This Week in Sociology Class

One of my favorite classes that I’m taking this semester and probably of all time, would be my online introduction to sociology course. Currently, I am taking a couple of dual enrollments this semester and sociology is one of them. For those of you who don’t know what a dual enrollment is, it ‘s basically a college level course that I can take while I’m still in high school. The best part about taking dual enrollments is that I will be able to earn both high school and college credit for it. What does this mean for me? Well, in addition to taking challenging courses that intrigue me, I won’t have to take all my general education requirements at college and I’m saving money since e-start courses (a.k.a. the name of my state’s online dual enrollment college program) are much less expensive.  I’ll be frank here, I wasn’t quite sure how I was going to feel about sociology at first, but I totally love it and I’m even now considering it as a minor during college!

For the next few months, I’m going to be doing a series on my blog having to do with sociology. During this series, I will be discussing the most fascinating highlights of what I l’m learning in this class each week. So with that being said, let’s start talking about what is standing out  to me right now!

-That bacon, eggs, and bread are considered breakfast foods because we socially construct them to be one of our morning-glory meals. In fact, what is considered “breakfast” is disparate in each country. For instance, in Korea, it is not unheard of to have vegetable soup for breakfast: YES! I am not alone in the world! For years I thought I was weird because I ate foods like lentil soup and frozen ethnic dishes from Trader Joe’s  for breakfast (and still do), but now I’m not!  It’s social construction that makes it odd :/! 

-That people have socially constructed fortune cookies to be considered Chinese Food, even though it’s origin is Japanese: This doesn’t really surprise me. However,  since quite a few cuisines have been Americanized,  I thought that fortune cookies were originally concocted in the United States . But apparently, I was wrong. Who knew? 

-Did you know that the rule “blue is for boys”, “pink is for girls” used to be transposed before the 1950’s?! Why is this? Because, “… The reason is that pink being a more decided and stronger color, is more suitable for the boy; while blue, which is more delicate and dainty, is prettier for the girl.”: Outrageous, right?!The irony of this situation makes me laugh out loud! Scientifically speaking, colors are not known to have any sort of gender nor gender preference. Also, might I add that my four year old cousin who is a boy told me that his favorite color was pink, SO THERE! 

Ugh, social construction can be so dumb at times, even though I know that in order to have a sense of community, it is vital for society.

Now I have three questions for y’all to answer in the comment box. I wanna know:

-Have you ever taken a sociology class before? What did you think of it?

-Have you ever taken dual enrollment courses before? How were they? Did you take them online or through a local community college/university?

-Have you ever been affected/fed up/amused by these social construction rules? If so, which ones?

Obviously, you don’t need to answer them all, but I’d absolutely love to hear your thoughts!

xoxo

Alexandra Spund

Favorite Fall Television Shows

I absolutley adore summer, but I don’t love the dearth of TV selections that are available! Luckily, I got Netflix Streaming this past summer, so I’ve been able to watch some cool new programs, but other than that, there is almost nothing on. Fall is probably tied for my favorite season next to summer and one of the reasons I love it so much is quite peculiar. You guessed right; it’s when many of my favorite television shows come back on!

This week, many of my current favorite television shows returned on air, which made me want to share my thoughts on them with you guys.  Without further adieu, let me tell y’all about some of my most loved television shows!

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What It’s About: A former lawyer, now stay at home Mom (Alicia), is cheated on by her philandering State’s Attorney husband, who is now involved in a very public sex scandal. When her husband loses his job, Alicia has to go back to work in order to give her family a steady income and returns to the field of criminal law as a junior associate and must work her way back up the ladder. We also watch Alicia try to rebuild her seemingly decimated marriage with her husband.

My Review: This is a television show that I’ve recently gotten into. My Mom and I watched an episode last year and enjoyed it, but it was during the 4th season, and we usually like to start watching shows from the beginning just so that we can fill in those gaps. However, after The Good Wife was named an Emmy nominee, you could watch every episode from seasons 1-4  on On Demand, so therefore, my Mom and I started watching it again. Although I thought the The Good Wife was very good (ha-ha! this is a joke my Mom and I have together about the show), it took me awhile to get into it.  My parents favored the show more than I did and my Mom in particular watched every episode.  What you should know about The Good Wife is that watching this program is not a mindless, lackadaisical activity like many other TV shows. You have to pay close attention in order to understand the different court cases. and situations that precipitate from them. During the summer, I just did not have the patience to sit through every episode and analyze, but when the 5th season came on, I became hooked. The Good Wife is one of those precious TV jewels  that gets better each season and does not decrease in quality. What I love the most about the show is that it’s not just about criminal law and court cases, but also intertwines the personal stories of the character’s during every episode. The Good Wife has not only made me appreciate lawyers and what they do more, but also understand  just how corrupt our justice system can be sometimes, even though it is quite superior to other countries. I can tell you one thing though, this show has definitely confirmed my little desire to become a criminal lawyer when I grow up!

