Elizabeth Aldana

Elizabeth Aldana

A few weeks ago I Google searched for the term free spirit, which brought back an interesting definition.

“An independent or uninhibited person.”

‘Strange,’ I thought. The word uninhibited has synonyms such as immoral, unrestrained, and immodest, but I know a person who defies this definition. In fact, I know a woman who not only creates a new definition of the term free spirit, but she also has the work ethic and determination to blow the word uninhibited out of that definition forever more.

Elizabeth Aldana isn’t just a hard-working, free spirited adventurer willing to do whatever it takes to reach her goals, she’s got a personality worth its weight in gold.

For this young woman, benevolence makes up the essence of who she is, but there’s more to her than kindness alone. A simple observation of Liz in action at work can tell the tone of her story. A bold smile, gentle body language, and friendly laughter floating through Olive Garden, the restaurant she works at, creates a heartfelt melody that tells the tale of Elizabeth Aldana.

“Liz is very hard to describe. She is strong yet light hearted. She keeps pushing for things she wants until she gets it. That’s why she is a service professional,” says Amanda Ewing a manager at Olive Garden.

Olive Garden awards a small number of positions to employees with the drive, determination, and potential to take their skills to the next level as a Service Professional. Service Professionals are the stepping-stone to full-time management positions at any of the restaurants in the country, and according to Ewing, it was her personality and drive that led her to a position few get to.

“She is willing to help anyone and truly wants to help, but at the same time, knows her limits. That’s what we are looking for,” adds Ewing.

From first-hand accounts, each and every day must be a productive one for Liz. Rising at the sound of her early alarm, she works relentlessly at home taking care of her family as her parents are away at work. Being the oldest child has brought a lot of pressure for her, something that she has had to take unwillingly, but has pushed her to be at her best.

“I’ve learned how to be responsible, respectful of my elders, how to be a hard worker. The integrity that my parents have is the biggest asset that my siblings and I have taken from them. We don’t half-ass anything because of our parents. I’ve learned you have to sacrifice a few things to get what you want in life. You have to weigh your options,” says Liz enthusiastically.

She sits in her house surrounded by a recently polished kitchen and living room that she cleaned before my arrival. Her hair falls gently around her face and deep, dark eyes, and holds a proud grin worth more than just a glance. While her back rests gently against the back of the couch, only enough for comfort, not relaxation, her legs are folded up near her in a cozy position. Her hands folded in her lap, with one open towards me and the other facing away. Both welcoming and fearful of possible questions that will probe an interesting life.

Productivity rarely comes from nowhere, and for Liz, her motivation comes from the future she envisions for herself. She strives for a new life away from her Sioux City home that she has grown so fond of. Her dream: to be a photographer and the way she’s getting there just might be moving down to the music capital of the country.

“I took a trip to Nashville recently and it was my favorite trip because it was the first time I traveled by myself for no particular reason. I could do whatever I wanted and I met a bunch of different people. I went to the mall, I went to different concerts, different café’s, and just explored life. That’s when I knew there was way more in the world that where I live.”

The trip was a surreal experience for Liz, who was just expecting a trip away from home.

Nashville is only an anecdote for the real life ambitions Liz holds. She has a definitive set of goals that she plans on meeting in the near future. Some of these goals are ones that most fall short of when they find obstacles, but not for her. Every task or situation that has arisen in her 22 years of life, keep her fighting towards her vision of a new and exciting future.

So where does the free-spirit-ness come into play?

With the New Year coming soon, Liz has some exciting plans for herself. She wants to travel the world, something she says is of the most importance in her life. She wants to see places like Texas, the east coast and the west, and other countries as well. Travel won’t be the only thing that’s on the itinerary because she plans to go back to school in Nashville for photography in the fall. After a local internship with a photographer, she knows it’s the right path for her.

“I still see myself very close to my parents in the end, and also living on my own. (Stop for a second to scold her younger sister, Alexa, in Spanish). I want to see the world and live on my own, but still be close. I see traveling for awhile and then settling down. That might come back, I’m not sure.”

What is most interesting about Liz is her ability to plan and change plans at a moments notice. The majority of her time is spent between classes at NWICC, serving at Olive Garden, and taking care of the family. This is why she doesn’t worry about over planning or worry about the future. Even if someone gives her a hard time, she strives to focus on herself rather than what others think. According to her, though, it wasn’t always like this.

