For the past year, my roommate has been volunteering at I Have a Dream of Asheville, an organization that offers tutoring and mentoring to children from low-income households.  Thanks to her efforts, on Saturday the "Dreamers" and the Bulldogs came together in an epic dodgeball tournament.  I stopped by to take some pictures and enjoy the lively atmosphere.  Campus clubs and organizations joined the tournament to build camaraderie, and sports teams joined forces to get their adrenaline pumping.  Every team had one or more students from I Have a Dream, and participants were encouraged to donate books to the kids.  Having never before been to a dodgeball tournament (the last time I experienced this sport was in elementary school), I wasn't sure what to expect. To be honest, I had prepared myself for chaos, with so many people running around and chucking balls at one another.  Instead, I found that the event was extremely well-organized, and the atmosphere full of excitement and energy.  Although I did not sign up to play on a team, I had a great time watching the players in action and getting to know some of the Dreamers.  I had a pretty tough time taking action shots with my camera, but I was sure to take as many pictures as I could so I would have some to share with you.  I had an awesome time.  If I were going to be here next year, I would definitely organize a team and get in on the action!!

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NM 11th Annual Juried Student Exhibition

Last Friday (April 6), I stopped by Highsmith Gallery to enjoy the reception for the opening of the New Media department's 10th Annual Juried Student Exhibition.   I went there last year and had such a great time that I could hardly wait to go back this year.  Last year, the show was hosted by the Multimedia Arts and Sciences department, which has since changed its name to the New Media department and upgraded its website.  Just like last year, this year there were a lot of really interesting and interactive pieces.  I enjoyed playing around with this piece, called "intra," which allows users to connect to each other as part of a sort of electric circuit.  When we stood barefoot on the metal plates, we powered various electronics around the gallery.

Artists: David Allen, Kevin Boggs, Drew Glover, and Hannah Trussler.  "While most digital  media connects people across distances, intra creates an immersive environment that promotes direct interaction.  Each person stands barefoot on a metal plate and adjusts the environment by touching adjacent smaller pads.  When all stations are occupied, the users become part of the same circuit with a single current connecting them all."

I also really enjoyed this piece, which reacted to the movements my fingers made across a piece of paper, and displayed them on a computer screen.  I have no idea how this piece worked, but I had a lot of fun with it!

Last year, my friend designed the poster for the show and had three pieces featured. This year, he had more work on display. His piece, called "Soundstage" allows one to experience simultaneously any number of sound clips submitted from other users from anywhere in the world.  He told me that we hear many things, but only choose to focus on a few sounds (two or three), and the rest become some kind of white noise. "Soundstage" mimics this phenomenon.  Cool, right?  He also had an interactive game called "Snowflakes" but I didn't get a picture.

Here are more pictures from the rest of the show.  The exhibit closes today.  I hope you had a chance to experience the creativity of our students in the New Media department over the past week!

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China Through Films

With the semester winding down, and my time at UNC Asheville coming to a close, I thought it might be fun to tell you a bit about some of the classes I am taking this semester, as well as some of those that I have taken over the past few years.  One of my favorite classes at UNC Asheville is called China Through Films, and although it is only two semesters "old," is extremely popular among students of all departments.  I chose the class because it counts towards my Asian Studies minor, and also because I am interested in learning more about Chinese cinema.  Prior to taking this course, I had seen few Chinese movies; in fact, the only one that I can remember clearly (because my family has seen it many times) is The Road Home, directed by Zhang Yimou, known for To Live, House of Flying Daggers, and Not One Less.  

Because I have a rather limited knowledge of Chinese film, I began the course (Monday nights, 6 pm) unsure of what to expect.  Luckily, our professor provided articles for us to read or assigned essays from a book on Chinese cinema, all of which contributed in some way to my understanding of either the film we were watching or the genre in which it was categorized.  At the beginning of the semester, I was also unsure of myself as a student in a film class.  As it was my first time taking a film class, I did not know how to look at a film objectively, how to describe the composition of various shots, or even how to discuss filming techniques.  I hoped that the technical language of the course would not be too difficult for me to comprehend, and luckily, our professor has worked hard to ensure that the course is easily accessible to people like me.  On the first day of class, she spent time going over these various techniques and providing examples throughout the various stages of Chinese cinema to illustrate each.

The course itself is divided into three units to focus on mainland China, Hong Kong, and Taiwan.  We have been able to witness a variety of genres from each, and each film has moved chronologically to the present, allowing us to experience the evolution of Chinese film.  We meet only once a week.  During this time, we watch a movie and in the remaining time, participate in student-led discussions.  These discussions allow us to share our thoughts on each film with the rest of the class, ask questions, and draw comparisons between movies.  Although they are led by groups of two or three students, our professor does take time to interject where possible to provide her opinion or some information crucial to our understanding of the movie or theme which we are discussing.  This format, although one which I am not entirely comfortable (I prefer lectures to group discussion), has allowed me to consider the subject matter of the films we watch on deeper levels, and to understand them in new ways.  

I have enjoyed every film we have watched so far, but if I had to choose my favorite films, they would be In the Mood for Love, Kung Fu Hustle, Not One Less, and Running out of Time. I highly recommend watching each one, and if you're thinking about coming to UNC Asheville, signing up for the course.  

PS: This is the blog's 100th post.  Thank you to everyone who's been reading!  

