’s not really the point. This is something that I’m doing for the betterment of ME that will in turn strengthen already existing friendships and relationship and helps create strong new ones.

So, that’s my goal, what’s yours? Whatever it may be let’s approach them with the most resolute of attitudes.

Happy 2013 from all of us here at Campus Clipper. :)

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Carlos L., Monroe College. Read my blog!!  Follow me on Twitter and Facebook

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Election Day: Purpose or Propaganda?

Tuesday, November 6th, 2012

It’s no secret that today is Election Day; it’s all that people can really talk about. I even got yelled at this morning for telling someone “I’ll vote after I get out of work.” One thing’s for sure: politics needed much more attention and it has definitely gotten just that…although the intentions of some citizens can come into question.

Let’s go back to the guy yelling at me. He went on to say, “If Romney gets elected he’s gonna cut welfare — I need my welfare.” Really…really sir!? Do you even care about the issues or is your brain only big enough to focus on one? My point is (and this might sound a bit exaggerated) that about 60 percent of Americans don’t even know the issues and are voting based on race or religion or some other non-factor that really shouldn’t matter when you’re voting. I couldn’t help but feel like 2008 was a “black vs. white” election and this year seems like a lot of the same thing.

Now, I’m not saying that we are all uneducated voters, but with proof like this you have to wonder what people are really voting for.

Yea…I know, right?

Now there are three options this Election Day (there are really more than three but for argument purposes I’ll keep it limited). There’s Obama, Romney, or not voting at all. Obama and Romney supporters are strong, but no one is stronger than those refusing to submit a ballot. Now, you may be thinking “How is that so? It just seems like arrogance and lack of confidence in one’s opinion.”  To counter that, I ask you, Is it really? If you ask me, it takes an EXTREME amount of confidence.

The Electoral College’s votes have the most value and they’re counted after our votes for a reason.  I think the fact that there was no clear cut solution (or at least something that sounded remotely like one) during three elections says a lot. I read a tweet from a Twitter follower that stated: “Red=Offense Blue=Defense OF THE SAME TEAM! #2PartyDictatorship.” As a matter of fact, here’s a meme that needs no introduction.

There’s clearly something bigger going on in this country.

Regardless of what you may take from this article, I DO believe voting is important. At least you’ll feel like you’re changing the shape of your country, and I intend to do my part. I hope that you all do the same but remember, even if you don’t vote, you’ll still have to abide by whatever the government has in store for us. If that’s the case, you might as well pick the lesser of two evils, whoever you feel that might be.

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Carlos L., Monroe College. Read my blog!!  Follow me on Twitter and Facebook

Click here to download the Campus Clipper iTunes App!

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Dwindling Communication in the 21st Century

Friday, October 5th, 2012

With all kinds of new technology and social media platforms popping up every day, it seems easier than ever to stay in contact and communicate with the whole world.  It doesn’t even require a lot of effort, just a portable laptop — which come in extra small packages these days – or a smart phone.  So why is it that the real value of our words is going down the drain?

Even he didn't say much and he could be heard almost ANYWHERE

Part of this is our own fault for relying too much on technology.  There’s less effort put into meeting up with a friend or family member for a quick lunch.  Making communication easier has made us less aware of the importance of following through and actually speaking.  Personal relationships have decreased in favor of the blogosphere or Facebook.

With the upcoming Presidential election, it’s important to take more pride and responsibility in our words, our communication, and listening and hearing content.  That annoying little habit of saying “like” after every other word?  That was OK when you were 13.  Part of being a responsible adult pertains not just to our professional lives, but also to our communication.  As students, you’re going to be primed as the leaders of the future; it is important to recognize this gift and own it.

Your Presidential vote is also your future, take some time out to inform yourself on what the candidates stand for. Yes, it is true that many of their speeches and debates will be ridden with white noise you should avoid, but the important thing to do is to INFORM yourself.  Educating yourself on issues is a practice you’ll continue even after the election, making you highly employable. Try news feeds like cnn.com or huffingtonpost.com. If you’re in a real rush, newser is a great place to catch up on headlines with a short and readable summary.

As to the nonsense words you use to fill silences, start thinking a little more before speaking.  This will cause you to have a fully formulated sentence before speaking, but if you should have a silence somewhere…it’s OK! No need to add “like,” “so,” “um,” etc.  Some thoughts to keep your message in line:

Are you really saying what you want to say?

Is that person going to understand your needs and goals?

If not, could you reword it and still make the message clear?

Remember: being too wordy may lose the listener.