“I used to think that I had to prove my worth to people, and it is probably my worst trait. I used to seek approval from people way too often even though I should have just lived my life as I’m doing because that makes me happy,” Liz says with certainty and then continues by saying, “Recently I finally feel like I’m my own person so I care more about how I’m acting as opposed to trying to be like others.”

Bold words for a woman who makes bold choices completely on her own.



Media Management paper

In recent history American has changed greatly. Cities have become increasingly populated, a variety of languages are prevalent, and a number of religions are becoming more popular as opposed to a select few. These changes can be found anywhere, and have faded cultural boundaries that used to separate Americans in the continental United States, thus creating a more homogenized American culture. This newly formed culture has brought about a new media as well. In order to maintain quality news for this new America the media has had to homogenize as well. The focus of this paper specifically looks into what has possibly caused the homogenization of American media. While there are many factors that have caused this, a few particular influences have paved the way. American media homogenization has occurred largely because of social media have paved the way for social media to make these changes.

Before examining the causes of these changes, some proof of media homogenization should be presented. According to James Redmond and Robert Trager, authors of Balancing on the Wire: The Art of managing Media Organizations, even if a station presents a story with unique facts and people, the method for presenting that story will most likely be the same as it is anywhere else (8). The content of the news story doesn’t seem to be enough for Redmond and Trager. These authors have found a number of causes for American media homogenization, and their section on homogenization in the American media has inspired the discussion found in this paper.

Before social media is showcased, it’s crucial to notice the changing structure of American business and how it affects the media. In the 20th century, TV stations were able to stand-alone and sustain itself as a business without corporate ownership. Now, most local stations are owned by a parent company that also owns multiple other stations. This has led stations to follow the decision making of their parent company as opposed to completely focusing on the market needs. Michael J. Copps wrote a periodical about Susan Crawford, a past member of the FCC, who was involved in the decision to let Comcast and NBCU merge in January 2011. Crawford was the only one who dissented from allowing the two media giants to merge, because she saw this industry and others becoming more monopolistic (Copps, 21). While this is a matter of Network merges and not local ownership, the results of this situation are similar.

It’s because of media ownership that one can find a number of physical similarities among television stations. In the media industry, as with any business, spending money is hard to justify. A television set is a necessity for a station that wants to hold a regular newscast and so it must buy one that is appeal and long lasting. It’s more affordable for a parent company to purchase a group of sets and send them to its stations instead of each individual station buying their own (Redmond & Trager, 8). Not only will this save the stations money, but it will also make the parent company more recognizable in more places across the country when Americans watch the news.

Nothing has had a greater impact on society today than social media. Social media is the mixer of the American cultural melting pot. Before social media, different regions of the U.S. remained relatively separated culturally; hence the reason why events like the civil war took place. Before the Internet and social media, it was difficult to know much of what was going on outside of the surrounding region. One of the best qualities social media provides is its instantaneous nature and connective qualities.

Social media has created universal communication for everyone in the country and around the world. An article written by Marialuisa Stazio highlights this flow of information through social media. Stazio goes into detail about a cult in Italy that used social media applications to spread their message to a group of people who had never heard of them before. Stazio pens:

“…The use of the social media by the devotees seems suggestive of how the slowly evolving structures and the short-term time-scale events intertwine, in a space and time in which we find the coexistence of forms, practices, and power relations, both established and innovative,” (370).

What is interesting about Stazio’s words is the point she makes about coexistence. This presents the idea that these new world connections through social media exist alongside some of the old world technologies like radio, television, and newspaper start an interesting discussion. Throughout history new technology usually replaces older technology, which, for example, is why telegraphs are no longer commonly used.

Because of widespread communication and ideas, access of cultural information and it’s exchange can occur. Before social media, any curiosity about information had to be fulfilled through a library or by an expert. With applications such as Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram the ability to understand another culture within the U.S. and share the customs is simple. For example, it’s easy to learn about events in New York every day because of access to the New York Times smart phone app.

