Sep
01

Moment of Ben Article Eleven: Where Has the Time Gone?

 

By Benjamin Paley

For the last ten weeks, I have had the honor of working at a summer camp in northern Wisconsin as a lifeguard. I went up one week before the campers came, and helped set up the camp for what would be a wonderful summer.

While I was working at the camp – teaching classes, watching free swim, guarding island swims – , I realized, albeit too late, that the summer was going by like a freight train. That is why, in this week’s installment of Moment of Ben, I would like to talk about time.

I am not going to waste my energy or your time trying to explain the scientific reason for time. That would just be counterproductive. What I am going to do is attempt to give you a basic understanding of time and its connection to the human mind.

Over the years, there have been many discussions amongst philosophers regarding the connection between physical time (time that clocks keep) and psychological time (our awareness of physical time). The best connection they came up with has a tremendous connection to our own lives. They said that our sense of time is impacted the most by our personal psychological clock.

Think about it.

When we are involved in an activity that we enjoy doing, time goes by a lot quicker. On the other hand, if we are involved in an activity that we do not enjoy doing, time goes by a lot slower. This phenomenon occurs because our psychological clock is less concerned about time when we are busy.  When we are bored, we are more concerned with time and our brain focuses more on small time intervals making time go by slower.

I’m sure you are wondering where I am going with this.

I’ll tell you.

College is supposed to be some of the best years of our lives. The problem is it only lasts four years. Therefore, I am going to go Latin on you: Carpe Diem – seize the day.

Wishing everyone a great fall semester.

Apr
16

Miami International Film Festival

by Benjamin Paley

Wednesday March 6, 2013 was like any other day in Miami, Florida – the sun was shining, and the streets were bustling with people -, but one thing set this day apart from any other Wednesday: The Miami International Film was in town, and several of the writers of featured films were being interviewed.

The interviews were held at the Standard Hotel and Spa in Miami, Florida. The calm and soothing nature of the interior of the hotel made it the perfect location for an interview session with reporters and film makers – along with an assortment of croissants, and hot coffee.  The Broward College Media Club had the opportunity to be at this event, and interview three featured film makers:  Jeanine Meerapfel, Stefan Haupt, and Jokes Yanes.

Jeanine Meerapfel directed a film called “My German friend,” a love story about two people affected by World War II; but who do not know about the other’s past.  When the man finds out that he is the son of a Nazi, he runs away in order to avoid telling the girl he loves where he is from. The girl, on the other hand, is the daughter of Jewish parents who ran away to Argentina before the war, to avoid being captured by the Nazis.

When asked why Ms. Meerapfel decided to tell this story, she replied that she “wondered why no one told this story.” She also said that she enjoys Romantic – Political combinations – and this film is truly a combination of those two subjects.

The choice of cast in the film was chosen so that the people who play the roles could really get into them.  Celeste Cid, who is from Argentina, is the actress who played the young Jewish girl. Max Riemelt, who is a new German actor, played the son of a Nazi.

The film was shot in various locations in both Argentina and Germany in order to give the film the atmosphere it needed to be a success.

Along with the Miami International Film Festival, “My German Friend” will also be making debuts at other film festivals: Boston and Belgium, for example.

Stefan Haupt directed a film called “Segrada,” the story of how a cathedral by the same name was built. The film is a documentary with a few things added for dramatic effect, such as a musician. Throughout his life, Mr. Haupt saw several cathedrals and one day wondered: How are they made? That is when the idea hit him: make a film about how a cathedral is made. Segrada receives over 3 million visitors a year.

The last film The Broward College Media Club had the opportunity to interview was made by Jokes Yanes. Mr. Yanes was born and raised in Miami. After making several music videos, he decided to make a film about life in Miami. The story Mr. Yanes decided to film: a tale about the lives of three Miami natives who try to find their way. According to Mr. Yanes, the film is supposed to show the true Miami because “Miami doesn’t get represented on film, and when it is represented, it isn’t the true Miami” – that is the goal of Eenie Meenie Miney Moe.

