“Find something you are passionate about, and keep tremendously interested in it” -Julia Child

 

http://www.chicagonow.com/intellectual-chicago-suburbs/2016/02/julia-child-a-short-appreciation/

http://www.chicagonow.com/intellectual-chicago-suburbs/2016/02/julia-child-a-short-appreciation/

Perhaps you’ve heard the name Julia Child, or maybe you knew the iconic chef as simply, Julia. A towering personality with a kind heart, and a boisterous attitude, Julia stood out from any crowd. I watched a movie called Julie and Julia, about Julia Child in my foods class last year, and was immediately drawn to the way Meryl Streep portrayed this passionate woman. Streep did a lot of research before taking on this role, so I knew that Julia must have been just as joyful and as deep of a person as she was depicted in the movie. After some further research, I fell in love with this woman, who I had never seen, even on TV. I, as an actress, am interested in how she maintained such a positive outlook on life, and her fanbase. I also want to learn more about the style of television which she starred on, where there was no editing.

 

From what I have learnt through my research, young Julia Child sounds a lot like I do. She didn’t really know what she wanted to do with her life until she was in her 30’s. She never had to cook for herself, so she was never interested in food. It wasn’t until she met her future husband that she learnt about fine dining, or food in general. Julia grew up playing sports, as I did. She even toyed with the idea of

becoming a performer. Julia, like myself, was fortunate enough to have both of her parents growing up. She also was part of a more upper-class family.

I don’t know that I see myself pursuing a career in foods, since it is not a hobby of mine. Julia didn’t know a thing about cooking until later on in her life, and still ended up becoming one of the most widely popular chef’s of her time; I suppose that I might be a chef one day.

Julia Child has been known to always choose the more challenging road in her life. She didn’t  like people claiming that she had it easy. She was also someone who found value in making mistakes. She didn’t appreciate people using her cookbooks, or learning from her TV show, but not revealing their growth. The reason that she did not approve of Julie Powell’s popular mission to make every recipe in her cookbook in one year, was due to the fact that Powell never admitted her mistakes. Instead she wrote of her success, and hid any learning or discoveries that she made, from the public. Julia Child believed that, “The only real stumbling block is fear of failure. In cooking, you’ve got to have a what-the-hell attitude.” She was alarmed by Powell’s fear of making mistakes, and didn’t want the public to view her that way as well. I am worried that by trying to embody Julia Child, I might do a disservice to her. I don’t want to spend hours fretting over my speech, because it is not something Julie would do; at the same time, this is still a project, and I need to make an effort. It will be a fine line to balance on, between over doing it and undergoing it, but I am ready for that task.

I think that it will also be a challenge for me to impersonate Julia’s accent during my speech, without being offensive. This connects to my grade nine IEP goals, and how I learnt about different accents, but also to my grade ten acting goal. If I spend enough time perfecting her accent, I could easily put French accent down on my resume, which is not a bad thing if I am trying to get jobs.

This year, I went on the library trip for the first time. Last year I was sick, and had to go to the library closer to my home, so going to a seven floor building filled with books, was amazing. Before the library trip, I knew that I was either going to study Julia Child, or Ellen DeGeneres, but was in a real quandary on who I should pick. As soon as I got to the library, I looked up both of my contenders names on the research computers to see the kinds of books that they had under their names. After about two minutes, I realized just how much I wanted to do Julia. I still have a huge amount of respect for Ellen, but the information that was available on Julia was what left me awestruck. A whole section of the library was dedicated to my eminent person alone. Between autobiographies, biographies, cooking books, and novels Julia had written to accompany her television programs, the section was packed full. I hadn’t realized that Julia was an author though, which is what truly attracted me to her. I got four books, because I didn’t want to overwhelm myself, but I easily could have selected more titles. As I walked away from the trip, I, a) was ten times more confident in my project, and b) was engrossed in a biography by Laura Shapiro.

I am so ready for this project!

As Julia said, “Everything in moderation including moderation.” So I am not even making an attempt to control my excitement. HERE WE GO!

I’m a movie reviewer?

