Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Reflection: Third Diplomatic Posting

The Third Diplomatic Posting seemed easier in some ways. We read one of my favourite Shakespeare plays, Romeo and Juliet. I've loved that play for years.

We focussed a lot on current events. With all of the political instability throughout the world, we had to explore, and find out what was actually going on. We've spent a lot of time discussing the issue in Libya. We talked about natural disasters, like the earthquake in Christchurch, New Zealand. We've been discussing the current nuclear issues and the tsunami/earthquake in Japan. A lot is going on now, and if we do not learn from now, but also the past, we are doomed to repeat it.

I found that I did quite well in this posting, because everything we did involved something I was quite passionate about. I look forward to writing my essay:) I enjoyed all of the assignments involving Romeo and Juliet, but I also enjoyed the assignments that allowed us to discuss both past and current events. Basically, this posting was good to me. I enjoyed it a lot.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Baz Luhrman's Romeo&Juliet: In Review

The key question in this assignment was, "How does this adaptation capture the mood and atmosphere of the original script?"
Keep in mind that in this adaptation, the characters are thrust forward into 20th Century Verona Beach, and use guns instead of swords. While they are still families, they resemble gangs. It's a more modern adaptation in setting and action, but they use the Old English that we are all so familiar with. The setting is pretty much perfect. While some people were not sure it would work, it did, and the end result is fascinating. I've been a fan of Baz's work forever, and this just adds to my love of his work.
Using anyone else other than Claire Danes and Leonardo DiCaprio as Romeo and Juliet probably would have resulted in failure. They are pretty much the whole mood and atmosphere. Without them, I'm fairly certain that Baz Luhrman would not have been able to pull it off.
I realize that a lot of people did not like this movie, but I think it's a lot better than Zeffirelli's 1968 version. The actors in that one were flat, and pretty boring. They had little to no emotion. While shooting the 1996 version, Claire Danes reported that when Leo was giving the speech that ends with "Thus with a kiss, I die..." she was supposed to be dead, but he brought her to tears, and they had to cut as soon as Leo stopped talking, or they would ruin the take. If that's not emotion, I'm not sure what is.
I think that if I were to suggest an adaptation to watch, I would definitely go with this one. It's pretty much perfect.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Romeo And Juliet: Statements

I would/would not consider doing what Juliet decides to do because...
I don't think I could ever consider doing what Juliet did. She committed suicide for love. Was it so impossible for her to move on? To find another? I'm not like that. I'm pretty sure I could move on, find another, and live my life to the fullest. You have to consider that Juliet is only 13. She really doesn't know what love is. She made a mistake. Her "forever" lasted a total of 3 days. While her pain was probably unbearable, she could have dealt with it differently, but at 13, hormones are raging, and your thoughts are not yours. They are controlled by the hormones. I'd like to think that I was more mature at 13. I think I knew, even then, that I could never do what Juliet did. They say your first love is your worst if it comes with a broken heart. While Juliet's didn't come with a broken heart, it did eventually come with death. As for me, my first love hasn't come along yet, and when it does, there is no way I could ever even consider attempting Juliet's decision.

What I've discovered thus far about Juliet is...
Juliet has some delusions about love. She doesn't know what real love is. She loved one boy, for all of 5 days. She thought they were forever. She didn't realize that things can change in an instant. Your life, your forever, can end in a single moment. A small glitch in the plan can cause a tragic ending. She made a mistake, rushing into love. She made an even bigger mistake rushing into a marriage. If it was me, I would have made some different decisions. She could have waited, and maybe everything would have been different. If she had waited to get married, I'm willing to bet that Tybalt would still be alive, as well as Romeo's mother. She could have done everything differently, but her hormones were raging, and she had no control. She made some serious mistakes, mistakes that couldn't be undone.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Journal Entries

For this assignment I was given two topics to write journal entries on. The first topic is, "Being a teenager can be difficult..." To be perfectly honest, I could probably write a 2000 page novel on that. The other topic I'll probably struggle with. It is, "The worst decision I have ever made..." I've never really made a bad decision. I did toy with the idea of writing, " The worst decision I have ever made is to not complete this assignment, " but thought better of it. Here we go:)

Being a teenager can be difficult. I think a better word here would probably be is or will be. It will be hard, not matter who you are. The older people reading this know it was hard. I know it's hard, and I'm not all the way through being a teenager yet.
You have to deal with other teenagers, which may be the hardest part of it. At that age, they think they're perfect, that they know everything, that they're unstoppable. I guess I'm the exception to that, but I've grown up faster than most. I know I'm not perfect. I probably will never be perfect. I don't know everything, and I most likely never will. I am most definitely not unstoppable. I struggle with fears every day. I have pretty low self-esteem. I am comfortable in my own skin. I know who I am....but I still worry about what others think. That's one of the worst parts of being a teenager.
The second worst part, in my opinion, is the changes. You have to deal with changes in your body, but more importantly your emotions and reactions. In some cases, you have no control over it. That's what being hormonally imbalanced is all about:) You can go from being happier than you've ever been to incredibly depressed. You have to learn to adapt, no matter how hard it is.
The assignment said I was supposed to relate this to Romeo and Juliet somehow, so how about this? They faced the persecution of their friends, just like we do. They had to deal with stubborn parents, just like us. They had to battle their own personal demons, although I'm pretty sure death isn't one for many of us. Being a teenager then wasn't really all that different from how it is now. That's a strange thought. Nearly 520 years can go by, but the basics are still the same.
Basically, while being a teenager can be difficult, try to make it a good experience. I'm trying to do that everyday. While some days are bad, forget and move on. Remember the good times, always!

The worst decision I've ever made is nonexistent at the moment. Either that, or I just haven't made it yet. I was raised to think through choices before finalizing decisions, and that's exactly what I've done. I've never made a truly terrible choice. My life is good, and I wouldn't go back and change anything. I've learned from any mistakes I've made, and none of them were the result of a bad decision.
I guess it depends on your definition of WORST. I'm thinking something terrible, like attempting suicide or something. Can't say I've ever done that. I'm happy. There's no reason for me to make a bad choice.
In relating this to Romeo and Juliet, they both made bad choices. Romeo killed Tybalt and Paris. Juliet married Romeo without parental consent. In the end, they both committed suicide, which would be the worst decision either of them have ever made.
I really don't think I can write a page and a half on not making bad choices. Take my advice: There is no point to bad choices. There are no rewards, and while sometimes you may have instant gratification, in the long run, it often doesn't work out. Like my dad says every day when he drops me off at school, "Have a good day. Make good choices!"