If there’s one thing I’ve learned in preparing and physically relocating to New York City, it’s that if you can write and communicate your ideas well, your career will soar.  While social media is all good and fun, it’s only effective when used properly.  So go out and use your voice, your thoughts, and yes, your phone (in fact, you could download the Campus Clipper App RIGHT NOW)!

 

Written by: Lauren A. Ramires

If you’re interested in finding out more about my opinions and ventures with social media, social media marketing, fashion, travel and humor, follow me on Twitter, Facebook or my blog.

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When Home Is Where the Heart Isn’t: Moving Back in with Your Parents

Saturday, June 16th, 2012

There’s no place like home—and good thing, because it’s hard enough dealing with just one of them. The dream life after college varies among students, but these dreams often have one goal in common: never live with parents again. Study results vary, but anywhere from a mere 20-47% of graduates actually achieve this goal right away, hence why we have been dubbed “Boomerang Kids” and “The Lost Generation.”

After having lived on campus and away from home, many students struggle with moving back in with their family, whether just for the summer or for who-knows-how-long after graduation. They might have to share a car or deal with the fact that what was once their bedroom is now the guest room. They might have to take care of pets and siblings. They might have to pay attention to how many possibly-inappropriate “That’s what she said” jokes they make (or maybe that’s just me). They might have to participate in housekeeping that goes beyond the fend-for-yourself methods that worked with roommates. They might have to actually have pants on as they walk around the house.

There are good things about moving back home too, though. Most students won’t have to buy their own groceries, don’t have to pay rent (though there are plenty who do), and won’t have to live with roommates anymore. The opportunity to save money is often enough incentive to make the big move back to the mothership.

Whatever your at-home responsibilities include, family life can often get frustrating and can affect your feelings towards the people you love. The sense of independence that you gained in college might start to feel restricted by watchful eyes of a parent, guardian, or even siblings. When you move back home, how can you make sure both you and your parents keep your sanity?

Of course, our parents aren’t all the same, and these guidelines won’t work with everyone, but the main point to remember is that compromise is crucial to solving many problems. Let’s face it: if you hate moving home, you’d probably only do it if you have to, in which case your parents are doing you a favor. Therefore, you should try to meet them eye-to-eye on issues that concern them (or that they think concern them).

The Problem: You feel weird having friends over.
First, you might want to establish a policy on having friends over (particularly if you want to drink alcohol, do drunken cartwheels, smash bottles, do body shots, etc.). If your parents’ guidelines are not something that you agree with, deal with it. Though the people invited might be your trustworthy friends, the location is still not your own and you have to respect the property of others. Find another place to meet up with people, whether someone else’s house, a public park, or a bar.

The Problem: Your parents want to set a curfew.
Tell them or leave a note before you go out about when they can expect you back. Be honest about where you are going, and assure them that you will be responsible. If you end up staying out later than expected, call them to let them know. Establish beforehand if a text will suffice (no one ever feels comfortable drunkenly calling the ‘rents, but spell check always helps in texts).

The Problem: Your room is now a guest room and feels impersonal.
Explain that you need a place to call home and a room to call your room. Ask them if they wouldn’t mind if you personalized your room a little bit. Offer to change it back before you leave (if you ever do!), just as if you were living in an apartment or dorm room.

The Problem: The nagging never stops.
If your parents constantly assign you tasks or complain about what you haven’t done, ask them to write a list for you ahead of time. That way, they will get an idea of the number of things they are asking of you and you will have all their requests in one spot so that you don’t forget them. This might also enable you to discuss the demands and negotiate them.

The Problem: Your family is simply driving you crazy.
Get out of the house. Rather than spending every minute either at home or with friends (though they can be a great source of sanity), consider getting a job, even if it is not your “dream job” or on the path towards it. In terms of your resumé, future employers would rather see you that you worked anywhere than nowhere. This will also get you out of the house, keep you busy, and maybe even earn you some money so that you can work towards affording your own place (if you’re not already being charged rent).

The Problem: You have no money or car and feel trapped in the house.
Again, get a job. Save money. Maybe babysit a neighbor that you don’t need a car to drive to or find a person or mode of public transportation that can bring you to your job. Ask your parents for loans, but be sure to respect their contributions, keep track of them, and pay them back.

The Problem: Your relationship with your parents is deteriorating.
As they grow up, many children start to realize the potential for their parents to be friends as well as guardians. But once parents start to pick up the roles of “Mom” and “Dad” full-time again, it is important to keep the “friend” role going too. Talk to each other about how your days are going, fill your dinnertime with conversation, and hang out—whether that means watching TV or a movie, washing the cars in the driveway, going shopping, exercising, or even just going to the grocery store together. Helping out around the house will help to bring friendliness back into your relationship as well, since it will encourage more of a mutual we-are-in-this-together relationship and less of a predator-prey, all-you-do-is-live-under-my-roof-and-eat-my-food relationship. Personally, I like to set aside time right when I get home from work to do things around the house so that I can get it done and move on.

