CIS Hangzhou

Daniel Carolan - 2014

"It's like Forrest Gump said, 'Life is a box of chocolates.' You never know what you're going to get. But everything you get is going to teach you something along the way and make you the person you are today. That's the exciting part - it's an adventure in itself. "

- Nick Carter

This is a blog on the adventures I will experience throughout the year in Chinese International School, Hangzhou.

China's Water Pollution Crisis

8th September 2014

What? Is Where? Why there? Why care?

In 2013, up to 40% of China's rivers were seriously polluted. 20% of that were so polluted that the water was rated to toxic to come in contact with. The test was done in areas of the Yangzte and Yellow River. Part of the reason for the intoxicated water was down to the fact that there is more than 10,000 petrochemical planets along the Yangzte River and 4000 along the Yellow River. The Ministry of Supervision recently reported that there are almost 1700 water pollution accidents annually. The petrochemical factories along the Yangzte and Yellow River dump wastewater into the rivers. Therefore, threatening lives of many villagers. We should care about this issue because 60,000 premature babies are being killed annually because of diseases related to China's water pollution. This issue could also affect us. It is important to be careful with our own health and take all the precautions needed.  #Geography

About Time

8th September 2014

Before you know it you'll be saying bye bye to Hangzhou. So value each moment you have while it lasts.

Film Opening Reviews

Hunger is set in 1981, when Bobby Sands leads a hunger strike from a prison in Northern Ireland. The first sound you hear is of rubbish bins being banged in a factory. At first the audience is not sure what this sound is or means. A women bangs the bins hard and fast, she is terribly exhausted. It cuts to a man going through his daily routine of getting ready for work. The whole scene has no soundtrack, but instead pays close attention to the small sounds. A man opens the tap and you can immediately hear the sound of the gushing water. The man takes off his rings and places them by the sink. That too has a sound. He places his hands into the cold water, sighing as he does so. His hands are scratched and bruised and the reason for him doing this is so that his fingers do not swell. In this scene there is no dialogue apart from the television and the radio in the car. The sound as he buttons up his shirt is clearly heard. When he leaves for work, there is no conversation or physical action to say goodbye to his wife. He opens the gates and they creep open slowly. Looking both ways down the street he sees nothing suspicious. He then checks under the car for suspicion of a bomb. Once assured he drives off, his wife looks out the window as he leaves.

I felt this scene was unlike any other I had saw. It payed so much detail to the small sounds you wouldn't think about in your daily routine. Steve McQueen brilliantly swayed away from a simple boring soundtrack that seems to happen a lot in the start of movies these days. Directors are just lazy and decide to therefore put an upbeat soundtrack in the background to prevent the audience from leaving the cinema. This is truly different and a creative way to start a film that is not done enough these days. #Film

6th September 2014

This film is set in the future where there is hardly any food left. Delicatessen starts off with a low angle shot getting closer and closer to a small butcher shop. The door to the butcher shop opens and the sound of a chime rings. A man is happily polishing his knife, The sound is uncanny and strange among the silence. The camera moves over his shoulder and into a pipe in the building. The sound of the man polishing his knife is still crystal clear. At the top of the pipe is another man listening into the butcher polishing his knife. He is nervous and dressed with rubbish all over him. This man is a customer at a small hotel the butcher owns. The butcher is a cannibal and the customer knows he's next on the menu. He decides to hide himself in the trash bin to get away from the butcher. The plan proves unsuccessful and the butcher receives his meal from the trash. The last shot is a low angle shot of the butcher raising his knife and bringing it down on the man.

I really enjoyed this first scene because I thought that the colours were very vivid and strong. Probably because of the directors comic book influence. The whole scene was very uncanny and got the audience siting on the age of there seats, not knowing what might happen next. It was very interesting how the directors added the comedic side to the film. I saw the comedy through the movements and the expressions of the characters. #Film

Congo Independence

What? Is Where? Why is it there? Why should we care?

What: A group of men and boys celebrate the independence of the Democratic Republic of Congo. A man holds up a rifle, pointing it to the sky. In the bottom left corner, a man wears a thick tie with a star in the middle. The star could represent the flag of the DR of Congo. The boys clothes in the middle of the shot are dirty and old. The men and boys are all raising their hands up to the sky. As if they are paying respect to Patrice Lumumba.

Is Where: The capital of DR Congo, Kinshasa.

Why is it there: The photo has been taken to encourage other African countries to become independent and free. In this moment the people of DR Congo are proud of their country and they want to show western countries how happy they are. They believe this is the start to their freedom. Not knowing that soon enough it will end.

Why should we care: The Democratic Republic of Congo has since faced two Congo wars, resulting in a 5.4 million death toll. It is now regarded as the world's deadliest war since WW2. The DR of Congo is now facing corruption, unrests, political instability and recent cases of Ebola virus. So why should we care? It is indefinitely up to you if you care or not.  I care because I believe this photo gives hope to the people of the Democratic Republic of Congo that are currently facing many problems.  #Geography

That Moment when you're doing an assignment and you go 'that actually makes sense'. And it is no longer an assignment, but a project you strive to complete.

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