Sunday, January 25, 2009

Bleak House

Have you heard the expression "I thank you a thousand times" or "I apologize a thousand times"?

A couple years ago a friend and old man used that phrase when he thanked me for something I did for him.  When he said those words, it occurred to me that I'd never before heard a thank you delivered that way.  His words stuck with me.

My wife and I watched BBC's 2005 miniseries of Charles Dickens' "Bleak House".   There were 15 episodes around 35 minutes each.  I enjoyed the series immensely; my attention was riveted to the screen.  

While watching the episodes, I heard characters use the "thousand times" phrase twice, once for a thank you and the other, an apology. These three are the only times I've heard sentiments phrased that way.

Another unique feature throughout the series was the way light was used on the faces of the characters.  Scene background was often dark and many times characters faces were partially shadowed just like on the DVD cover above. This made the faces, voices, and words the main focus.

Finally, there was agape love throughout and no scenes of sex and nudity.  The two young women characters were Esther Summerson and Ada Clare who were plain looking, but their manners, speech, attitudes, kindness, and goodwill made them extremely beautiful women and highly sought by the men around them.  I could write a thousand words more about Charles Dickens' Bleak House, but this might be enough to arouse your interest to view the classic story. 

Have a good week!

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Figuring Out a Future

I've devised a way to help teenagers decide their dream job when they grow up. 

The idea is original.  I've never heard anyone else express this approach. This thought process might be useful to high school students, college students, and parents who give guidance to children about ways to decide and prepare for a profession.

Here is the idea, feel free to use it:

After watching an enjoyable movie, concentrate on viewing the credits at the end. As the film scrolls through the acknowledgments, read all the job titles of those who participated.  The titles will range from, producers, directors, screenwriters, musicians, camera crews, costume designer, and many more. Then visualize what you see yourself doing had you been a part of the movie's creation.  When you think about it, there will likely be thoughts about your current skill set or personal interests. You'll probably think about how performance in school indicates suitability for a certain job. Don't let that thought limit your dream, however.

Now think about the dream role you'd love to have had in the movie. The role may not match your current skills at all.  For example, you might love history or science in school, but the music score in the movie really resonated with you. Imagine yourself writing the music or playing an instrument in the score which accompanied the visuals of the movie.

On the other hand, you might enjoy literature or reading.  Imagine yourself writing the story of the movie or developing the screenplay.

Consider all jobs associated with the movie and imagine the role each played to produce the final result. Do this every time you watch a movie where credits are shown. Don't leave the theater early or walk away from the TV until you've looked at the credits.

As you wonder about the professions, research the expertise needed to perform those jobs. Construct a plan to acquire those skills and get close to people who will offer encouragement for whatever job you pursue. Make lofty goals for yourself and go after your final plan with passion.

The film-credit review approach is better than looking at a job list of the best and worst jobs as shown in the graphic below from a recent article in the Wall Street Journal. 

When a good movie is watched followed by viewing the job titles, one can see a wonderful outcome when the skills and efforts of many are combined.  Prepare to become a professional in any job you decide to undertake.

Have a good week! 

(PS: Sarah, thank you for your comment.)


Sunday, January 11, 2009

Value of Blogs

Blogs can help us learn new facts, see different points of view, and gain insight into unknown places.  Here is one good example. The link below will take you to the picture above for a tour of a nuclear-powered aircraft carrier, the USS John C. Stennis.  Click on the link below, then scroll down.   The blogger will surely enlighten you with a tour of this ship. There are over 130 pictures and 5 short videos (10-15 seconds each). When you reach the photo of two green mints on a pillow, click on the MP3 link to hear the sound inside the sleeping quarters.

Continue the tour and see all the workings of this carrier and meet the men and women who cause the ship to function.

I was amazed by all that can be seen here.

Click here to open the link, then scroll down to start the tour.

Have a good week!

Sunday, January 04, 2009

Winston-Salem, North Carolina

My informal poll of adults and high school students found that almost nobody knew the origin of the name "Winston" in the city name of Winston-Salem. The people I asked reside in the city or county of this named city and many are life-long residents.  I know it's not a big deal and few people give it any thought.  It makes no difference to people and has no effect on daily life. It's trivia.

For the inquisitive mind the answer about the name goes back to the Revolutionary War. Joseph Winston grew up in Wilkes and Surry Counties of North Carolina.  He became a leader of militiamen in battles at Moore's Creek Bridge, King's Mountain, and Guilford Courthouse. A monument and statue of Colonel Joseph Winston is located at the Guilford Courthouse National Military Park near Greensboro. The photo below is the monument.

Around 1850 the town that grew next to Salem was named Winston after Colonel Joseph Winston.  In 1913 the towns of Winston and Salem joined and became Winston-Salem.

Have a good week.