The Problem: It doesn’t look like you will ever get out of there.
Stay positive. Set a potential move-out date, get an idea of where you’d want to move to, do research, and get yourself excited with ideas for your independent home. Also, remember that you are not alone. There are millions of others in the same situation as you, like Sabrina.

Even if you do manage to achieve an orderly parent-child relationship, both you and your parents are probably still looking forward to the day that you move out. Know that it will come, but remember that it will not happen by itself. Work towards it, have patience, keep the peace in the meantime, and residential independence will be in your grasp soon enough.

Help the family save money (and appreciate you more!) by offering to pick up the groceries with this discount coupon!

Carina, New York University. Read my blog and check out my Twitter!

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Hostess with the Most-est

Wednesday, October 5th, 2011

Almost every college freshman experiences homesickness on some level. It’s an aspect of college life that comes with the territory, and I was certainly not immune to it. The homesickness I endured in the beginning my freshman year was almost a debilitating illness that I treated with multiple viewings of “The Notebook” and long phone calls home.

As the years pass and we begin to establish ourselves as adults, the homesickness ebbs and we become more at-home in our new lives than our old ones. I don’t find myself getting homesick anymore, but I always miss my family, and now that I’m older I appreciate them more than ever (it also helps that I am no longer a perpetually-angry teenager with an agenda).

 

Today my mother and grandparents are flying in from Florida for the week and I couldn’t be more excited. Not only are they three of my six favorite people on the planet, but having family in town gives me a reason to do super-touristy activities without feeling lame. Having lived in NYC for almost four years now, I tend to avoid tourist hot-spots like Times Square and Rockefeller Center, but with my family visiting I can enjoy sightseeing New York like it’s my first time here. Everything feels new and exciting again.

I always love to take my family to my favorite restaurants when they come to visit, and I have a few standbys that I know I can rely on. I’m pretty lucky that Fordham’s campus is situated right next to Arthur Avenue– the Bronx’s Little Italy. Literally right outside my door there are dozens of options for authentic, family-style Italian food served in restaurants that have been open for a decades. However, Italian isn’t the only food that Arthur Avenue has to offer; Estrellita Poblana has the best shrimp tacos I’ve ever had in my life, guacamole to die for, and an awesome student discount ($2 Coronas!!). A bit of a connoisseur of Mexican food, I can confidently say that NYC’s best is located in the Bronx. As for favorite breakfast spots, Sarabeth’s is tops with delicious takes on traditional breakfast dishes. Plus, huge portions!! Am I right!?
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We do have to find other activities to help us pass the time between each meal. Whenever my family visits we almost always see a Broadway show. As the world’s biggest Harry Potter groupie, I insisted that we see “How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying”, starring His Harry-ness himself, Daniel Radcliffe. Judging by his vivacious nature and willingness to please, I’m sure Daniel will do an excellent job leading the show’s ensemble.

 

I always try to find interesting museums to take my culture-loving mother to. While the Met and MoMA are always great, it’s fun to stop into smaller places like the Folk Art Museum, or to try and catch an interesting exhibit at the Whitney. Since my grandparents aren’t much into walking at their ages it’s usually best for us to find smaller, quieter museums that are easier to explore at a leisurely pace.

I love my family so much, but when they visit it can be pretty exhausting. That’s why I’m so lucky to have great deals on coffee through Campus Clipper! I can always get a boost at Financier Coffee, and for 10% off with this coupon, it’s a delicious way to make it through the day.

 

 

Olivia, Fordham University 2012

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Until The Very End

Monday, July 18th, 2011

The beginning of a great legacy.

I can still remember my first experience with Harry Potter. The year was 2001 and I was seeing a movie whose title and content I have no memory of with my younger sisters and Dad at a local movie theater. But what I do remember seeing was the trailer for the upcoming release of the first Harry Potter film: Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone. The glow of November on the screen till this very day is still present in my mind. I was captivated and that following November I saw the film and so began my love for both Harry Potter books and films. I often find that I associate Harry Potter with my childhood, and I certainly believe it is representative of my generation. People my age all over the world essentially grew up with Harry Potter and this is why the release of the second and last installment of the final film this past week is considered widely a bittersweet moment.