It’s become evident that the basic boundaries of culture have been completely changed. Large Global Intercultural Interplay occurs constantly around the world as new ideas and customs are shared from one hemisphere to the next (Schachtner, 230). The world is simply no longer restrained by borders and geography like it used to be. For instance, the fact that a student is able to communicate instantly with friends he or she made while studying abroad was never possible before apps like Facebook and Twitter. From consistent interactions, they can learn cultural trends from them even after they return home. This continuous learning creates a yearning for instantaneous information, which broadcast stations can’t provide.

For a local station manager, regardless if they can’t provide the same instantaneous quality of information that social media can, this is an ideal society to be a part of. The ability for the market’s viewers to have access to this communication means that they will most likely be more informed on a variety of world issues. Because of this, the opportunity for an assortment of stories that cover more intellectual topics is allowed. Before this access to information, the majority of people, especially in a local area like rural Iowa, would have only had a high school diploma or less with less opportunity for self learning afterwards.

The fact that people have better access to these things has the U.S. government struggling with traditional forms of media. An article written in The Washington Quarterly highlights the government’s efforts to create a more favorable view of the U.S. around the world. Authors Carol Bellamy and Adam Weinberg write about traditional media’s struggles:

“Traditional, media-driven forms of public diplomacy will be less successful in an age marked by the tremendous growth and decentralization of communication and information technologies. The shift from broadcast to interactive communications has made it more difficult to capture people’s attention and easier for them to more critically evaluate the disjuncture between U.S. values claims and actions. It has also given rise to a general distrust of sanctioned or official news, as people, especially the youth, place greater trust in informal Web logs, Web sites, and other “authentic” media.”

Bellamy and Weinberg have a good point that spotlight a struggle for TV and radio. The rise in social media use has led to less dependence and trust on traditional media. This has caused stations to try and compete with social media in any way possible. Social media is known for containing many shocking, click-bate style stories that attract readers. To compete, TV stations alike all use similar, large-scale stories that will attract big populations instead of localizing issues.

This situation shows the ability for social media to desensitize Americans to traditional media. When Americans are now continually introduced to bold headlines and shocking stories, they begin to subconsciously require more. Dr. Pamela Mickelson, a professor of Business Administration at Morningside College, discussed evidence of this in an interview covering the 2016 presidential election. Mickelson stated that it takes seven to ten repeated slogans for the viewer to have the message stick with them. Around 20 years ago, it was only three times (Mickelson). While Dr. Mickelson never stated that social media was the cause, it’s evident that social media’s instantaneous and flashy qualities have made Americans ask for more out of media.

For these reasons, the media are all pushing towards a similar quality of news that appeals to a culturally homogenized America. It’s important to note that as a station manager, one must understand that this and embrace it. Since all Americans will be familiar with this style and recognize the three major broadcast networks, it’s important for a station to stay consistent with it. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, as long as they are still providing local news, but their broadcast will highly resemble other affiliate stations in other markets. Running a program differently could be successful, but it also comes with a high risk of failure if viewers don’t like the change. The best thing for station managers is the ability to adapt to new cultural trends and changes.

Since it’s evident that these influences have had an impact on American culture and media homogenization, it’s important to bring it back into focus with Redmond and Trager. According to the authors, “The pervasive television news consulting business promotes formulaic approaches involving market research studies to determine what viewers of a particular station want, and then providing the packaging to satisfy those wants,” (7). Redmond and Trager have a good point that connects the cultural changes to the media. Since the media still make choices based off the viewers, they allow the cultural homogenization to control them. Since American’s intake of media has changed, the media is changing as well, but all towards the same changes since the culture has homogenized.

To conclude, within the American culture, media homogenization has occurred because of the American cultural changes from social media. The changes that have occurred come from a variety of influences from social media. One factor gives people access to universal communication to anyone anywhere in the country and world. Broadcast provides national stories and borrows from networks to attempt to compete. Another influence allows Americans instant access to information at any time. Traditional broadcast television isn’t able to continuously give news on TV, but new social media apps have helped them. Finally social media has desensitized Americans from broadcast because of their quality of stories. Broadcast has begun to make grander stories and bold headlines to draw viewers in. Through this all station managers must adapt. If managers refuse to adapt, broadcast will never last through social media’s growing hold on Americans.

Profile RD

“This is Elizabeth, how may I be of service?” she answers attentively into the phone. The line she just spoke, required by corporate standards at the restaurant when answering the phone, but with her warm yet alert tone created an entirely new meaning to the repetitive phrase.