As an avid reader, I am prone to immediately favour a story over a film, and this is no exception. I have always loved the feeling of paper in my palms, so unfortunately, no matter how well thought out a film may be, it would be betrayal for me to prefer it. “Harrison Bergeron,” by Kurt Vonnegut Jr, remains shallow in its attempt to explore different character’s thoughts and feelings. Part of what forms the plot, and theme of this short story, is our lack of knowledge on what is going through their heads. The film “2081,” however, tries to rob us of this feeling, by thoroughly depicting George’s imagination, and by giving Harrison depth. Instead of framing him as communistic and selfish, we see Harrison nearly shed a tear. He says, “So now I stand before you today: beaten, hobbled and sickened, but sadly, not broken.” Harrison does not try and become their dictator. He doesn’t try and take over the world. He simply tries to reveal the unfairness of the society which he lives in. The film, shows him as caring more about the well being of these people whom he’s never met, than surviving. The story also leaves more room for a proper description of this dystopian world, whereas the film left me feeling deprived of an explanation. The story goes in-depth about what the handicaps look like, why they are used, and exactly how they work. “They were burdened with sashweights and bags of birdshot, and their faces were masked, so that no one, seeing a free and graceful gesture or a pretty face, would feel like something the cat drug in,” claims Vonnegut. But when the opening credits on the film finished being played, the first thing I noticed, was how different the handicaps looked, from what I had imagined. George has a simple black rectangle on his chest, which is attached to him with straps. The handicaps look nothing like the mis-matched items that had been described. I was disappointed. These differences between story and film, would have never occurred, had the film been done more directly relating to the story. I am not saying that a paper copy is a better medium for telling it, I just believe that it is more effective, due to the way the director has depicted this classic. I might have liked it better, had the film stayed more to the original plot line, and character personalities. I do however, admire Chandler Tuttle for taking on such a challenging story, and representing it in a way which is more widely understood by the public.

First week of blog responses

October 6th-First blog post

While listening to and discussing Stuart Mclean’s Safe Places, and Chamimanda Ngozi Adichie’s The Danger of a Single Story, I realize that I have lived with the idea that the outside world is very different from the one I live in. I have been told since the day I was born, that I live a sheltered life, but I’m beginning to believe the opposite. The simple rapping sound on a door can surface bad thoughts in my head, after the terrorist attacks, gun violence, and protests against humanity. I now realize how irrational some of these thoughts are, since watching Chamimanda Ngozi Adichie’s “The Danger of a Single Story”. I have been told that the world is dangerous, so it can be hard to maintain a positive attitude with all that is happening in the United States right now. When my father recently mentioned what a dangerous place the world is getting to be, I realized that he too, was tainted by Chamimanda Ngozi Adichie’s ‘single story’ theory. We don’t hear about the school that reached a goal in regards to money raised for cancer research; or the group of children who play in the same playground as their parents did, years before. Because we are “Show[n] a people as one thing, as only one thing, over and over again, and that is what they become” (9:27). The bias that is demonstrated in all forms of media, contributes to our ignorance of the “Safe places,” in our world, which Stuart Mclean tells us about. It also perpetuates the idea that the world is a dangerous place. By taking both of these intelligent peoples’ words to heart, we understand that there are happy individuals all over the globe, and that every story we hear is only a fraction of the one that humankind has experienced.

 

October 10-Second Blog post

As a European living in an urban neighbourhood, I have never experienced the discrimination that David Suzuki writes about in “Racism”. However, I have witnessed the injustice and inequity every day. While I can’t directly relate to Suzuki’s world, I know that unfairness is not an unheard concept to most people. I appreciate Suzuki speaking up, and standing for what he believes in, just as he asks us to do when he writes, “I hope that all of you will speak out against racism and bigotry whenever you encounter it” (30). Unfortunately, as a person of privilege, I can sometimes forget the toll that racism has on people, and it is something that I am ashamed of. These individual’s struggles are because of people who looked a lot like me; they are ridiculed on a daily basis from people who also look like me. As much as I am disgusted to say this, it was my ancestors that decreased David Suzuki’s quality of life, and therefore, I feel it my duty to feel bad about the circumstances that people face every day.  I believe that we are all equal, and that “Equality before the law, freedom of speech and movement, and the right to vote are principles of democracy,” (16) that everyone deserves. Despite my appearance, I will always fight for equality, and I do it for people like Ganhi and Tiisaan.

The effect of being grateful

           Morley learns through the course of Stuart McLean’s “Emil,” that being grateful can increase a person’s emotional well being. It is a heartwarming story where Morley, over time, learns a lot about herself and society from Emil, who is a homeless man in her community. Emil has nothing in terms of the materialistic world, but somehow he draws from an infinite internal bank of happiness, that even the richest people can’t afford. Morley is sympathetic to Emil’s financial situation, so she tries to give him money, but Emil says, “I don’t need it, I have enough. I have enough.”  He is grateful for everything he has, and doesn’t require Morley’s mundane financial value. Emil wants meaningful relationships, so he eventually builds one with Morley. She begins to realize that her happiness relies on that of the people around her, so she tries to make the community’s mood brighter. When Emil gives her some of the money that he wins from the lottery, she has the chance to run off with it, but instead she, “[is] going to give it back to him.” She doesn’t regret giving Emil the money, because she knows that she doesn’t need it to be happy.