Loving Vincent


This week I received three suggestions for the library’s Fall Movie Challenge, which I chose “Groundbreaking” for my challenge. One of the films chosen for me was Loving Vincent, an animated film that investigates the end of Vincent Vah Gogh’s life.

The film was made from Van Gogh’s paintings and oil paintings inspired by his style. It’s a visual feast. The story is engaging. The hero is a young man whose father was a good friend of Van Gogh’s and the village postman. The father sends his son on a mission to take a letter of Van Gogh’s to the artist’s brother Theo. Soon the hero learns that Theo is dead so now the hero doesn’t know what to do with the letter and embarks on a journey to discover what exactly happened to Van Gogh at his death.

The film then goes back and forth in time  with black and white flashbacks of what took place at the time of Van Gogh’s death and shows how murky the the interpretation of what really happened is.

With Aidan Turner and Eleanor Tomlinson of Poldark, Chris O’Dowd of Moone Boy and Saoirse Ronan, the film stars Douglas Booth, who was new to me, but who does a great job as a stubborn young man learning to figure out life as he puzzles out what to do about this letter from a dead man to his dead brother.

Below there’s a short video on how they made this groundbreaking film.

Weekend Coffee Share

wordswag_15073188796611453091488Weekend Coffee Share is a time for us to take a break out of our lives and enjoy some time catching up with friends (old and new)!

Grab a cup of coffee and share with us! What’s been going on in your life? What are your weekend plans? Is there a topic you’ve just been ruminating on that you want to talk about?

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Moody Church Chicago

If we were having coffee, I’d rave about Open House Chicago, where visitors can choose from 250+ sites of architectural significance, many that are not usually open to the public. On Saturday I went with a friend to a dozen or so sites in the Gold Coast neighborhood, including St. Chrysostom Church, the Graham Foundation, Moody Church, The Palette and Chisel art center and several others. On Sunday I volunteered at the First Methodist Church of Evanston and beforehand saw American Toby Jug Museum, a distillery and an architectural firm housed in a one time horse stable. The weather this year was ideal, sunny and a bit crisp. Volunteering was fun and allowed me to meet some new people. In addition, as a volunteer I got two tickets for Chicago Architectural Foundation’s walking tours (worth $25 or so). This week I’ll share posts on each significant site.

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At the American Toby Jug Museum

I just got home from my October Great Books Discussion Group. On the one hand it was great that we had a large group, 15 (which might be a little too big). We read Genesis this month and I’d looked forward to a lively discussion. There are many very sharp people in this group. However, the leader spent about 35 minutes expounding on background information, unaware that a lot of the people there knew much of what he shared. It was quite exasperating. Then when we did get to talk we just went around the table sharing impressions. By the time everyone had shared their impressions, rather than talking about the text as is the point of Great Books we had a lot of ramblings and digressive commentary. We flitted from one person to the next, never coming to the few questions people raised about the text when we went around the table. Such a waste of time. A couple people had joined and seemed to just want a platform to talk about irrelevant ideas. The leader occasionally broke in with more background, which we’d heard before. Not our best meeting.

I’d also say I was captivated by the animated film Loving Vincent, which uses oil paintings and the subjects of Vincent van Gogh’s paintings to tell the story of the last weeks of his life. Amazing!

Visit Eclectic Allie’s blog for links to other Weekend Coffee Shares.

 

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Which Way Challenge

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This week I’m sharing some stairs and doors. The top two are in New York and the last one’s from Lincoln Park, Chicago.

The Which Way Challenge, that Cee began, has been picked up by the Sonofthebeach69 blogger.  The beauty of it is that it’s very free form. You can include images of doors, gates, roads, streets exits, signs, paths, waterways, you name it.

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Join the fun. Share some directionally oriented photos and link to Sonofthebeach69 so we can find them. Include the image below.

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Getting Your “Dream” Job, Some Tips

I wanted to share some tips for getting, what the presenters called your “dream” job. I do have a problem with the idea of “dream jobs” as they sound so romantic and out of reach. It’s not that I think it’s wrong to be ambitious, but a dream is ethereal and not real so I don’t think it’s a good term for our career aspirations. Yet, it’s catchy and probably why the session was approved.

The session was given by a successful Executive Director at a library and the executive recruiter who discovered her.

I’ll share the tip, explain it and then give my 2¢.

  1. When you see your dream job, set your cap for it.
    In a nutshell, if you see an ad for a job you love, don’t for a minute allow any doubts.
    Hmm. I have a more balanced outlook and believe this thinking is akin to looking for your soulmate. It might work out or it could lead to emotional devastation. In addition, it might mean you lose out on equally good opportunities that you hadn’t considered. I would say that if you have doubts, you can overcome them and perhaps you should listen to them. Develop your powers of discernment. If you’re job hunting with the rose-colored glasses of “dream jobs,” then my hunch is you might be setting yourself up for disappointment. 
  2. When asked what you’re most proud of in your life, always tell them something about your career.
    Okay, I guess that’s what gets you the job, though it’s short-sighted.
    If I were hiring, I wouldn’t discount someone who shared something from their personal life to answer this. Actually, I doubt I’d ask this question. I have interviewed lots of people for the JET Programme and it’s just not a question that helps us determine who’d make a good assistant language teacher. 
  3. Find typical interview questions online and practice your answers repeatedly.
    Seems sensible.
  4. Make sure you dress for the job that’s one level above what you’re applying for and make sure your shoes look good.
    People will scrutinize you so don’t overlook anything. At another job hunting program, I heard that you shouldn’t overdress. I suppose going more formal is better than dressing too casually.
  5. Always write a thank you note. 
    Most advisors suggest this. On Wednesday they also said not to contact them otherwise. Don’t be a pest. Well, if they keep you waiting for months, it’s hard to be so passive.
  6. Your cover letter should have flair.
    Here I’ve lately been straightforward and an attempt to prove how transferable my skills are. One speaker gave an example sentence when trying to move out of Youth Services to Adult Services in public libraries. She attributes her phrase that “Youth Services Librarians are mental gymnasts” to her getting an interview. So I do agree that being more clever can help. I do think too many gimmicks could backfire by making you sound odd. In ESL/EFL I don’t think such language is necessary, but if you know the field and its conventions use that knowledge when composing your letter.

I’ll share more tomorrow.

I was surprised when someone asked about job posts that don’t specify the salary range. The executive recruiter said that it’s fine to call and ask. They may not say and you shouldn’t talk about money till later in the interview process. One reason jobs may not publish the salary range is that they may end up paying someone $70,000 for a job that’s range is actually $55,000. Then someone might sue if they found out saying, “I’d have applied if you said the range was up to $70,000.” I’m surprised that someone could sue based on that. I’m astonished that an employer would pay $15,000 or more above what the range is supposed to be.

Thursday Door Challenge

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The Plaza Hotel

Someone suggested I join Norm’s Thursday Door Challenge, so I’m sharing some doors I saw in New York City. You can check out more doors on Norm’s blog here.

Thursday Doors is a weekly feature allowing door lovers to come together to admire and share their favorite door photos from around the world. Feel free to join in on the fun by creating your own Thursday Doors post each week and then sharing it, between Thursday morning and Saturday noon (North American Eastern Time).

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