She finishes the phone call and immediately strides out onto the floor of Olive Garden. Her serving section holds full tables of guests enjoying their Italian dinners. A quick stop by each one calms her nervousness. Her self-proclaimed orders are to always be present for the guests that may need assistance from her.

For this young woman, benevolence makes up the essence of who she is, but there’s more to her than kindness alone. A simple observation of Liz in action at work can tell the tone of her story. A bold smile, gentle body language, and friendly laughter floating through the restaurant create a heartfelt melody that tells the tale of Elizabeth Aldana. If you ask her what’s on her mind, though, it probably won’t be about her intricate charm.

Each and every day must be productive for Liz. Rising at the sound of her early alarm, she works relentlessly at home as well taking care of her family and the house as her parents work long hours at their own jobs early in the morning. Being the oldest child has brought a lot of pressure for her, something that she has had to take unwillingly, but has made the best of her situation.

“QUOTE ON Family”

Productivity rarely comes from nowhere, and for Miss Aldana, her motivation comes from the future she envisions for herself. Elizabeth strives for a new life away from her Sioux City home that she has grown so fond.


As Liz describes it, one day she had the urge to travel to Nashville. So that day she bought a plane ticket to the country capital of the world. Upon arrival, her expectations of her dream city were met and taken beyond what she could have imagined. The southern city was all she every hoped for.


Nashville is only an anecdote for the real life ambitions Liz holds. She has a definitive set of goals that she plans on meeting in the near future. Some of these goals are ones that most fall short of when they find obstacles, but not for her. Every task or situation that has arisen in her 22 years of life, keep her fighting towards her vision of a new and exciting future.

“I always try not to half-ass anything. A lot of people are complacent with where they are in life. I want to go above and beyond.”

This personal quality has led her to an advancement at her current job. Olive Garden awards a small number of positions to employees with the drive, determination, and potential to take their skills to the next level as a Service Professionals. Service Professionals are the stepping stone to full-time management positions at any of the restaurants in the country.

“Liz is very hard to describe. She is strong yet light hearted. She is willing to help anyone and truly wants to help, but at the same time, knows her limits. She keeps pushing for things she wants until she gets it. That’s why she is a service professional.”



Hiroshima Book Review

Their stories all start with a single flash of light. John Hersey’s Hiroshima ignites rapidly as the citizen’s lives change instantly from the atomic bomb dropped by the Americans. Set during and immediately after the incident, Hersey follows the lives of six people who were affected by the bomb. This piece of literature is written both with artistic beauty and journalistic truth. Hiroshima is a timeless work that must be read by all.

Hersey’s credits alone have had readers picking up the book for decades. After graduating from Yale, Hersey went on to report for Time Magazine during the second world war. The skills gained as a journalist were unmistakably utilized when these character’s stories are told. During this time, Hersey wrote a book that gained him a Pulitzer Prize.

With the never-ending amount of acclimation that Hersey received, one could still find a reason to dislike his work. This story takes the reader on a real journey through the events of Hiroshima, almost to the point of a history textbook. Someone looking for more of a plot twisting, character love story, might find his work dull at times when his writing becomes more historic in nature. At the same time, it’s his concise journalistic style that keeps people reading through the short five-chapter book.

The fact that this story centers around such a large real life tragedy might drive readers away as well. The events that followed the atomic bomb are atrocious to say the absolute least. Hiroshima focuses on the people during that time, not the event itself. Mass destruction, death, injury, and hysteria are all covered in Hiroshima during the book. For this reason, the American government actually criticized Hersey for creating a story that may sympathize with the Japanese. When a government is speaking out again literature, it’s a sure sign that its controversial nature may enlighten readers to horrific truths.

If you chose to put aside these minor issues, the beauty comes to focus. The lives of the six characters capture something so real and so honest that Hersey pulls forth human compassion from every reader’s soul. These people’s lives weren’t just changed from the bomb; their lives were destroyed. Thousands of people were instantly killed by the bomb in both Hiroshima and Nagasaki, but the real horror is what happened to the people unfortunate enough to survive. There is no coincidence that the longest chapter is the last chapter titled AFTERMATH. Hersey captures the human element with ease by personalizing the event, while remaining somewhat neutral.