 

 

Apr
13

Moment of Ben Music Edition

 

by Benjamin Paley

I am going to be a bit nostalgic in this week’s Moment of Ben.  Instead of my usual quirky jokes and unusual fun facts, I am going to journey deep into the rich history of – wait for it – music from the 90s.  That’s right everyone, the 9os. The same 90s when Bill Clinton was President of the United States; the same 90s when the Cold War ended; and the same 90s when the music industry really took off and record sales were off the charts.

I am going to start my examination of the 90’s music with the year 1992 – the year I was born.  It was at this time that a revolutionary change in radio playlists took place. Instead of the usual sexy lyrics that went along to techno music, a new form of rock was evolving where artists wrote lyrics that tuned into the daily struggle of teenagers. Unfortunately, a lot of this music was very negative.  As a result of all of this negative music that was dominating radio waves, a new form of rock known as “happy rock” emerged – artists such as Hootie and the Blowfish, Sister Hazel, and The Bodeans dominated the “happy rock” genre.

Now that you know some information about music from the 90s, I am going to focus on a popular song by Sister Hazel: “All For You”.  As I mentioned before, Sister Hazel was part of the rock revolution known as “happy rock.”  “All For You” was written in 1997 and instantly became a success, hitting #11 on the Billboard Hot 100. The song is about a man who is confused about a relationship he is in. After trying to figure out what to do with his troubled relationship, he realizes he should stay with her.

Due to copyright laws, I can not post the lyrics to the song on this website. Fortunately, there are plenty of sites that have the lyrics.  Take some time to Google the song “All For You” by Sister Hazel, and read through and figure out the meaning to the lyrics; feel free to comment on what you believe the lyrics mean.

 

Apr
07

Opposite Day

by Benjamin Paley

Even though I have been on this fine planet for twenty years, it has never once occurred to me that there could be an opposite day. Then, while sitting on the train, my brother brought the idea to my attention after he quoted an episode from the classic children’s show SpongeBob Square Pants. My brother and I started exchanging ideas of what we would say to each other if it was opposite day; the results were priceless.

Before we started conversing in opposite, my brother and I discussed the rules of opposite day. First of all, yes means no and no means yes. In short, every word that has an opposite has the opposite meaning on opposite day. This sounds simple right, well it gets complicated. As we started our opposite conversation, we started to realize some of the complications we were encountering.

First of all, we were having difficulty responding in a timely fashion to an opposite statement. After one of us said a statement, it took the other some time to figure out what the other said, translate the opposite statement into a regular statement, figure out the proper response, and then translate the response into opposite.

Not only did we mess up what we were trying to say, but we also got very confused. Plus, we each made it difficult on the other by saying that they said the opposite of what they were trying to say.

We also made our opposite conversation very complicated by saying, for example, “I don’t not love you,” which in opposite terms means “I hate you.” As you can see, the conversations that can arise on opposite day can become very complicated. Which is when my brother and I realized why there is no such thing as opposite day, and we decided to leave it at that.

 

 

 

Mar
24

Enchanted April Critique

by Benjamin Paley

On the evening of March, 21 2013, along with other members of the college community, I saw a production of Enchanted April. Upon entering the small theater, I immediately felt a connection with the simple, yet beautiful, proscenium stage that stood in front of me. On the stage, there were two tables juxtaposed to each other – each with two chairs and a coat rack -, and a bench in the middle of the stage. While sitting waiting for the performance to begin, I wasn’t sure what I was expecting from the performance. I usually like to see plays that are performed by experienced actors; so I wasn’t too excited about the play. At approximately eight o’clock, the director got on the stage and explained to the audience what we were about to see. After reminding us that cell phone use was prohibited in the theater, a flash of lightening and the sound of thunder sent us into the world of the play.

