Category Archives: music & movies

so long

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Last week I graduated from Union College in upstate New York. It was an absolutely magical day as my parents were there, my sisters were there, The Boy was there, my best friends from college were there, and my grandparents were there. It was extra special to have my paternal grandmother at the ceremony because her husband, my late grandfather, graduated from Union in 1956. My father received his BA in history from Union in 1987 and also got his MAT from Union. My mom received her MBA in Healthcare Management from the Union Graduate College.

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Union College is such a special place to my family and it became even more meaningful to me over the past three years being there. After an unhappy freshman year at Boston College I transferred to Union hoping that I would find a better fit. Without a doubt I did. I have made beyond incredible friends at Union, met so many amazing professors and administrators, and really felt like I found myself during my brief time there. I happily majored in economics with a minor in Russian language and am proud to share that I graduated as the Salutatorian of the Class of 2014 (despite only having three years of grades to factor into my GPA!). Next month I am headed down to my most favorite city in the entire world, New York, to begin a job in finance.

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TheGarnetLetter began as a work study assignment for Union College. Back in 2011 the school had a few student blogs running, many of which played an important role in my decision to attend Union. When I finally got to Schenectady, I wanted to be able to share my unique insights into the school and college life in general to hopefully help other potential students like myself find their perfect fit. Eventually Union combined all of its student blogs onto one platform, the award-winning Union Unfiltered, but I kept TGL going on the side as my own college lifestyle blog and creative outlet.

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Having TGL in my life has shaped me in more ways than I can ever describe. The blog has chronicled my years at Union and the many amazing experiences that I am so grateful to have had. It will be difficult closing this chapter of my life (you might have noticed that I’ve been putting off this farewell post…), but like everything and anything it is time to turn the page and start on yet another, hopefully marvelous, adventure. This will conclude my time writing for TheGarnetLetter, but those savvy enough might find me elsewhere on the blogosphere in a more anonymous sense. I will never lose my love of blogging or my need for a creative outlet, but the real world dictates that my time curating TGL must come to an end.

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Farewell, beautiful readers! Thank you for joining me on this beyond amazing journey and hopefully I will hear from you all again soon somewhere else in this wonderful blogging world 😉

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With much love and many thanks,

Cat

Let the Grecian dream of his sacred stream,

And sing of the brace adorning,

The Phoebus weaves from his laurel leaves

At the golden gates of morning,

But the brook that bounds through old Union’s grounds

Gleams bright as the Delphic water,

And a prize as fair as a god may wear

Is a dip from our Alma Mater.

 

Then here’s to the, the brave and free,

Old Union, smiling o’er us

And for many a days as they walls grow gray,

May they ring with thy children’s chorus!

i’m ready

Have a great weekend!

movie spectrum

This past weekend I saw three very different movies. I saw an action film, a family film, and an indie film. Here’s what I thought about my movies from all over the spectrum:

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Action Film: Captain America: The Winter Soldier

The new Captain America movie was really excellent. Having missed the first one and having never seen The Avengers (I guess you could say I’m a little behind…), I was expecting to be totally lost with this film, but the story held up on its own very well (and it helped that The Boy gave me a 15-minute recap of the previous movies on our way to the theater). I was fully able to appreciate this 136 minute long flick and would definitely recommend seeing it in IMAX 3D, despite the hefty cost. Plus, the previews gave me countless movies to add to my future to-see list!

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Family Film: Muppets Most Wanted

I saw this movie with my parents and a theater full of 8-and-under-year-olds and totally admit to laughing out loud multiple times. The plot involved an evil Russian Kermit look-alike and the references to Siberia and Russian culture were absolutely hilarious. I appreciated that this film had humor aimed at the adults in the audience, but it was never cynical or subtly profane like some movies like to do. I wouldn’t say that this is a movie that you must see in theaters, but it should definitely be added to your list of light-hearted and entertaining flicks reserved for those rainy day blues.

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Indie Film: Her

Where do I begin with Her? Probably the best way to describe this movie is to call it “intriguing” or maybe “disturbing,” depending on how you feel. Basically a film about a man in future L.A. falling in love with his personal assistant operating system, the plot definitely raises some questions about the future of man’s interaction with technology and what exactly makes humans human. That being said, I thought the film could have delved into those questions with more depth. Instead audience members got more depressing, Sundance moments and a few uncomfortable human-on-computer love scenes that left almost nothing up to the imagination. Would I recommend seeing the movie? Certainly! Despite its shortcomings and it’s very indie indie-ness, it raised some good questions as the world becomes more and more technologically devoted.

