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Welcome!

Hello!

And thank you for stopping by my blog. As a part of my language learning journey I was told that starting a blog would help me share my story with others as well as allow me to stay motivated to continue with it whenever it became more difficult than usual.

I decided to use that idea and apply it to the variety of things that I do with my life (which as you can see from the menu above, ranges from a wide variety of topics) so that I make the most of everyday and improve myself more and more.

As for the name, a high school friend of mine jokingly called me a modern renaissance man whenever I was telling him about all of the different things that I plan on learning throughout my life. As he pointed out, during the renaissance, the famous men of the time specialized in everything; art,  science, engineering, etc. Therefore my plan is to strive for their level on enlightenment,  but just in different categories.

I hope you enjoy my stories, rants, and life lessons. Please share my inspiration and motivation to better yourself everyday.

Posted in Academic/Professional

End of Summer Update- Academic/Professional

I’m not sure if I ever posted this but I graduated with my Bachelors degree this past May. This has put me in an interesting place with about one year left on my National Guard contract plus one more year for my girlfriend to finish her Bachelors. I have already let everybody know that I plan on going to law school. So what should I do in my gap year?

Well, I decided to go back to school. This time for a certification in Paralegal. This way I can gain knowledge of the workings of the law and still work in the legal field regardless of law school.

This Summer I have studied for the LSAT daily, which is more than I’ve ever studied for any other test in my entire life.

Outside of that though I have been reading a lot more (I’ll post about that in my Media/Pop Culture section) and recently I have started watching a TED talk a day. This started because the polyglot whose method I’m following for language learning, Benny Lewis of Fluent in 3 Months, was featured on a few and now I watch a variety of them. Regardless of if its language learning, travel, self-improvement, passive income, etc, I enjoy hearing their stories and gaining ideas that I can implement in my life.

Finally, I have added the Khan Academy app to my phone and I have done a lesson or video every night before I go to bed. This started because I felt the need to cut down on social media intake but now I love it because it is a refresher of things that I learned in high school that I have never used again but are still things that I feel would be useful to know, like physics or economics.

Just because it’s Summer break doesn’t mean you should stop learning, and if you’re out of school that also doesn’t mean you should be done learning. You should try to improve yourself and your mind everyday, starting by learning, or relearning, one new thing everyday.

Posted in Media/Pop Culture

Spider-Man (2002)

I have finally gotten to the point in my Marvel watch-through that most everybody knows and loves. The first Tobey Maguire Spider-Man. This movie I feel is very important not only to Marvel or Spider-Man but also to the idea of what a Marvel movie is today.

This is one of the better representations of how old Spidey should be and it includes the webs shooting directly out of his wrists, unlike all the other movies and unfortunately the comics too (until he fights the Spider Queen, but you’ll just have to read the comics for that).

The major downside of this movie is that it eliminates the original Green Goblin. The Green Goblin is supposed to be one of Spidey’s most notorious villains and they killed him in the first movie so it didn’t leave much room to expand.

Other than that it includes some major highlights such as the best portrayal I’ve seen of J. Jonah Jameson (the newspaper boss) and his famous “Get me pictures of Spider-Man!” this movie is also host to the ‘famous’ upside-down Spider-Man kiss. This is also parodied in Weird Al’s song Ode to A Superhero.

The most important part of this movie is the very short and very easily missed Stan Lee cameo where he pulls a kid to safety when the Goblin is attacking downtown during the big festival. It is the first appearance of Stan Lee in a Marvel movie.

Still no post credits scene though…

Posted in Health/Fitness

End of Summer Update- Fitness

This past month and a half has boosted my fitness significantly more than the rest of the Summer I believe. Running I have not been keeping up with, that part was better at the beginning of Summer. However, once I figure out my schedule for this semester I do plan on running everyday. My martial arts has significantly improved this Summer. I have been going to a lesson twice a day if possible. I have the first three Karate kata’s memorized and I also plan on testing for my blue belt in Jiu Jitsu in October. Outside of martial arts, I have been regularly improving my push-ups and sit-ups as well as my flexibility. My martial arts gym has added a Yoga class that I have started to attend. Over the school year I plan on regularly improving my squats and Karate kicks as well. A set of foam nun-chucks allows me to get a melee weapon practice without the fear of injuring myself, others, or things in my house.

Posted in Military/Politics

End of Summer Update- Military/Politics

Throughout the Summer I kept everybody updated on my biggest military happenings; mostly just Field Artillery school. I still serve as a human resources specialist however, and unlike previously thought I will not be getting a promotion because I don’t have enough time left on my contract. I was able to do some public relations for the National Guard earlier this week at a county fair, these are the events that I enjoy because people want to hear my experiences and want to share theirs.

On the 21st of this month I will only have one year left on my contract and from there I’m not sure if I’ll stay in the military or not- and if I do where at or doing what are also up in the air. I’m just going to finish this contract month by month and see where it takes me.

Politics, other than basic social media politics I haven’t been very active. Today’s events in Virginia have me worried though, especially with more and more people calling for a second Civil War (without thinking about any of the repercussions of such a thing). I’ll be interested to see how it goes and I’ll be sure to have discussions on here about different events that happen.

Posted in Language Learning/Travel

End of Summer Update- French

My Summer will end in exactly one week thanks to band camp and then college starting back up. I figured that I should give an update on how everything ended up going over the past three and a half months.