The flash of lighting that sent the director off of the stage sent the audience into the world of the play. Enchanted April is a domestic play that centers on the lives of four women who are not happy with their married lives. In order to escape their lives for a while, the ladies decide to travel to Italy to stay at a castle known as San Salvatore. As a member of the audience, I could tell the difference between the attitude of the ladies lives in act one, verses their attitudes in act two. In act one, the ladies are more gloom – even Lotty acts different in act two -, while in act two, the ladies are more upfront about their feelings. One example of this is that Rose is more serious in acts one – she initially turns down the idea to go to Italy, insisting that she is alright -, but as act two progress, one can see the change of mood in Rose. There is one point in act two where we see Rose laugh.

Another extreme example of change in the attitude of the characters is with Mrs. Graves – who initially is very stubborn in her ways, and insistent that things happen in a certain order. In the first act, Mrs. Graves tells Lotty and Rose at their first meeting that she likes to have her meals at specific times of the day and does not enjoy modern culture. Once Mrs. Graves arrives at San Salvatore, her attitude begins to change – especially when she meets Mr. Wilding who gives her some nuts, which Mrs. Graves really enjoys.

On a more technical level, the difference between act one and act two can also be seen in the way the lights and sounds are used. In act one, more dark lights are used and the sound of rain can constantly be heard in the back. In act two, on the other hand, vivacious colors are used and the sound of birds and calm winds can be heard in the back.  The scenery of act one also differs from the scenery of act two. The scenery of act one is very basic and dark, while the scenery of act two is much more lively and big.

The structure of Enchanted April is episodic. The entire issue happens during the play. Before the story begins, the characters do not know each other, and they definitely do not know about San Salvatore. Since the castle is introduced early on in the play, we, as an audience, know that this will be at the center of the play. The entire structure of Enchanted April focusses on one question: Will the ladies have an enjoyable time at San Salvatore? Definitely, by the end of the play, each of the four main ladies has something to enjoy about the castle. Even though Lady Caroline is cheated on by Fredrick, she finds enjoyment in walking through the garden with Mr. Wilding, enjoying the flowers.

The costumes used in the performance also tell an important aspect of the story. In act on, the costumes used are very serious, while in act two the costumes are more free and alive. This point goes back to the idea that the director wants the audience to see the difference in the ladies between act one and act two.

Putting all of this together, I came to the conclusion that the director used heightened realism as her directorial style. Although most of the play uses realism, such as the tea coming out of the tea pot, there are some moments in the play where the director uses a “certain creative license.”  An example would be the sound of the piano. In a play where naturalism is used, the audience would have to see the piano and not just hear it. Another example is the sounds heard throughout the play, such as the birds. If the play were to use naturalism, then we, as the audience, would have to see real birds on the stage making noise.

In the end, the director, through the use of costumes, lighting and sound, and location, definitely got her message across to the audience. The use of lighting definitely left the audience members thinking about how Lonely and miserable these ladies must be. It also left the audience with the impression that something important was going to happen, because every time the ladies added another member to their group, the sound of thunder is heard. Something important does happen at the end of the play that has an effect on all four ladies in the group.

Seeing Enchanted April was definitely worth my while. It was enjoyable; although I think the brief nudity served absolutely no purpose to the spine and therefore was not needed in the play.  Other than that, I had a few laughs and even almost cried during the performance. The director’s use of style and other elements of theatre made the performance more meaningful to me and possibly the entire audience. After the play, some of my fellow classmates hung out with me and discussed what they thought of the performance. I definitely recommend Enchanted April to any student who would enjoy a fun night at the theater. Although in the beginning I thought I was going to be disappointed by the play because it was a school play, I was, to my amazement, very impressed with the actors, and those who worked back stage. My prediction was wrong, and I hope to see more school productions in the future because not only are they cheaper than regular theater, but, in many ways, are better.

 

Feb
08

Moment of Ben Article Eight: My Dog’s Facebook Page

By Benjamin Paley

Please click on the link to see my dog, Samson, and his very own Facebook page.