Standout Character(s):

Kalinda Sharma

Kalinda Sharma

I just love the private investigator Kalinda and her mysterious, cool vibe! Even her name sounds super epic! If I ever wanted to re-name myself, it would probably be the name Kalinda. However, I would probably put my own twist to it and call myself “Lexinda” just so that it wouldn’t be too obvious that I  renamed myself after a character. I also adore her style! I hope that I can dress similar to her at my future work place (if they allow it, ha-ha). I mean, between the high heeled boots and leather jackets, what’s not to love? Even though she is an odd,  legally questionable, and at times, cold-hearted character, I love her ability to piece things together and her fierce loyalty to other characters on the show.

When It’s On: Sunday nights on CBS!

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What It’s About: I think a lot of you guys had probably watched or at least have heard of the show, but I’ll give you the reader’s digest anyways. This show is about a friend group of nerdy scientists and their socially clueless interactions with average people.

My Review:
I’ve been watching this show for almost 3 years and it is HILARIOUS! The concept of the show is very distinctive and the social ineptness of these guys combined with them trying to interact with their beautiful roommate who has average intelligence, makes for the best comedy! I think that The Big Bang Theory takes the cake for several things; excellent characterization, one liners, and it’s amazing usage of observational humor from the perspective of scientists with low social IQ’s. In my personal opinion, the show was at its best the first five seasons, but has dolefully gotten less funny since then. However, I still think that it’s an adorable show and I’m glad that they have been renewed for an additional three seasons. I just hope that they keep up their momentum and not become one of those bird-brained sitcoms on television.

Standout Character(s):

Sheldon Cooper and Amy Farrah Fowler (now don't you just love her name?!?!)

Sheldon Cooper and Amy Farrah Fowler (now don’t you just love her name?!?!)

I think Sheldon and Amy are one of my favorite television couples because their romantic relationship dynamic is like no other. They are as slow as snails (much to Amy’s chagrin) when it comes building this type of relationship,  but I personally think that they compliment one another! I especially give kudos to Amy, because I (and probably 99% of other women) would not be able date a man so pompous, let alone for 3+ years!  If you start watching the show from the beginning, you will see that Sheldon is not very receptive to any kind of physical, and often times, emotional affection, so it’s quite hilarious to see him in a “relationship”.

Penny

Penny

While Penny isn’t necessarily my favorite standalone character on the show, can we just give props to Kaley Cuoco-Sweeting  for getting like the best pixie cut ever?!?! It makes me almost want to get one myself!

When It’s On: Monday nights at 8pm on CBS

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What It’s About: A slice of life comedy about a New York, Jewish family seen through the eyes of twelve year old aspiring film maker Adam Goldberg.

My Review: When I first thought the previews for this show last year, I thought that it was going to be one of those dim-witted, slapstick humor shows. However, my Mom is from Long Island, New York and we are Jewish, so therefore, my family decided to give it a whirl. Turns out it is EXTREMELY FUNNY! I also absolutley love that this show takes place during the 80’s, which is what I believe to be the coolest era ever (shame on you parents for having me in the late 90’s!). The TV show producers totally have the culture of the 80’s dead on, from the gnarly fashion to the hit songs! This show is also based on the  main producer’s life and family home videos from when he was a kid, so I thought that was pretty neat too!  In many ways, this show reminds me of a less controversial version of Roseanne (which is one of my favorite shows EVER by the way)  Like Roseanne, it  doesn’t have a continuous, specific plot,  but is more just about the ubiquitous scenarios families go through and how they deal with them (and in this case, often in a hilarious, atypical manner). If you want to watch something lighthearted for a half hour, go watch The Goldbergs!

