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Apr 4 / Courtney Miller

Div III Screening on April 29th at 7:30PM

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The culmination of my academic year, my Div III screening. Please come, if you can! It’s at Hampshire College in Amherst, MA. It is a fully captioned film and I managed to get an ASL interpreter for my deaf viewers. I’ve been looking forward to this for a long time and I hope to see you there.

View map and directions to the screening

About the movie:

Filled with gorgeous a-capella music, cute moments, and hilarity, ‘Vaya Con Dios’ is a German language comedy/drama made in 2002 and directed by Zoltan Spirandelli. It features the well-known German actor Daniel Brühl whom you might know from the films ‘Goodbye Lenin’ (2003), ‘Bourne Ultimatum’ (2007), and ‘Inglorious Basterds’ (2009).

Three monks in the Kantorianter cloister believe that God is present when they sing. Because of this and their lenient obedience of Catholic ritual, the Kantorianer were excommunicated long ago. When the monks are kicked out of their monastery for failure to pay bills, they are charged with an important mission to deliver the sole Kantorianer text to the last Kantorianer cloister, in Italy.

Abandoning their vows of silence and secluded lifestyle, set off on foot with nothing but a cast-iron pot, a goat named Hildegard, and a centuries-outdated map of Europe.

Dec 5 / Courtney Miller

Travel Blogging

I have a lot of work to do updating my old posts, which, through many site transitions, have lost their photos or correct links. I will be working through them but it might take a while. Also check back for a post about the great state of Minnesota.

You will also be seeing links on the right side to my million billion photos on Picasa. That’s exciting.

Dec 4 / Courtney Miller

Division III

This year I am a “Division III” at Hampshire College. To normal people, who went to normal schools, this means that I’m a senior in college. A Hampshire student’s career is divided into these three divisions, the final of which many don’t make it to because of its daunting nature. A “Div 3″ needs only take two classes during the entirety of the phase, which is two semesters long (I hope). The rest of the time (again, I hope) he is spending his time doing independent work on a project of his design. At Hampshire, you have the potential to do great work that no one has even conceived of, or you have the potential to get away with doing very little. I have witnessed both.

So I’ll tell you about my project that is consuming much of my time. I am writing English subtitles for the German film, “Vaya Con Dios.” As I am approaching the half-way point in my time allotted, I am only about a third through what needs to be done. So far, I have been working on transcribing the dialoge and recording the time signatures of the beginning of each line or monologue. I am stuck doing this because I was unable to find a script or prewritten German subtitles. This week I finally reached the end of the film and I will soon begin translating. I have asked my host parents in Germany, as well as a few friends in Hannover and Stuttgart to listen to some parts in the movie where I had trouble transcribing the dialogue.

Lest God strike me down, the successful completion of this lengthy project will result in my graduation from Hampshire College. I cannot wait to move on from this particular part of my life. My new blog, Herding Humans, is about what I wish I had been studying at Hampshire all along- but we live and we learn. If you’re horribly bored on this site- check out my other one.

Dec 3 / Courtney Miller

Herding Humans, a new blog about animal behavior.

I am starting a blog about the stuff I can write endlessly about. I decided a long time ago that no one wants to read about just me and my life; and I didn’t want to write it. So, after being stuck with that conclusion for a while and nothing to write about, my mother asked me today what I really should be writing about that people would actually find interesting.

I can’t believe I didn’t do this sooner! CrazyCatLady.com is taken, so I’m going with HerdingHumans.net. It’s going to have articles about the things our pets would want us to know and articles challenging what we think we know about domesticated animals. I’m really excited about this. I have a lot to share with you about the things I’ve learned in my animal behavior classes and what I’ve read.

Check it out!

-c-

May 31 / Courtney Miller

How to improve traffic whilst being a better person

Since moving to Massachusetts three years ago, I have become fascinated with traffic patterns. Here we drive like it’s a race. It’s all about how many cars you can get in front of.This involves speeding up to move around people when your lane is about to end, blowing through yellow and often red lights, tailgating the person in front of you until you can get a quick opportunity to slip around them, passing on the right side, holding strong to your lane making sure no pesky right-turners can get in (someone else will let them in, they’ll just have to wait), and sneaking up a breakdown lane illegally because you’re turning right and don’t feel like waiting twenty seconds for the light to turn green. I’m getting really tired of this shit.

There are little things you can do to help traffic flow better:

  • The number one tip I have is to stop playing leapfrog. This behavior, in fact, causes further traffic delays and it’s probably only causing unnecessary stress and anger, which, accompanied with large machinery, is a poor combination.
  • It may be satisfying to zoom up close to the person in front of you when a gap forms but you are really just wasting gas and giving your passengers a headache with your stopping and going. I suggest picking a slower, constant speed, allowing a nice gap to form between you and the car in front of you so that you’re not victim to his driving behavior. This will also alleviate stop-and-go patterns behind you, improving the driving experiences of all the unknowing slobs behind you.
  • Take your time… driving like a maniac doesn’t get you to point B faster. Again, picking a constant speed is key to driving success. It’s better for your engine, your mood, your safety, your passengers, your wallet, and your driving neighbors.
  • Don’t blow off a traffic law or a fellow human being to get ahead. It could get you pulled over, obviously, and it delays already irritating traffic situations, what caused you to act like a jerk in the first place. With a little compassion, we can all get where we’re going without having hissyfits.
  • Don’t text while driving or even think about using your phone. You look like an asshole and you are dangerous. Remember that getting in your car and going someplace isn’t just about you, it’s about interacting with other drivers and flowing in a system. You can seriously hurt someone, and cost yourself boatloads of money. Don’t give me the “It’s okay, I can drive with my knees” speech. You are no safer than any other moron texting on his phone. You are endangering the people around you.
  • Learn how to zipper. When your lane is ending, the goal should be to merge with your surrounding vehicles, not get ahead of them. To do this, you need to accept the fact that someone might be ahead of you and deal with it. Give people some room to merge properly. If everyone did this, losing a lane wouldn’t be a difficult process and you probably wouldn’t even slow down at all.

Every time I drive I see people doing stupid things that make my day worse so that they can get there three seconds faster. I wish I could let it roll off of me but I just wish everyone would just smell the roses once in a while. It seems like people are in a hurry every time they get behind the wheel and therefore it’s okay to blow off ideas like compassion and basic traffic law obedience. Try using one of my methods and see if it improves your experience at all. Let me know what happens.

-c-