The Spring Break Dilemma

spring break

With more than 7 weeks behind, students in America start feeling the pressure of assignments that have been accumulated and built up as massive pile of chaotic papers, books and notes  in the desk. There is no time for procrastination anymore, midterm exams are coming soon. What midterm means for many student is long nights in the library, smocking (awful) 7 Eleven coffee at any time of the day and burrito on-the-go. But for all students, midterms means SPRING BREAK, which turns out into SPRING BROKE!!!

For American students, the spring break is a lot more than a week off from school. It usually happens between the central weeks of March, following midterms week. Although also in Europe we have weeks off from school throughout the year, there is no such thing as the American Spring Break, a legitimate week where partying in exotic locations is almost a must. The question of these days in the library is “What are u doing for spring break, bud?” When asking this question you can either bump into the ultra-organized, full booked and planned kind of guy that makes you questioning  what you have been doing this whole time if you didn’t plan your spring break, or you can get an answer which repeat your question-and you feel much better than with the first guy.

During my long nights at the library (right? It’s midterm!), I have done a little investigation and found out that the clique of Spring Break in Cancun is real. People do go to Cancun, Mexico, as those from Jersey Shore-and maybe because they want to meet them. Cancun seems a fit for almost everyone: from the couple with the all-inclusive to the two guys looking for crazy party, to the Norwegian blond crew worried to get sunburn.

As far as I am concerned, I am still trying to break with the Cancun clique but…May 15th is coming soon and for sure you don’t want to be the only soul stuck in the mountains.

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Multimedia

Response to Snow Fall- Tunnel Creek

February 2, 2016

“The Avalanche at Tunnel Creek” by John Branch opens with a first screenshot where the title is on the right side while most of the screen shows an in-motion snowed surface blown by wind that drags he reader’s attention. The reader knows what is about to read -avalanche- but the image of the wind blowing on the snow, the cold colors of the image put him or her straight into that mindset, that feeling and that environment that is expected when reading about mountain’s stories.

avalancheThe article proceeds into a description of settings and series of events, and soon puts the reader right into the moment of the avalanche, the climax of the piece, through a series of images described through the eyes of a skier, Saugdad, that was part of the group and survived to the avalanche. At this point, right in the climax, the author gives the first link to click on – a clip from Saugdad telling with her own words what happened and mostly how she felt during that. It is a very powerful choice to let the person speak, live, rather than quoting or reporting her or his words. In this case, I noticed particularly her eyes, the eyes of a survivor, and I could not think about any better way to show them to the reader.

Successively, Branch gives detailed information about the location, Tunnel Creek, that hasn’t been described yet. It is an important piece of the story and it has also an educational purpose for the reader that can understand the morphology and geography of the mountains and how it is something to keep in mind when backcountry. However, this section appeared to me as boring until I was presented with a 3D map that moved above the Cascades mountain range and really showed what was written, making it more interesting and interactive.

The use of a pictures-slides to present the people allows the reader to see the faces and to believe more in what is written. It’s a story about people, and people have a face that with this formula can be seen.

All in all I think that the multimedia contents of this piece are helpful for clarity (like the explanation of the avalanche) and informational purpose, as well as making it easier for a reader to portray the scenes and feeling part of it right in the moment.