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Graduation Countdown

Reality check--graduation is on May 5, that's almost one month from now. According to the official countdown, 30 days is the exact number. 30 days, and that's including weekends and exam days.  This is a number that is as daunting as it is exciting.  It will be an awesome experience to gather with the senior class for the last time to receive our diplomas, bid farewell to UNC Asheville and each other, and begin a new chapter of our lives.  On the other hand, after May 5, we will no longer be UNC Asheville students, a bittersweet reality that we will bear with us s we join the ranks of the alumni.  Yesterday, I picked up my cap, gown, and tassel from the school bookstore, and got an e-mail detailing the activities for seniors in the coming weeks.  Tomorrow we will have the 29 Days 'til Commencement Senior Lunch on the Quad.  In previous years, I have wondered what this cook out was all about, and now I finally get to experience it for myself.  If I can remember to bring my camera tomorrow, I'll take some pictures to share.  Other senior events in the past few weeks have included Senior Movie Night  (classic Ferris Bueller's Day Off at the Asheville Pizza & Brewing Co.) and Grad Fair, which was a one-spot stop for everything related to graduation and post-grad events.  I've included the final senior agenda below in case you're interested in getting a greater look at what we seniors have been up to as we prepare to say goodbye to UNC Asheville.

Senior Class Events


Grad Fair for May 2012 Gradutating Seniors

Mark your calendar for Tuesday, March 20, because Grad Fair is an event you don't want to miss.
Grad Fair is an all-in-one event where graduating seniors receive their cap and gown, order commencement invitations, shop for a class ring, receive career advice, learn about services provided by the Alumni Association and even take a break to enjoy a snack.
Because Grad Fair is the all-in-one stop for graduating seniors, anyone planning to graduate in May 2012 is highly encouraged to attend. Grad Fair will begin at 10 a.m. and will go until 5 p.m. on Tuesday, March 20.
Grad Fair will be held in Room 417 of the Sherrill Center in conjunction with the UNC Asheville Career Center's Internship & Job Fair. Visit the Senior Class webpage for more information on these important events.
Grad Fair
Tuesday, March 20
10 a.m. - 5 p.m.
Room 417, Sherrill Center

Senior Movie NightFerris Bueller's Day Off movie poster.

Your votes are in and the winner is....Ferris Bueller's Day Off.
Make plans to join other UNC Asheville seniors for a FREE Senior Movie Night on Thursday, March 22 at the Asheville Pizza & Brewing Company's Merrimon Avenue location.
Be sure to check out the Senior Class Board's mock trailer for Ferris Bueller's Day Off. Watch closely and you'll see some familiar faces from UNC Asheville.
Senior Movie Night
Thursday, March 22
Doors Open at 9:30 p.m.
Movie Starts at 10 p.m.
Asheville Pizza & Brewing Company

Professional Development & Real World Event Series for Seniors

Your coverletter and job resume are not the only tools you need for life after college. Be sure to attend one, two or all of the upcoming events that will be focusing on professional development and lessons for life after college.
Odds & Ends of the Real World
Friday, March 16 (updated)
2:30-4 p.m. (updated)
Room 223, Highsmith University Union
Sponsored by the 2012 Senior Class Board and the UNC Asheville Alumni Association.
Click to download the presentation.

The Office of the Real World
Monday, March 19
6-7:30 p.m.
Room 143 (Grotto), Highsmith University Union
Sponsored by the 2012 Senior Class Board and the UNC Asheville Alumni Association.
Dress for Success
Monday, March 26
7-8:30 p.m.
Room , Highsmith University Union
Sponsored by SAIL and the UNC Asheville Alumni Association.
Real World: Love Your Money
Tuesday, March 27
4-5:30 p.m.
Owen Hall Conference Center
Sponsored by the 2012 Senior Class Board and the UNC Asheville Alumni Association.
Moving on from College: The Real World
Tuesday, April 10
3:30-5:30 p.m.
Room 159 (Alumni Hall), Highsmith University Union
Sponsored by the 2012 Senior Class Board and the UNC Asheville Alumni Association.

29 Days 'til Commencement Senior Lunch

Cooking Grill
Take a break from studying, final papers, and senior projects. The Senior Class Board invites all seniors graduating in May to a FREE celebratory lunch on Thursday, April 5.
Lunch will be served from noon until 1:30 p.m. in Curry Courtyard located beside Phillips Hall. This is fun opportunity to relax and spend time with fellow May graduates.
Be sure to wear your Class of 2012 T-shirt to this senior event!
29 Days 'til Commencement Senior Lunch
Thursday, April 5
12-1:30 p.m.
Curry Courtyard, Phillips Hall

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Biltmore Village

Hello, everyone!  What did you do this weekend?  I hope you were able to enjoy the lovely spring weather.  Although homework had me occupied for a majority of the weekend, I was able to meet a friend for a walk around Biltmore Village.  I talked about this part of Asheville in this post, but I'll give you a quick refresher.  Biltmore Village is located in South Asheville, close to Asheville High School, the hospital, and of course, the Biltmore House itself.  When George Vanderbilt started construction on his estate, he had his architect design a small village that would match, closely in appearance and layout, the feeling of the Biltmore House and grounds.  This area today has been turned into a sort of leisure center where visitors who visit the Biltmore Estate can shop, dine, and relax.  It's a beautiful little area of Asheville, and home to some famous Asheville landmarks like All Souls Cathedral and the Grand Bohemian Hotel.  If you get a chance, why not explore this tiny village that allows you to enjoy contemporary Asheville and get to know better its rich historical past?

Places mentioned in this post (Visit them in person or on the Web!)
Just Ducky
Corner Kitchen 
All Souls Cathedral
Grand Bohemian Hotel 
Biltmore Estate
Biltmore Village 

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