My name is Katie Baskett, and I am an Ambassador for the College of Arts & Sciences. I am spending this spring in Caen, France taking classes at the Univesity's Carré International (language & culture center for international students). I've spent the last few days exploring my surroundings, and have come to find that the public transportation system is completely awesome and easy to navigate - I don't know why anyone owns a car. It definitely facilitates my wandering around this medieval town. This place is full of beauty and charm, not to mention history! I live with a host family, and I can already tell that my interactions with them are improving my french. My host mom is from Brazil so they actually speak portugese around the house as well. Kind of confusing for me but very cool. Classes start next week - will post again soon!
I am sharing this story not because I want all of us Chocoholics out there to throw down our candy bars or refrain from that cup of hot chocolate in retaliation of this winter weather, but because being an informed consumer is the first step in letting producers know what is important to us (if indeed that it is important to you). I have a healthy addiction to dark chocolate myself, so if you take the cocoa % as an indicator of one's level of participation in this child labor system then I am as guilty as they come unfortunately. So like i said, the goal is not to feel bad but rather, to feel aware. Respond in whatever way you feel fit.
I was looking through some Wired Campus articles from The Chronicle of Higher Education, and I found this one about some resources where you can learn computer programming. I have always wanted to learn more about computers, programming, web design, etc. Last Christmas break I learned HTML and CSS, so this year I think I'm going to delve into Python. I just signed up for the free Stanford University online course on Computer Science, and also the one for Cryptography. I'm pretty excited to start learning about these topics. Anyone wanna join me?
Salut tout le monde! My ever-exciting blog continues with one of my favorite aspects of travelling to and visiting a big city: street performances! In places like London and Paris (and even places like New York and Chicago!,) street performances can be quite excellent. I say, if you enjoy the show, don't hesitate to donate a little and help the musicians along. I'd like to add that, what I find really cool about a lot of street performances that I've seen in Paris, many of them aren't even bothered by the police. Or, sometimes when they are drawing particularly large crowds as some dancers often do, the police will watch with crowd, allowing the performers to finish before they break the crowd up and shoo the performers away. So go! Enjoy the talents that people are sharing with the world!
A museum I visited in London called the Tate Modern had a series of portraits in the “States of Flux” exhibit, created by Cindy Sherman. This series stood out to me among the other pieces of art, and I thought I’d share it with all of you. This work of art is a series of portrait, black and white photographs, in which Cindy Sherman is the subject in each image. However, it seems like the subject of each image are different people. Sherman changes her makeup and facial expression in each portrait so much that each portrait looks like people of different ages and gender.
According to the “cindysherman” website, her biography says, that or a work of art to be considered a portrait, the artist must have intent to portray a specific, actual person. This can be communicated through such techniques as naming a specific person in the title of the work or creating an image in which the physical likeness leads to an emotional individuality unique to a specific person. While these criteria are not the only ways of connoting a portrait, they are just two examples of how Sherman carefully communicates to the viewer that these works are not meant to depict Cindy Sherman the person. By titling each of the photographs "Untitled", as well as numbering them, Sherman depersonalizes the images.
I went to London, England; as some of you may already know.
I’m speaking in past tense, since I was not able to create blogs in London when I was actually there. This is because they are behind America when it comes to most technologies by 2 years approximately, as said from experience of using their Wi-Fi and being told by their advertising agencies.
Anyhow, I studied in the UK so that I could expand my knowledge in global advertising, and purely just to use my passport, finally for the first time in my life. London was the perfect place to go, to be immersed into the world of advertising and business; being home to many award winning advertising agencies such as DDB (having clients such as Volkswagen, Harvey Nichols, Marmite; also claimed to be the start of creative advertising), and McCann Erickson (whom are creating all work for the upcoming Olympics campaign). However, London was not the best place to travel for a first experience of being out of the country, only because it’s really not that different or shocking, aside from the accents and driving on the wrong side of the road.
Chinese New Year (Spring Festival) is just around the corner (Jan.23), and it always reminds me of the childhood I spent with my grandparents in Wenzhou, China. I still vividly remember those experiences. Weeks before New Year, Grandma would start cleaning the house. Grandpa would get the red lanterns out from the attic and hang them in front of our house. He would put red paper cuttings of the word 福fu (meaning blessing or good fortune) upside down on our doors, signaling that it will come in our house. Most importantly, school would be out for over a month (that was the best part!). I remember going to school from 7:45 to 5 or 6 PM from Monday to Friday, with extra study sessions on Saturdays. My teacher said that we couldn’t watch TV at home (I did anyways), and made us copy pages of Chinese characters every day.
I (as well as many many many others) have began participating in the 365 Project this year. It is a great opportunity to grow as a photographer as it encourages you to keep your "lens" up all the time and see the world in a different way. It also forces you to be resourceful an take creative pictures in less "photogenic" situations. you can join the website dedicated to the project at : http://365project.org/ or just do it on your own accord! the important thing is to keep with it even if you have to whip out the smartphone!
I’d like to point your attention to the newest installment of the Dean’s Channel where I spoke with statistics professors Arne Bathke and Arny Stromberg. In 2011, UK opened its first Applied Statistics Lab (ASL), with the help of the Office of the Vice President for Research, several UK college deans, and infrastructure grants such as the university's recent Clinical and Translational Science Award (CTSA), UK statisticians in the College of Arts & Sciences' Department of Statistics, and the College of Public Health's Department of Biostatistics.
The main objectives of this venture are to provide improved statistical services to groups preparing grant proposals, direct faculty involvement from the Departments of Statistics and Biostatistics for study design and data analysis throughout UK, foster collaborative research between scholars who develop quantitative methodology and those who use such methodology in their work, and to become a resource which may be referenced in institutional support for larger grants, in addition to direct statistical support typically included in such grants.