Moment of Ben Article Eight

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Feb
01

Moment of Ben Article Seven: New Goals for a New Semester

 

 

By Benjamin Paley

 

Even though we are already four weeks into the new semester, I feel compelled to share some of the most popular new semester goals with you.
Ace all of your classes
: At first this seems like the perfect goal.  It will give you the drive to do the required readings, homework assignments, and study for exams. There is just one little problem with this goal: over doing it. That’s right. You can overdo it trying to get A’s in all of your classes. I won’t get into the specifics, but I will say that life will pass you by, and you will miss out on some crazy adventures.Make new friends: A new semester is a great time to start making new friends. Instead of just sitting in class waiting for the instructor to show up, try starting a conversation with the person sitting right next to you. The conversation might lead you down a path you never dreamt of.

Try a new class: Most of the classes you will take are required classes, but every other semester try to take a class you never saw yourself taking. This semester, for example, I am taking a chemistry class. I am the only journalism major in a class with 25 nursing majors; but I am doing just fine in the class, and enjoying it. See what exciting class you can sign up for.

I’m sure that all of us, including myself, have tried to start a new semester goal, but have failed to finish it. In fact, some of us are able to start a new goal, get very good at it, and then stop for some reason. I hope that this article will allow you to think about what you want to be able to accomplish this semester, and finish that goal. If you would like to share your goal, please comment on this article. At the end of the semester, I will comment on your goal, and ask if you were successful or not.

 

Nov
29

Moment of Ben Article Six: A Day Without Technology

By Benjamin Paley

Let’s face it, where would we be without technology. I can tell you: we would be alright. That’s right. Even though we have been relying on technology for most of our lives, our parents, and definitely our grandparents, remember what life was like without advanced technology. My brother just recently purchased an IPad, and he is the happiest kid in the world. Aside from his new IPad, my brother also has an IPhone, a laptop, a television, and a PlayStation 3. I am going to hypothetically take away all of his technology for one day, and see what happens. Please remember that this is my interpretation of what would happen, so the results may be right on target, or very off target.

6:45 AM: Wake up time. My brother doesn’t use technology during this part of the day. He is mainly focused on getting ready for school. If he has time, he will go to his computer.

Not today, though. Today, he has to find something else to do. My brother decides to read a book. He picks up his copy of the latest Diary of a Wimpy Kid novel, and proceeds to read. He reads a few pages, and then it is time for him to go to school.

 

8:00 AM to 3:00 PM: Since I have no control over what my brother does in school, this part of the day will not be included in the test.

4:00 PM to whenever my brother decides to go to sleep: This will be the hardest part of the day for my brother. On a normal day, my brother would immediately go to his computer and start doing his homework. After his homework, he would watch some television and Skype with friends.

Today, my brother has to figure out how to do his homework by hand. I hope that he got printed copies of all his homework, because he could have printed out his homework at school – although he will tell me that he can’t print out his homework at school. After having to handwrite his homework he would normally type – he has some homework that he normally hand writes, including workbooks – my brother forgets that his television is not in his room. My brother proceeds to throw a tantrum and starts cursing at me because he has had it with my little test.  My brother calms down, and does what he usually does after throwing a tantrum: nap. Thank heaven he sleeps until dinner. After he finishes his dinner, my brother goes back upstairs, and remembers the amazing book he had read earlier. He continues reading the book until he finishes at around 10:00 PM, when he goes to sleep.

 

End Results: Once again, remember that this is only a hypothetical situation, and that this test never actually happened. It is just how I think the day would go. After the test is over, I looked over the results and discovered that even though my brother threw a huge tantrum in the middle, he still managed to survive the day. The only reason he threw the tantrum was because he was so used to technology, that he thought he couldn’t get through the day. He proved himself wrong in the end. I also realized that some other variables have to be considered including: age, normal routine, sex, health etc. If I had done this test on a 27 year old female with above average health, the results would have been different.

