Mexico . Hawaii . Japan . China . Hong Kong . Vietnam . Cambodia . Thailand . India . Egypt . Turkey . Croatia . Spain . Florida

"Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover." -- Mark Twain

MV Explorer

MV Explorer
Join me as I go around the world in 100 days aboard this ship!

Tuesday, June 5, 2007


Because I am doing Semester at Sea so late into my college career, I won't be able to transfer the units to Pepperdine. Even though the classes we take on the ship are accredited through the prestigious University of Virginia (the second best public university in the nation, following Berkeley), there's a rule that says the last 28 units have to be taken in residence at Pepperdine in order to receive a degree from there. Most universities have a similar rule. For me, this isn't a big deal because I already have more than enough units to graduate a year early. Instead of finishing a year early, I decided to enjoy a full four years in college. More specifically, I decided to take a semester off to do this program now and let my financial aid pay for it, rather than paying out of pocket to do it later on in life. I took 18 units just about every semester, as well as a number of summer school classes, to ensure my senior year would be a breeze. But boy, I never thought it would be this fun! I will be taking a lot of acting classes since that is the career path I want to pursue after graduation. Next spring upon returning from Semester at Sea, I will have only two more required courses (psychology and Spanish lit), and the rest of my classes will comprise of acting, voice, piano, dance, etc.

So here are the four classes I am taking this fall on Semester at Sea and their descriptions:

Global Studies (this class is mandatory for everyone)
Global Studies is an interdisciplinary course that focuses on the countries visited and is tailored especially to meet the global and comparative approach of Semester at Sea. In addition to providing basic information about the countries on the itinerary, Global Studies also provides a meaningful framework by which to compare data, examine issues, and develop concepts. Participants learn how to understand cultural and social phenomena with which they are constantly coming into contact during the semester and to highlight both commonalities and differences from one society to another. Global Studies equips participants with observational and analytical skills for encountering societies different from their own, and different from each other, a key factor in facilitating the integration of class work and field work for all courses.

Modern Acting Techniques
The Modern Acting class will explore the evolution of Acting in the 20th Century up to the present. By understanding this evolution actors will realize the social issues that surrounded a particular theatrical movement, the ideas that were present during the writing of a play and its production, and the methods applied by the actors at the time. As we discuss and explore this evolution we will experience as best we can the changes that occurred and the theoretical shifts from generation to generation. After an overview with some exercises, we will introduce the Meisner Technique and spend the majority of time with The Viewpoints. An introduction to the theater history and practices of each port country will be given and experiences will be incorporated into our work. The course will culminate with original short productions (developed with The Viewpoints) based on work in class, productions seen in ports and other experiences from the countries we visit. Suggested Prerequisite: This is an upper-division performance course so at least an Acting 1 class is required.

Introduction to World Cinema
This course introduces you to the close analysis, cultural interpretation and global diversity of film as an artistic, social and industrial medium. Using a wide variety of films and film excerpts from around the world, virtually all from countries we'll be visiting this semester, we will develop and apply concepts of national and transnational cinema, realism and modernism, form, style, genre, ideology, and culture. In addition we will focus on specific kinds of film techniques such as mise en scene, cinematography, editing and sound. Suggested Prerequisites: None.

Introduction to Global Music
This course will introduce students to a variety of musical styles from around the globe. Following our voyage, we will explore an incredible array of sonic creations from slack key guitar and taiko drumming to filmi and flamenco. The class however is designed to provide more than audio tour: it will challenge students to think critically about the music they encounter-not only its sonic structure and aesthetics, but its various cultural contexts, the technologies and industries which enable them to hear it, the identities of those who perform it, the ways in which audiences consume it, and the many kinds of meanings it may hold. Both the product of and an agent for globalization, we will see that music is an inherently mobile and hybrid form. There are no prerequisites for this course, although students may find that some musical background is helpful.

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