Standout Character(s):

Beverly Goldberg

Beverly Goldberg

Beverly Goldberg has got to be thee funniest Mom right now on TV!  If you were trying to find the word for “loving your kids” too much in the dictionary, it would be smack on the name Beverley Goldberg! She will stop at nothing to help/protect her kids, even going as far as dressing up as ghost at a Halloween Party to help her son Barry get a date with the hottest girl at school, or trying to get an approval letter from Ronald Reagan to get her son Adam out of the Presidential Fitness Test. I also love her very 80’s big hair too!

When It’s On: 8:00 or 8:30pm on ABC during Wednesday nights.

Parenthood:

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What It’s About: Taking place in Berkeley, California, Parenthood focuses on the lives and families of four siblings. The general TV show story line is based off of the 1989 film Parenthood.

My Review: Sadly, this is going to be Parenthood’s last season, which is why I’m really looking forward  to watching it this year! I stumbled upon Parenthood last year on On Demand  (around Halloween) and binge-watched 4 seasons until I was all caught up. This show was previously categorized as a “dramedy” and it was for awhile up until the 4th season. Now don’t get me wrong, the 4th season was outstanding (actually one of my favorites), but during the 5th season they kind of lost their way. I’m pretty sure the writers wrote every episode last year with the intention of making us cry. I love the emotional aspects of Parenthood, but for goodness sake writers, can’t you make us laugh a little bit more?!?!

Even though this show is not perfect,  I love how close knit the Bravermans are (and their last name! Parenthood, has made me want to marry someone with the last name Braverman lol) and how the writers and character portrayal accurately show the ups and downs of parenting.  Parenthood also handles a lot of really tough, controversial issues beautifully such as Aspergers, breast cancer, addiction, broken homes, and adoption. While I might disagree with the writers recent intentions to make this a “bawl your eyes out” type of show, they are brilliant and insert such witty dialogue. The acting is absolutley phenomenal and you can tell that the cast really works together beautifully as an ensemble. I am sad to see Parenthood go this year, but hopefully the writers will get back in the swing of things and return to its dramedy roots.

Standout Character(s):

Amber

Amber

Amber is such an incredible character! I would totally be friends with in real life if she weren’t stuck inside a television screen ;). I especially love how three dimensional she is! Amber has a rebellious streak, but is also compassionate and very understanding as a human being. I also personally feel that she is an incredibly insightful character, but also hilarious with her sharp tongue!  Her punky style with a hint of adorableness is so cute too!

When It’s On: Thursday Nights at 10pm on NBC

Do any of you guys watch these TV shows or want to? What TV shows are/were you most looking forward to returning to the big screen?

xoxo

Alexandra Spund

Apple Picking Adventures

Everyone has their favorite fall traditions and for me, it’s apple picking. This past weekend, my family and I ventured up to an apple orchard, located in Maine, that we’ve been going to for about five years. Not only do we love their scenic location and ludicrously delectable apples, but also that they are a low spray orchard. You may or may not be aware of this, but apples are apart of the “dirty dozen group”, which means that pesticide usage is much higher for fruits and veggies that are members of this circle. My family is very health-conscious, so we prefer picking our apples at low-spray orchards. This apple orchard that we go to is further away from our house, but 100% worth it (especially for the best honey crisps I’ve ever had in my life) and the drive is super beautiful.

I have been taking pictures at this orchard for years, but I think that these are some of my best yet. I feel like I’ve really captured the vibrancy of the apples and unique trees shapes. Here are a few of my favorites!

xoxo

Alexandra Spund

Silloutted Leaves

ap ap apple

This totally looks like a gate made out of apples to me!

Doesn’t this look like a gate made out of apples?

Apples shapeee

appppplesssss

Thee most perfect triplet of apples I've ever seen!

Thee most perfect triplet of apples I’ve ever seen!

:P :P :P Talk about YUM!

😛 😛 😛 Talk about YUM!

Ten Year Photo Bucket List

So, instead of doing your traditional bucket list, I decided to put a little twist on it and create one about all of the photo related stuff I want to accomplish in life! Okay, I don’t think I can project that far, but maybe the next ten years? That sounds reasonable! Without further adieu, here is my ten year photo bucket list!