His journalistic style drives the story, but his artistic embellishments and intriguing themes keep the reader hooked. Hersey pens a number of sentences that  make the reader contemplate certain moral issues. One sentence, in particular, comes to mind. “There, in the tin factory, in the first moment of the atomic age, a human being was crushed by books,” pens Hersey. After reading this phrase, I sat in silence as I thought of how I could possibly interpret the meaning behind his words. This shows that while he stays honest to his reporting style, he doesn’t forget to continue creating art with his words.

To sum it up, Hiroshima is the epitome of artistic literature that brings a tragedy to light. This event, in particular, is a gray area for Americans. Reading this book would not only give a good perspective on lives destroyed by war, but it gives readers the opportunity to react in a new way. There’s no question why New York University’s School of Journalism listed this book as the number one book of the 20th century. Hiroshima is a book that should be picked up by all faster than the speed of light.


(Attentive, Astute)

During my media management class I spoke with Christina Vazquez because of the hat she was wearing.

I walked up to the front of the class room determined to have a good presentation. As I came around the table and got a few of my classmates, my eye caught two blotches of deep red. Christina and her project partner Sara Alexander were wearing two IHeart Media hats for their own presentation.

“Those are some interesting hats,” I said humorously. “Where did you get them?”

“During our visit to speak with IHeart’s Market Manager!” Christina said with a smile.

She sat there with a smile on her face watching my partner and I calmly. Her posture made it obvious that she was well awake and ready to present her material. Throughout my own presentation she continued to hold her position and a look on her face told that she was processing our information.

Someone is a morning person and it isn’t me.

Profile Sketch

“Would you like soup or salad with that?” asks Pandora, a woman in her 40’s taking an order at the local Olive Garden in Sioux City.

She takes the information given to her, smiles at her guests, and then paces quickly to a computer nearby. She enters in the order and rushes to get every that is needed by her guests.

As Pandora returns to the table with a salad setup, she places plates, salad, soup, and bread down on the table. Meanwhile, she strikes up a cheerful conversation about the first snowfall that arrived the day prior. She leaves the table after telling her table to enjoy the food and steps over to another table to ask about their dining experience.

Behind the scenes, Pandora works even harder than what her guests see. There is never a still moment for a woman who has never had a still past. She organizes dishes, refills the salad bar, and runs food that is ready to be taken to other tables.

Pandora truly is a team player at Olive Garden, but some may question that when they first hear of her past.

College Coffee (revisions)

College Coffee (revisions)


As hundreds of students flow in and out of the HJF Learning Center, the Spoonholder Café is open to serve life-giving coffee. Between classes, a line of tired students and faculty stretches to the front doors, waiting for their caffeine fix. After their coffee is brewed, many students choose to stick around the coffee bar to converse and finish homework.

Diane Nguyen, a senior at Morningside, sat nonchalantly nearby discussing just that. Coffee.

“I drink coffee so I can stay awake and do my capstone paper,” Diane said humorously. The amount of work she needs to accomplish daily can only be fulfilled by a steady flow of coffee. This usually draws her to a local Starbucks, or in this instance The Spoonholder, which serves Starbucks brand coffee.

Nguyen isn’t alone by using the caffeinated super drink as a productivity tool. Even though coffee can do so much more, many students across campus admitted to using coffee to aid in homework completion.

According to Harry Lieberman, a research psychologist, interviewed by CNN, reported that coffee improves just about any mental function.

“When you’re sleep-deprived and you take caffeine,” Lieberman said, “pretty much anything you measure will improve: reaction time, vigilance, attention, logical reasoning — most of the complex functions you associate with intelligence. And most Americans are sleep-deprived most of the time.”

Sophomore Tony Patton knew these affects of coffee well and used them to his advantage recently. “I had a stats tests one morning, so I put four cups of coffee down and went to my test,” said Patton. The results of the test turned out well, which only reinforced his drinking habits.

An article on Our Everyday Life reported some interesting information on caffeine advantages. Author Jen Saunders writes, “John Wiley and Sons in “Human Psychopharmacology” concluded [from a ‘Nutrition Journal’ study] that caffeine gave an advantage. The study indicated that higher levels of the stimulant in coffee showed increased levels of alertness and improved cognitive responses.”