Without a doubt, I felt it was absolutely necessary to view a midnight showing of Harry Potter and The Deathly Hallows Part 2 this past Thursday for its U.S. premiere at the same theater I saw the first. I brought along my younger sister who was equally excited and completely aware of the likely possibility I would embarrass her by tearing up, which I did. My local theater was overrun by avid Harry Potter fans some dressed in Gryffindor uniforms and many foreheads were marked by a lightning bolt scar.  Luckily my sister and I were spotted by a group of High School friends and acquaintances that allowed us to join them on line and then began the nostalgia. The overall consensus amongst the group was the feeling that their childhood was coming to an end. In simple words: the idea of not being a kid anymore makes me sad. However, I’m happy that my transition to imminent adulthood has become jarringly clear because of a franchise that I’ll always love.

I had no qualms whatsoever with the film. It truly is an achingly beautiful adaptation of the final moments configured by JK Rowling.  Also, the epilogue perfectly captured the bittersweet feeling shared by fans worldwide. It was just a perfect balance of melancholy and sheer optimism. Proof of this is the combined mix of smiles and tears I experienced when watching the films end. And for the sake of my own street cred, let it be known the theater was chock full of young adults, both male and female, tearing up because of the films content and its projection, but also because of it’s beautiful parallel to the life of a growing individual. It really is the end of an era, a great one at that. But at the same time, the Harry Potter franchise is certainly forever because its legacy is so great. I’m sure many fans my age anticipate a future where they could share the magical world of Harry Potter with their own children. Similar to the way many of us have shared the bewitching experience with our parents.

My mom mentioned looking forward to owning all of the films on DVD because it’d be both incredibly nostalgic and fun to watch all of them in a row. I personally cannot wait for such a time too! Luckily this can be the case too for students who are conscious of student discounts.  I suggest checking out DVD Funhouse, they have a discount were you can purchase five DVDs for only ten dollars! This means you can invest in buying five of the films for a Harry Potter movie night.

Harry Potter will always serve as a reminder of the curious kid that still exists within me. In many ways the Harry potter experience has preserved my nine-year-old self in both memory and continued spirit. I know I’ll always be in awe of the magical world I watched on screen and read about. I’m sure until the very end.

Anjelica LaFurno (Baruch College)

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Movies with a Language Barrier

Sunday, July 10th, 2011

When there is a language barrier involved, it can be hard to find an activity that pleases everyone.  We found this out one night when my dad, my grandmother (on my mom’s side) and I were home one night, in search of something to do.  My grandmother is Japanese and speaks no English, my dad is American and speaks no Japanese, and I am half-Japanese with an eight year old’s grasp on the language. My mother, the main translator, was out on a reunion with old friends, and my sister, the one who often lightens the mood, was at a birthday party.  It was an impasse.  Maybe in another situation we would have tried an activity without words, like a game of catch or some other sport.  But as much as I love my grandmother, I didn’t imagine a pickup game of soccer would be her thing.

Image credit: moviemikes.com

It was my dad’s idea to put on a movie.  He found some Japanese films on Netflix, and, hoping they were subtitled, put several of them on instant. To our dismay, most of the films, even the ones from the foreign film genre, were dubbed over with English voices.  Not only was this disappointing, but in our case, it completely defeated the point of watching a Japanese movie at all.  So when we finally found a movie with the original Japanese voicing and English subtitles, we were so glad that we just agreed to watch it, without even really considering what the story itself was. It turned out to be a drama, titled High and Low, about a businessman who has to decide between his company and saving his chauffeur’s kidnapped son (guess which he decides).  Although it was a wordy film, the acting was great to watch, and this made it enjoyable for everybody.

Although I didn’t think of it at the time, another movie option would have been something wordless, like a silent film.  Silent films are something of a rarity these days—I’m not particularly a fan, and it seems that few other than dedicated film-lovers would choose a film without dialogue. However unlikely, my sister is a fan of Abbot and Costello, and she swears the films are accessible to anyone. They’re not too popular now, but I can’t imagine a more appropriate time for a silent film than when language itself is the problem.

Other times, when my dad isn’t around, we watch animated movies in Japanese.  Although a relic from when my sister and I were younger, all of us still have something of a weak spot for cute characters, and Miyazaki films are prime material for that.  Our favorites are My Neighbor Totoro and Kiki’s Delivery Service. My sister or I might miss a few key points if the characters talk too fast or use more sophisticated words, but animated movies in general are pretty easy to follow even with a spotty understanding of the language being spoken.  Not only that, but they almost always have a happy ending, and none of us would have it any other way.

Movie nights are a great way to connect with people regardless of differences. DVD Funhouse offers student discounts; with these student savings, everyone will be pleased.

Ana Dicroce (American University)

Check out my blog here.

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