Postmodernism?

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Source: Pixabay CC0 Public Domain

Postmodernism is a word that’s been floating around in my life for what feels like a long time. Previously if anybody had asked me to describe what exactly Postmodernism was I don’t think I would’ve been able to make a very good stab at it. Now, I can make a pretty decent stab at it but I’m still no expert.

We’ve discussed Postmodernism this semester in Film Studies and today in American Literature. I find Postmodernism interesting.  I like Postmodernism. I’m beginning to think that I have a Postmodernist mindset? If that exists?

We discussed Postmodernist buildings in particular. I like the way our lecturer David described it, “Playfulness for playfulness’s sake”. Aspects of Postmodernist buildings serve no functional purpose and yet there they are.

Postmodernist buildings have unnecessary decoration and elements to them. You could say its needless but I would disagree because I think life needs an element of crazy.

Here is a picture of the dancing house in Prague. I have been here and at the time was unaware that this was what you could call a ‘Postmodernist building’. The things you learn…

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Source: Pixabay CC0 Public Domain

If there’s a post, there must be a pre, and in this case that is Modernism. I don’t think I’m a fan of Modernism’s simplicity and need for functionality. Maybe sometimes we need the confusion.

On the Horizon

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Source: William Buetler, Flickr

On Monday I had my first of three FYP workshops. There has been talk of the FYP since I started going to UL and in all honesty I hadn’t put any real thought into it until this semester. This resulted in a mini panic at the beginning of the semester asking myself “what am I even interested in?”. The answer to that question was a lot of things, too many things maybe. All seemingly irrelevant also.

Fast forward to week 7 and here I am with my life moderately in order. I have decided to do my FYP on Anthony Burgess’ A Clockwork Orange and how it has influenced popular culture. I don’t have a definite research question yet but I am happy with where everything is going. I also have a supervisor who is excited about the idea.

The workshops are there to help us focus ourselves and to define our ideas. We were given a task in class to write about why we had chosen this topic and what was its purpose. This helped me to define in my own mind what exactly it was that I wanted to achieve.

I think the workshops will be really useful as up until now the information we have received has been very general. Now I feel it is more focused and I think that will be more beneficial.

It was interesting to see what topics others had decided on in class and I’ve been enjoying hearing what ideas my own friends have. It’s been a good opportunity to learn about new things.

Now I’m actually looking forward to starting work on my topic but get back to me again in fourth year on that.

BudaBest

blog2A picture I took from Buda Castle ft. The Danube and the Hungarian Parliament

Disclaimer: I know how to spell Budapest…

To begin on my reflection of my third year in the University of Limerick, I’ll go back to the beginning.

My third year in college began with a semester abroad in Budapest as part of the Erasmus program. Looking back on Erasmus almost two months later I realise how much it benefited me. Despite the disappointment of failed expectations, I generally look back on the whole experience fondly.

I’m glad Erasmus was a mandatory part of my New Media & English course because I don’t know if I would have gone for it otherwise. Living in a country where a vast majority of the people I came into contact with had little to no English meant I paid more attention to the other ways I communicate. It’s funny how a mixture of hand gestures and facial expressions can say so much. It was frustrating at times and especially at the beginning when I was unfamiliar with my surroundings but it created a lot of funny situations.

The relaxed atmosphere made college more enjoyable. I had few hours each week, so I was never under a lot of stress when it came to my workload. I took a Communicating Across Cultures seminar that was full of other Erasmus students. I learnt in more depth about cultural differences and how the way we communicate means different things in other cultures. It was interesting to talk to others about Ireland and the differences between our cultures.

The class mirrored the changes I was experiencing whilst living in Hungary and helped me to understand them. I had never heard of the term acculturation before, but I learnt it refers to the stages you go through when you move to a new country or enter into a new culture. I think I remained in the tourist phase of excitement for most of my stay because there was so much to see but I definitely entered into the culture shock phase more than a few times.

bloggErasmus was a multitude of things but overall a positive experience. I think it’s important to note that it wasn’t everything I wanted it to be and every day wasn’t a good one, but I look back now and see how much I gained from it. It would be hard to put into one blog post everything that Erasmus was.

I think whether the experience was a good or a bad one for you that you can take something from it, even if that something is that you never want to do anything like it ever again. Being able to travel to countries such as Slovakia, Poland, Austria and the Czech Republic is something I don’t think I could have achieved at this point in my life without Erasmus.  I feel an attachment to Hungary and I definitely want to visit again soon.

(All images are my own)