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Je ne regrette rien

As I shimmy across the finish line of this semester, I have more than a few regrets. I wish I would have managed my time more wisely, found a job sooner so I wouldn’t have to work so much toward the end of the semester, and maybe spent less time investing in those things or people who were a waste of time. That said, I’ve found that regrets are only useful for a moment, to learn from, then they become a burden.

I’ve learned through my turbulent academic career that generally speaking we are all doing the best we can. So, I leave you all with the well wish that you can let go of the regrets as well as anything holding you back and embrace the upcoming Spring semester.

I leave you with a scene from my favorite film:

 

Love,

Reed

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Harvest

I can’t believe Thanksgiving is just over a week away. The last scene in Gerwig’s adaption really sets the mood. Now that I’m working full-time in retail, constantly around the general public, I’m not sure if I’ll be able to go home for Thanksgiving this year – these are the difficult times that fortify us. I can imagine Alcott writing about her family during a crisis like this – what does it reveal in us as characters?

I can only speak for myself, but I’ve found a new depth of resilience I never had seen in myself before. I’ve almost been sensitive – my feelings are easily hurt, I care deeply, and I often feel like the world around me is too emotionally saturated for me. It’s like someone needs to turn the volume down. So I’ve always thought of myself as weak. But now I’m starting to see that while it’s slow, steady, and I’m often knocked down, I haven’t yet failed to stand back up. Even if it takes longer than everyone else, I can’t count on myself to get back up.

I’m finding myself thinking about the 2021 holiday season – how we’ll look back on this year, perhaps with time, distance, and a vaccine between it and ourselves. For now, over the upcoming holidays, I plan to keep my chin up and keep moving forward. And that’s worth celebrating.

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Welcome Home

We’ve finally arrived at the point I think many of us have been waiting for: Gerwig’s Little Women. This film touched me when I saw it last year, so much so that I brought my mom and grandma back to see it. Seeing it at the Naro in Norfolk, Virginia, one of my favorite places in the world, is one of my favorite movies. Revisiting it this weekend didn’t disappoint. It was a much needed balm after a tempest of a week. It felt like coming home.

This sense of familial warmth is distinct in this adaptation. The scenes in which the girls put on their plays, in particular, jump from the screen and remind me of my own childhood. They’re beautifully designed, acted, and captured. When I think about this version I think of the unbridled joy – the girls laughing in their costumes, shrieking in the carriage as Jo runs after the professor in the rain – and the profound loss. The scene on the beach between Beth and Jo, particularly the camera pulling back as the sand blows in the win is breathtaking.

I can’t wait to dive into this in class this week – it will be a much needed joy after a hellish week.

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That 19th Century, 90’s Nostalgia

I hadn’t really watched the 1994 Little Women until this week. Apparently I’d seen bits and pieces of it as a kid, because some frames were so familiar to me – and I distinctly remember the cover of the VHS copy we owned. Perhaps that’s why this version in particular feels so nostalgic to me, but I also think there is something inherently warm about this adaptation.

Maybe it’s the performances – Susan Sarandon, Winona Ryder, and Christian Bale are all incredibly talented and well-cast here. But to me it really comes down to the overall aesthetic. The cinematography by Geoffrey Simpson combined with the direction from Gillian Armstrong is just remarkable here. Every frame seems to glow. I can’t believe I’m saying this, but this might take the number one spot from Gerwig’s version for me… which is really saying something.