-Start my own photo business

-Win a major photography competition

-Have my work featured in a gallery

-Create a Photoshop tutorial

-Have an advanced knowledge of Photoshop

-Start a “Humans Of… Project”

-Take photos at a wedding

-Become decent at self-timed portraits

-Take photos abroad

-Regularly scrap-book my photos

-Take photos of a sitting President  (Check! I took photos of President Obama during his reelection period when he came to speak at a local high school in the state I live!)

-Take photos of a 2016 Presidential Candidate

-Get invited to take photographs at a major event

-Purchase a photo related fashion item

-Write a coffee table photo book

-Incorporate photography into my future career

-Take photos of a moose

-Dip my feet into astrophotography

Let’s see how many of these I can accomplish in the next ten years!

xoxo

Alexandra Spund

#GlutenFreeProbs

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Can you spot what’s wrong with this picture? I can! There is a gluten-free beer that’s name is Glutenberg! Wanna know what’s even funnier? My Dad speaks German and says that berg in German means mountain. So the brand of this gluten-free beer is named gluten mountain??? Say, whatttt?!?! Life is so ironic and plain silly sometimes!

Going Back to 2008: The Hollister Trend

I was never one to fit in a crowd. I mean, I didn’t go out of my way to stick out like a sore thumb, but it was the little things. The minute differences such as my refusal to participate in the Hollister trend, that set me apart from others. When I moved to a new state in the 5th grade, almost all of the girls and even some of the guys in my class were wearing Hollister shirts. Want to know what my first impression of these shirts were? Yawwwwwn Fest!!!

I couldn’t understand how these mundane sheets of cloth, which only had the words “Hollister” slapped on could be so popular. You’d sometimes get lucky and get one with the brand’s signature bird as an addition, but most of the time, you weren’t. These shirts were a sensation! It was consumerism at its peak! I was seeing Hollister carbon copies everywhere and suddenly, unfashionable became the hottest new trend.

Despite my original skepticism, I was still the ten year old new girl in town and was determined to fit in. So therefore, I dragged my parents to our local mall to transform myself from a “What’s Not to Wear” girl into a hip and trendy pre-teen. When we first walked into the store, we were greeted by a picture of a hunky man’s broad chest. Hello, nice to meet you too! It was almost as though that picture was saying, “If you shop here, we guarantee that you’ll be able to find yourself an Arnold Schwarzenegger Jr!” Then, as we turned left, we walked into a dimly lit room where our noses were blasted with incense. Sexy vibes? Maybe to some, but honestly, the perfume was just giving me an allergic reaction. However, I still picked out my supposedly perfect, hot fuchsia pink Hollister t-shirt and was totally stoked to wear it at school the next day.

When I first wore that Hollister shirt, I felt so powerful, like I could be anybody; maybe even one of the popular girls! After all, one of the cool, probably most Hollister obsessed girl in our school, complimented on my shirt; how could I not be happy? For a few weeks, I wore that shirt pretty much every other day, feeling like I was going to find social heaven. I probably would have worn that shirt seven days a week if I didn’t have to wash it! I did this for about a month. However, it was my frugal instincts that reminded me of why I didn’t want to shop there in the first place.

One day when I was selling Girl Scout cookies, I noticed that my belt was digging into my brand spanking new Hollister shirt. After I moved it, I saw a very distinctive hole. This made me pause. How could this piece of clothing, which I bought just a little bit over a month ago, have a hole in it already? How cheaply was this made? Was it made out of banana peels or something? Who knows? Suddenly, it then hit me! This shirt that my parents just spent money on was boring, thinly made, and definitely not worth its price tag.

After that happened, I threw the shirt in the garbage and went back to wearing my neon bright, denim infested outfits again. I never was by eleven year old standards, fashionable, but to be honest, I really didn’t care anymore. I was just glad to have my clothing sanity back! After all, life is too short not be a little weird, right?

xoxo

Alexandra Spund

Been Bit By The Shutter Bug Friday – End of Summer Sunset

I took these photographs a few weeks ago on a picturesque island located in Portsmouth, New Hampshire (Pierce Island). What I love the most about this location are the vibrant sunsets that shine upon the calm waters of the Piscatequa River. They make for the most gorgeous landscape photos! I also love how many of these photos are outlined by the silhouetted rock formations, it really brings out the colors reflecting on the river. I am truly amazed by our natural surroundings at times!

xoxo

Alexandra Spund

Maine BridgeBlue Boat

Maine BridgeJenny SunsetRocks and The OceanSailing Through