Writing this post in English doesn’t really prove that I’ve made much progress in French, however I wanted to write it in English so that I could articulate better.

Learning a language comes down to your ability in five different parts of that language: reading, writing, speaking (pronunciation), listening, and thinking.

Continue reading “End of Summer Update- French”

Posted in Media/Pop Culture

Blade II (2002)

The first sequel in my Marvel watch-through is Blade II, made only 4 years after the first one. This movie went like the first one in the sense that he’s not really a superhero, just more of a half-Vampire with a good alignment. However, this movie makes him team up with the Vampire council in order to eliminate a new breed of Vampire that is threatening Humans and Vampires alike.

So far I’m going to say that they’re not ‘good’ but definitely fall into the ‘ok’ category of movies; however they shouldn’t have been forgotten like they are because they are still enjoyable. This one having a little humor (and a lot of swearing).

The main problem I have here is how the movie begins. During the first film, Blade’s “sidekick”, Whistler, kills himself in order to not turn into a Vampire. However the beginning of this movie is Blade rescuing him from the Vampires because he did turn and then was kidnapped. I realize that he is an enjoyable character and definitely needed for the plot, but if you killed him you killed him. Bringing him back this way doesn’t make sense. They tried to connect it to the end of the first movie (which ends where he is hunting Vampires in Russia) by saying how Blade searched Russia and Romania and all over the globe looking for him, nice try, but I’m not buying it.

Now this may be something else that I overlooked, but I don’t think it was ever revealed how Blade became so good at well, using a sword. Like ok, he’s a half-Vampire which could explain heightened senses, but not that skill with a blade.

Overall I feel like this movie is underrated but wild. A pretty ok watch for sure- just don’t have your kids watch it with you.

Posted in Life/Other

You Never Know Who Is Watching

The title probably made it sound creepy or more like the novel 1984 (which is on my to-read list). But this was talking about finding out that people actually pay attention to your life.

At the beginning of July I made a video and several posts on here as well as a variety of social media that said I was going to be doing a month without English. Now, that didn’t work out quite as well as planned and I had to restart it later in July and I’ve now named it A Month With A Lot of French. More on that later in the language learning section (and a half-way through video as well).

This weekend was the first time that I have gone to a normal National Guard drill all Summer. This was due to graduating college and attending field artillery qualification school. At the end of the weekend, when I was going to clean my section area, I was approached by a fellow Soldier. Now I’ve talked to this guy a few times here and there as is expected because we are in the unit together but nothing that would require much knowledge of the other persons’ civilian life.

However, I was completely caught off guard whenever he asked me how my French was coming along. He had said that he had seen my post on Facebook and that he thought it was very interesting. We then talked about the progress I’ve made and the current challenges that I’m facing.

Other than this, early last week my jiu jitsu instructor gave me a shoutout at the end of class the one day. He told the class how I had come in and completely bombed a tournament, like embarrassingly,  but still came to class the following week without being discouraged. Then I went to my second tournament and still lost, but I did much better and I came off the mat and immediately asked the questions about how to improve the previous match. He then continued by saying how I’ve started to come to Judo so that I could improve my take-downs (and my counter take-downs). At the end he had said that he saw me running that morning and that he enjoyed seeing me improving myself physically outside of the class as well.

Both of these instances I was doing what I do because I wanted to improve myself for me, without any idea that anybody was paying attention to how my progress was coming. So do what you do, improve yourself where you need it, and somebody may notice and somebody may not; but do it for you. Besides, champions are built when nobody is looking.

Posted in Media/Pop Culture

X-Men (2000)

Finally I have reached the year 2000 on my Marvel watch-through. However, this is where the bulk of the movies are.

X-Men is a movie that I have seen a decent amount of times and I find it very enjoyable. The first dilemma I noticed is that when Rouge ran away from home and met up with Wolverine, nobody reported her missing? When Professor X is giving Wolverine a tour he says that most of the students there are run-aways, now wouldn’t that raise several red flags in the legal world?

Speaking of the legal world; X-Men is great but it doesn’t fit in with the rest of the Marvel universe that it supposedly is a part of because there is constantly legislation being passed that monitor and harm mutants but yet other superheros like Spider-Man or Captain America are perfectly ok? That doesn’t really make sense.

After that, when they are trying to find out more about Wolverine and they point out his skeleton and the healing factor but yet they don’t say anything about the fucking claws that come out of his hands being one of his mutations. Speaking of claws, Sabertooth is a joke of a villain in this movie but in X-Men Origins: Wolverine it clearly shows us that he is supposed to be Wolverine’s brother. I understand with a lack of memory how Wolverine wouldn’t have noticed but that doesn’t say why Sabertooth didn’t.

Following that when Mystique puts the (what I assume to be) poison in Cerebro, that conveniently renders Professor X unconscious for the entire battle; I’m assuming that that was a poison of the mind, since it only activated when he put on the helmet, I’m not sure and it definitely wasn’t clear at all.

The biggest problem that I had with it however was that at the end, Mystique was able to disguise herself as a guard so that she wouldn’t go to jail except that she was stabbed in the stomach by Wolverine and layed there for who knows how long. She is then able to disguise herself as the dead senator, and openly speak against the bill that he proposed, and nobody found that fishy? Doesn’t this man have a family or anything?

I am still yet to see one of the famous Marvel post-credits scenes as well. This is a must watch for any X-Men or superhero fan and a decent movie for anybody else.