 

 

 

 

Nov
15

Moment of Ben Article Five: First Time Part Two

In last week’s installment of Moment of Ben, I began telling you about some of the important first times of our lives. This week’s Moment of Ben will be a continuation of last week’s subject.

First Friend:

Whether it was on the playground, in the classroom, or in the comfort of your own home, you had to have that magical experience where you meet your very first friend. Let’s face it, without friends our lives would be a complete mess. Who else would you go to if you were having problems in your family? You definitely wouldn’t go to a family member – that would be a disaster. Our friends help us through tough times, and they know that you would help them in their tough times. Friends are also there for us when we have absolutely nothing to do (Let’s face it, there are other things you could be doing, but you decided not to do those things) and we need somebody to hang out with.

First Crush:

I’m sure that you all, whether you like it or not, remember your first crush. Every time that person would walk into the room, you would drop everything else you were doing just to stare at your crush. For some people, their first crush was way out of their league- such as a supermodel, television star, or someone who is older then you. For others, their first crush was right in their league – a classmate or a friend’s sibling. Whatever the reason, your first crush gave you feelings that you have never felt before.

First Date:

As time went on, you either got the courage to ask your first crush out on a date, or you found someone else to go on a date with. The first date is always a very special occasion. It is a time when you can put on your best charm to impress someone you really like. Many people get nervous during their first date – sweat, and some people do not know how to act on a date – chewing with their mouth open. The good news: your first date is a learning experience. You ill probably not marry your first date.

First day in college:

It’s finally here, you’ve waited your whole life, but the wait is over. It is time to go off to college. The highlight of the first year: the first day. You walk to your classes with a big smile on your face that everyone is staring at. Most of the time nothing exciting happens during the first day. You go to class, get some assignments, and go back to your dorm. Seems like a normal day of school, right? Well, for many people, it is their first day of freedom; their first day to be themselves in a new environment.

First time voting:

Now it is your turn. Tell us about your first voting experience. Tell us what you felt, and how you reacted to the fact that your vote counts.

Nov
09

“Blue Plate Special”

Last weekend on a Thursday I saw the Broward College school play. It was super fun and exciting to watch. “Blue Plate Special” made me laugh from beginning to end. There was singing and dancing in this particular production. The show had six different characters, three were girls and three were boys. The story begins with Della as the main character who owns a diner called “Blue Plate Special” in the mountains of Tennessee. She has a husband named Ricky who really is second husband. The real husband is a preacher, Larry whom just got back from hiding for some serious trouble. The next character is Ramona, who is Della’s daughter and is a singing star like the next character Connie Sueday. Connie is a retired singer who just got out of prison for theft. Ramona is the recent country singer who is now unhappy with the lifestyle and wants to go back home and start a new life over again. She meets the last character Ronnie Frank who she knew since her younger years as a teenager. Lastly she has a liitle boy who lives with Della full time. His name is Little Ricky, and he is a trouble maker who acts as a devil child in distress all the time. A lot of drama occurs when Connie Sue and Ramona fight over their talents and jelish rages of each other, Little Ricky physically hurts Ricky Jim and Ronnie Frank for attention and Della falls asleep during every incident that happens in the play. Preacher Larry tries to tell Della the truth about himself but fails untill the end of the show, and ends up winning her back into his life. Ronnie Frank wins over Ramona, and Ramona wins over Connie Sue and they become best friends; Connie ends up with Ricky Jim and they get married. Ronnie and Ramona get married as well along with Little Ricky, and Della stays with Larry. At first however, the diner is in danger because of a poisoned soup. It ends up becoming so poisonous that everyone has to leave the mountain in order to survive. Della at first is depressed but then accepts it in the end. The most shocking thing though about the situation is that the soup is what made Little Ricky so crazy and mad. In the end, they all live geat lives and cherish memories with each other from time to time.

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