The feeling of Alertness was evident for Nguyen , who just came off a full night without sleep. She finds herself pulling all-nighters occasionally to finish up assignments like research papers. She recalls the night where she stayed up throughout the night just to finish a paper for an English class. In order to get the paper done on time, she saw no other option but to pour a cup of coffee and continue writing into the early hours of the morning.

“I will drink coffee at 3 or 4 in the morning just to stay awake,” Nguyen admits.

As for Patton, he isn’t afraid to make the coffee pot percolate either. “I’ve drank coffee at 1am before just because I wanted it.”

David Elder, an associate professor of writing and rhetoric, found himself in similar situations during grad school, but has words of caution.

“I started drinking a lot of coffee [then] and I was super stressed out. I would wake up every morning with a stress headache. My breakfast would be Ibuprofen and a 12 cup pot of coffee. The detriment to that is stomach issues, I had the worst heartburn constantly. I got acid reflux because of the coffee and I’m sure the Ibuprofen didn’t help.”

Elder carried his coffee habits into his professional career at Morningside, but was determined to become less reliant on it.

“I decided I needed to cut down. I only wanted two to three cups a day, but I made a whole pot in case anyone wanted some. So I was pretty much drinking two pots of coffee a day. I got the KEURIG to help cut down on coffee consumption. I always buy the san Francisco bay pods because they are 97% biodegradable.”

What’s surprising—or maybe not so surprising—is this sort of behavior occurs across the board for college dwellers. Students in particular continue to see coffee as a simple substitution for sleep. Unfortunately, some don’t see this as beneficial to the body. An article written by University of California, Davis Campus graduate Justin Hong, uncovers a big reason why swapping coffee for sleep isn’t really beneficial.

“Consuming caffeine, we [condition] our bodies into batteries that can run longer with less time to charge. However, caffeine is not a substitute for the vital functions that sleep provides. Sleep is important for learning since information in short-term memory is moved to long-term memory during sleep. A lack of sleep also reduces metabolism and energy levels,” writes Hong.

Madison Reed, a freshman at Morningside, has seen some of the side effects that occur when coffee overtakes adequate sleep.

“I get jittery, my heart starts beating faster, I lose focus. As long as I don’t drink too much I’m good, but it can affect me, Reed said. After becoming a regular coffee drinker, she has found it hard to quit. “If I don’t drink coffee I start to get headaches. I drink three or four cups of coffee a day.”

Regardless of the cons, the campus community continues to drink on, finding other good reasons beside the caffeine intake. Elder saw why.

“It’s an easy place to congregate for a few different things. It makes first dates a little bit easier. When you’re working on homework late at night, it’s a good place to meet when you’re working with a group. It’s a good place to meet for faculty. It’s a central location and everyone can get the drink that they want.”

As Diane’s interview comes to a close, she sits sipping her coffee and looking about the bustling learning center. She looks over to different groups of students sitting together and enjoying their drink of choice. Some students sit with professors that are conversing about their research. One table is piled with papers and books, surrounded by a couple students working on a project. As for Diane, she was taking it easy, but enjoyed the scene.

“It’s a casual place to go. People say you learn a lot about someone by what coffee they order,” Nguyen says optimistically. For this reason, the next time I go on a coffee date, I’m ordering tea.







Photo Cred: http://www.processwithturnkey.com/blog/coffee-shop-pos-systems/

Homework Meltdown

The clock reads 4am as Diane Nguyen, a soon-to-be graduate of Morningside College, lays in bed thinking about the climax of her college career.

A number of class assignments flash in her mind, all with deadlines quickly approaching. Her senior capstone paper quickly becomes the focus and a wave of emotion rushes over Nguyen. The capstone paper represents everything that she has been taught in college, and therefore has become a stressful topic. Even the thought of having to meet deadlines for this crucial paper sends Nguyen to tears. All the weight of her college life has come crashing down on her at 4am.

To add to the capstone paper are a number of different jobs, assignments, and relationships that have brought her to this moment. On most typical days, Diane works a shift at Hollister and Residence Life, writes for the Dakota County Star, and juggles a number of different writing intensive classes.

After all the activities were completed from the day previous, Diane laid down and realized the lack of motivation she had to complete this work. The sense of laziness flooded in through Diane, and tears flowed out.




