Spring Break: A Wild (Mild) Time

Posted by Tim Posada On 11:42 PM 0 comments

So it's spring break and I'll actually been rather busy. Unfortunately, not busy in the normal sense of spring break. I still had to go to work at my newspaper job, and I also had to finish my presentation for the conference this weekend. Because of this, I've been living off a combination of fast food and sheer nerve. Writing has become my only form of communication (oh, irony) and I can't seem to write what I want. Towards the end of Thursday night, it all did start coming together. I read my speech for the following day aloud to my roommates and it all felt like it was beginning to make sense-I just might convince the PhDs at the conference that I'm worthy of being listened to.

The week wasn't entirely wasted to the academic bubble. Between meals and reworded paragraphs, I actually did some exercise-of course, what I mean by this is playing Rock Band on xBox 360. I'm getting better at the drums and actually finding myself enjoying music once more. Though I really hate songs with an overuse of the bass drum and most the songs on Rock Band do this. As Thursday rolled around, I was in a bit of a panic as I wasn't up to where I wanted to be with my writing, and the house was getting rather dirty. I couldn't seem to focus and continued taking breaks to play ping-pong, rock band, and check if there was anything new about the upcoming G.I. Joe and Hellboy movies. Yet, I did manage to get to a comfortable point with everything-though I wished I had more time as I would've loved to memorize my speech or perhaps create a powerpoint presentation to go along with it. I did try to end the night right with an anime I rented called Vampire Hunter D, but the disc was scratched and mid-80s animation just ain't what it is now. So, I turned it off and ended the night with some of the second book, or season, of Avatar: The Last Airbender. There's something truly brilliant, fun, and funny about that show.

Friday morning came and I was running a little late. I wanted to make it to the session before 11:00am, thus I was forced to grab breakfast at Burger King-French toast sticks just ain't the same anymore. I took off to Loyola, which is off the same exit as LAX. I arrived at the campus in pretty good time, but Campus Safety didn't know where the conference was. I looked around for a while and became rather nervous. I wondered if it was being held off campus and I missed the memo. I tried calling numbers, but no one was picking up. Finally, I gave a call to a roommate to check the conference info...fucking shit, it's next weekend. Now, if I had known that Loyola is a Catholic school, I might have thought it odd to hold a conference on Good Friday. Alas, I didn't know and apparently can't see straight when it comes to checking dates. I'm normally not a flake about such things-in fact, I'm rather obsessive about them. Maybe I'm losing my edge...okay, I never had one. Either way, the conference is next weekend and I'm a little relieved. I now have the extra time to familiarize myself more with my material, and, today, I made a bomb-ass powerpoint presentation.

Conference Stress

Posted by Tim Posada On 1:01 PM 0 comments
Next Friday I'll be presenting at a religion conference called "Convivencia: Religious Identities in the New World" at Loyola Marymount University. My presentation will be titled "Children of a Babbling Labyrinth: the Reforming Other and Mexican Filmmakers." I will be looking at the films Babel, Children of Men, and Pan's Labyrinth, which were each directed by Mexican filmmakers, and addressing how they represent three unique directions Mexican filmmakers can take in the global film market. My focus will be on how the films feed off each other, as they each premiered in 2006, and the way they each approach topics such as suffering and liberation. All the while, I'll be making a claim that such a viewpoint is necessary for the growing discipline of theology and film studies. As of now, I'm drawing from such scholars as Walter Wink, Gustavo Gutierrez, bell hooks, and several other theo and film scholars.

I looked at the list of paper sessions and I am on a panel with two very unrelated papers: feminist power in Latin American and Muslim/Christian relations in Israel. In fact, there is only one other paper about film at the conference, and of all people, my old professor Carrie Peirce is presenting it. Her class at APU is one of the few that changed my life perspective and now I'm presenting on a similar field as her (this rather makes me feel insecure). Either way, this conference is a great opportunity, though I am completely stressed about what I am going to say and how I'm going to do it. I've debated just writing something out and reading it. I know that sounds boring but I've seen it done several times and it might be a good idea since I'm going to be one of the younger presenters there. That last thing I want to do is worry about stumbling over my words. Well, all I have to do is finish writing that damn thing. For the life of me, I can't seem to tie it all together in a tangible and critical way. My normal textual vomit style of writing papers isn't going to cut. However, there seems to be a light at the end of Plato's fucking cave. We'll see.


Posted by Tim Posada On 5:46 PM 0 comments
So everything's been happening at once. I've been having a great time overseeing The Clause at APU and rather bummed that I won't be doing it in that fall as I am simply a fill in. But this has opened up several opportunities for me. I am now going to teach a section of Freshmen Writing Seminar and there is potential for a section of Intro to Journalism and Public Comm-and it's all thanks to a newspaper job I took in West Hollywood. If I didn't get that job, I wouldn't have gotten The Clause gig and I wouldn't have gotten my foot in the door at APU. Thus, I have movies to thank for this all as I got the job at the newspaper because I found an ad on JournalismJobs.com and sent them my writing samples.

Besides the potential for fall classes, I was also contacted by one of my old professors who will be on sabbatical next spring in needs someone to teach his classes. I'm not qualified to teach one of them but the other is Christianity and the Creative Process, which I have been drooling over since I graduated from Fuller. Needless to say I would love this class. Oh, and today I received an email about potentially running the APU yearbook next fall. Apparently the art department is dropping and communication studies or alumni might pick it up. Either way, the chair of the comm department recommended me. It seems kind of funny, but it would be a great chance to improve something that the entire student body would see. I'm trying to see how this would all work as an adjunct who can only teach five classes for the entire academic school year. Perhaps the yearbook wouldn't count as a class...problem solved.

So career events have actually begun to pick up. My plan to teach at APU actually turned out to be an idea that paid off. I'm enjoying myself right now and can't wait to see what happens in the future. I hope my performance reviews go well.

Catching up on films

Posted by Tim Posada On 12:35 AM 0 comments
As I have been out of grad school for a few months, now I have found that the number killer is boredom. The avoid this, I have tried to keep busy with three jobs, attempts at a social life, and viewing far too many movies with a Blockbuster queue. My adventures have taken me through foreign and classic films, anime, and several TV series (By the war, Prison Break is my new addiction, check it out). I recently tried to catch up on all the Oscar films in order to do an "Oscars in Review" piece for the newspaper I write for. In my research, as I like to call it, I finally came around to a film that was not nominated for anything, Lust, Caution.
This was director Ang Lee's follow up film to Brokeback Mountain. There was a large amount of controversy surrounding the film as it was rate NC-17 for some rather graphic sex scenes. Comically, an R-rated version was released for rental in the states. Lee is not the kind of director to bask in such scenes for the sake of pornography. As he has done in other films, he taps into sexuality in its most violent and graceful. It's a very jarring experience. Actress Wei Tang was truly robbed of an Oscar nomination for this role. I didn't really think Marion Cotillard deserved Best Actress for her role as Edith Piaf in La Vie En Rose. Tang deserved a nod and possible win, but an NC-17 film would never be up for the prestigious Oscars, known for avoiding real controversy.
The film's plot was pretty simple. Tang becomes an unlikely spy in China during World War II trying to infiltrate the life of a major leader. But her lust takes over and dissolves her caution against an evil man who is both her love and hatred. SPOILER ALERT: I gotta say, Ang Lee needs to have a happy ending in one of his films. It's become too predictable (like a Martin Scorsese film) to expect everything to south his films. SPOILER END.
If you're okay with the R-rated sex scenes (I know it goes against the principles of art, but I fast forwarded through them), the film is pretty amazing and is the most plot-driven thing Lee has ever done.