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just in case reading about that last movie made you sad, here’s a photo of Captain America (Chris Evans) to brighten your mood…

Check out my other movie reviews:

The Wolf of Wall Street, Lone Survivor, Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit | Julie and JuliaThe Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug, American Hustle |  About TimeGravity |  The Great Gatsby |  Skyfall The Hunger GamesExtremely Loud and Incredibly Close

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For all of you looking for a mid-week pick-me-up, this is your song. Analogous to the feel-good vibes once elicited by Call Me Maybe, or One Direction’s What Makes You Beautiful, MKTO’s “Classic” might just be the pump-up song of the season. I mean, I might just be a child of the early 2000’s, but give me guys with a little flow in front, wearing suits, and singing “Mmmm” and I’m hooked! Does it prove my point if I tell you I listened to this song probably half a million times while writing this post? Enough said.

movie mania

The Boy and I really love going to the movies. It’s our “thing,” you could say. But, seeing as we go so often, we chip away at the top movie charts pretty rapidly. Then we get into this strange situation where we want to go to the movies, but don’t know what we even want to see, so we kind of just end up seeing whatever works time-wise. However, recently a lot of our “sure, why not?” movies have worked out pretty well! Here are the deets:

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The Wolf of Wall Street — Now, this one was always on my must-see list (Hello, I’ll be working on Wall Street post grad!). I went in expecting it to be uber raunchy (the initial reviews I read about the film were not child-friendly, to say the least), but I was pleasantly surprised by the plot and definitely happy to spend over two hours watching pure ridiculousness. I wouldn’t recommend seeing it with your parents and I also wouldn’t refer to it during your finance internship as legitimate insight into the world of equities (at least these post-crisis days), but it’s a film worth seeing if you find yourself at the theater.

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Lone Survivor — The Boy’s pick, clearly. The previews for this film really got my hopes up for the movie; depicting American soldiers caught in a moral dilemma of whether or not to release random Afghanis that cross their path while on a mission to capture a brutal al Qaeda leader, the preview promises a realistic film about the unspoken trials and tribulations of serving our country. However, after a brief conversation on morality and strategy, the film turns into two straight hours of men falling/rolling/being shot down a mountain. A lot of blood. A lot of pain. Not much talking. Everyone looks the same. The film wasn’t my jam, per se, and I definitely wouldn’t watch it expecting to feel happy-go-lucky at the end (a ten-minute closing reel of the actual men who died in the mission that the film was based on will pretty much break your heart). But overall it was a pretty good movie.

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Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit — This one was the surprising find of the lot. With a Bond-esque plot and a story line that includes Moscow, currency trading, and a romance, the movie was right up my alley. I was pleasantly surprised by the film and enjoyed an afternoon of popcorn and undercover CIA operations. If you’re looking for an action film with a story line that goes beyond gun fights and rolling cars and are craving something Bond-like, Jack Ryan is your perfect option.

Have you seen any good movies recently?

TED Talks: Lizzie Velasquez

Earlier this week I was thick in an afternoon of homework when The Boy said to me, “Hey, check this out!” Next thing I knew I was putting my textbooks aside to watch a TED Talk by a woman named Lizzie Velasquez. Lizzie has a disorder that makes it impossible for her to put on any weight. It sounds great until she describes the myriad ways she was bullied growing up and the struggles of constantly being sick and still facing haters today. Nevertheless, she has harnessed some of the negatively that has come her way to live out her dreams of becoming a motivational speaker. And — wow! — did her speech motivate! Lizzie begs the question of “how do you define yourself?” and her words are truly inspirational. This is a must-watch for anyone who strives to be a conscious, positive human being!

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The other day I re-watched Julia and Julia. I really love that movie. Something about seeing people so passionate about what they are doing really speaks to me. I was always jealous of friends growing up who absolutely knew for certain that the wanted to be X, Y, or Z. I always felt like I was just tumbling through life without a real goal in mind. While I have some short-term and medium-term and probably even some long-terms goals, I don’t have any over-arching passion that’s driving my life. At least not one that I am aware of! There’s something so beautiful about having a calling in life… guess time will tell for me!

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