Lost In Translation

For the romantic one, this movie will have you questioning modern day romance, but that’s exactly what director Sofia Coppola intends. Lost In Translation beautifully paints a picture of two humans who are both physically and emotionally lost in their lives. If you can spare a little under two hours in the day, Lost In Translation is worth the watch.
Bob Harris (Bill Murray), a middle-aged actor, agrees to shoot a series of commercials for a whiskey company in Tokyo. The gig has him staying in the city for an extended period of time, and living out of a skyscraper hotel. In the same hotel, Charlotte (Scarlet Johansson) is staying with her husband of three years who is on an assignment as a photographer.
At first, it seems strange that the two characters wanted to come to Tokyo, but the audience soon realizes why. Harris is escaping his unhappy marriage and family regardless of how annoying the whiskey shoots are, while Charlotte is trying to search for meaning in her life.
The two characters randomly meet in the hotel bar on multiple occasions and decide to go on an adventure one night. The two connect on a variety of levels in spite of their slight age gap and different lives.
Bill Murray is known for comedy, so performing in a more serious role would be noticeable for those that know his work. Regardless, his portrayal of this character was balanced perfectly. Murray creates a man who finds romance with Charlotte without the sense of being an utterly unfaithful man to his wife. Even though this film is considered to be drama, it was easy to find humor in many of Murray’s scenes, which added a light note to the somewhat lost feeling this film gave throughout.
Johansson on the other hand was somewhat green with her acting. While she played the part well, it was easy to tell that Murray was a much more seasoned actor on the screen. Johansson played the character too depressingly for my personal taste.
The sense of being lost and finding romance in these situations rings loud throughout the entire film. The characters are in a strange city that makes no sense to them, they both have strange feelings about their marriages, both characters feel lost in their own lives entirely, and yet they manage to find romance between them. It’s a theme that seems to be more truthful to real life than what many modern day romance movies surmount to. This was a huge plus in my book.
The film seemed to drag in certain spots, although my attention was kept in the beginning even when it seemed slow. One reason is because it took a long time to lead up to when the two characters finally start interacting outside of the hotel bar. It is possible this was done to paint a better picture of each of their lives, but this caused me to lose focus occasionally.
One surprising addition to the film was Anna Farris, an actress known for playing bombshell blonde roles in farces. Farris played Kelly, which is a girl that seems to have a strange relationship with Carlotte’s husband. It surprised me that Anna Farris would be casted in a serious film with serious actors, but she played the part well for what it was worth.
To conclude, Lost in Translation is absolutely worth a watch if you are looking for something more real to life. It manages to capture the very real lifes of a middle aged, married man, and a younger woman who has just been married. Because of this, Lost in Translation speaks to a wide range of audiences. I would give this movie 2.9 out of 4 stars.

Election Turmoil

Election Turmoil

So the election is finally here. I made sure I wrote this before the results of the election so it won’t sway my message. Regardless of the results, one thing will always be true about polarized elections like this one.

Everyone thinks they know something.

Everyone thinks they are right.

Everyone has an opinion they think should be broadcasted on Social Media.

Reality tells us that usually these people aren’t educated on the topic, but most won’t admit that about themselves. Sadly, very few actually look into the stances of each candidate on the issues, and an even smaller number of people actually fully know the issue. It’s each individual’s own problem that they chose not to understand something, but what bothers me is that many people still think it’s ok to post their thoughts on social media. To highlight this sort of behavior, I will include some graphics.

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These are all geared against HRC mainly because these are some of the posts that I remembered off the top of my head. This is just a preview of what my Facebook feed has been for the last few months.

These are absolutely disrespectful to HRC and the Democratic party. This is not how politics work, and there is nothing informational or political about these pictures or posts. For instance, when talking about the large picture on the bottom row, would you say that to her face? She is human too, and if you think she’s incapable…


Most of these pictures are false, or are meant to be a joke… a stupid joke that we all know won’t be taken lightly.


Everyone thinks that posting that picture that they think is SO genius will sway someone or get them to start an argument.

Which leads me to another nuisance that is notorious during political seasons. ARGUMENTS ON FACEBOOK ARE TRASHY AND NO ONE EVER WINS.

There should be a law against people posting anything political. Leave the annoying ads to TV and Radio, please and thank you.