Autoethnography of my Cultural Exchange to the Netherlands and other travels

I have always wanted to travel, even from a young age, I was quite independent. In primary school, I started to get bullied and I wanted to go and live with my Aunty in New Zealand, this started my passion for wanting to live elsewhere which led me to student exchange research. When I was 15, my first overseas trip was to New Zealand for my cousin’s wedding. Since then travel has become a big part of my life, and I venture out of home every 6 months for the last few years.

Within 6 months of attending my cousin’s wedding in New Zealand, I was on my way to the Netherlands for Student Exchange and had my 16th birthday there a few weeks into my stay. I lived in Eindhoven which is a city in the south of the Netherlands, and this is where my new family of 4, became a family of 5.  I chose to go to the Netherlands because this is where my heritage lies. My dad’s parents immigrated to Australia from the Netherlands in 1957. I always found my heritage fascinating and I wanted to reconnect with other family members that were there as well. My Opa (Grandfather) was sick and passed away a month before I flew out, this was another reason I chose the Netherlands. When I finished year 12, I went back to see my host family and see more of my real family. One year later (November 2015), I found myself in New Zealand again, recovering from a terrible break-up. 6 months later (June, 2016), I was on an aeroplane to the USA to live in New Jersey for 2 months while I worked as a soccer coach on Summer Camps. 6 months after returning from the USA, I went to India for 3 weeks with Girl Guides where I travelled and volunteered my time in a women’s refuge (December – January 2016/2017). Winter of 2017, I found myself a job in the Snowy Mountains at Thredbo where I worked as a children’s program assistant for 2 months during the University break.  Another 6 months later, at the end of 2017 and the start of 2018, I found myself in London and back in the Netherlands for Christmas and New Years with my host family.

All these travel experiences bring me to today, where I write this autoethnography, reflecting and understanding my experiences in a greater depth. Throughout my travel experiences, I have experienced different types of shock – culture, language, role and identity. In each of my travel experiences, I made voluntary transitions into the cultures as a temporary sojourner (those who are exposed to a new environment for a short period of time), a tourist (staying abroad for short period of time to sight-see), or as an expatriate (individuals that engage in employment abroad) (Jackson J, 2014, pp. 183 – 184).  Each day of travelling presented new challenges and differences that I had to overcome to make the most of the experience. Throughout this autoethnography, I will share specific examples of culture shock and intercultural experiences that have shaped who I am today.

Culture shock “refers to the disorientation that many anthropologists often experience when entering a new culture to do field work” (Jackson J, 2014, p. 190). Goldstein and Keller (2015), defines a more simplistic definition stating “culture shock is the process of initial adjustment to an unfamiliar environment” and “the term can be used to describe the emotional, psychological, behavioural, cognitive and physiological impact of the adjustment process on the individual” (p. 188). 15826017_1458859364138629_1993925150899130690_nCulture shock was definitely something that I experienced when I landed in the Netherlands and America but India had the greatest impact of all. As I stepped out of the airport, my senses went into overdrive, the smells were not pleasant, and the sounds were foreign, loud, repetitive and irritating – I knew I wasn’t at home anymore. All my senses throughout the whole trip were heightened and it was exhausting by the end. I remember specifically being picked up from New Delhi International Airport late at night. We were greeted by our host at the terminal and walked out of the airport to find the bus that was going to take us to our hotel. The driving style of zipping in and out, not having lanes, people just walking in the middle of the road and screeching horns every two seconds was incredible. I was naturally shocked and frightened worrying about crashing and dying or that someone was going to open the back doors and steal our bags. This is only one example from my India trip where I felt out of place and shocked by the different culture. 15940870_1472050009486231_7060662925383916168_nEven though I had done a lot of research on India and spoken to many people who have been there before, nothing was going to prepare me for the rapid change in culture. Goldstein and Keller (2015) recognise that there are internal causes of culture shock which relates to identity confusion and poor stress management as well as external causes which are more common. They are the physical aspects such as language differences, communication difficulties and the physical surroundings. Since having experienced culture shock to a whole new level it has opened me up to new experiences and has shaped my personality and the way I see the world.

Munoz (2013) wrote a blog called “5 reasons why experiencing culture shock is good for you” and states that the best way to overcome overwhelming situations is to embrace the “opportunity to immerse yourself in an entirely new culture, and then emerge as a global citizen”.

Munoz (2013), “5 reasons why experiencing culture shock is good for you” are:

  1. It will shape your personality
  2. It forces you to adapt
  3. Your circle of friends will expand
  4. You’ll never be afraid of culture shock again
  5. It will teach you valuable lessons

387724_336576776366899_1113948987_n

I feel as though I had done this when I was in the Netherlands. I embraced every opportunity that was given to me, I learnt the language, went to school and even got a Dutch ID card. Some might say that I embraced the culture too much when I put on 18kg. Leaving the Netherlands was harder than leaving Australia because I had friends who actually liked me and I had built a completely new identity that I was finally happy with. This is identified by Jackson (2014), as assimilation, ‘where one does not retain their original cultural identity… instead, they seek close interaction with the host culture and adopt cultural values, traditions and norms of the new society’ (p. 188).  I adopted the transportation culture of riding a bike everywhere, even if it was pouring with rain, I would ride my bike to school like it was nothing, and then stand under the heaters for 15 minutes while I dried off and got warm again. To assist with assimilation and learning of the language, I undertook a second Dutch class instead of German and I took an English class, as well as the usual, history, geography, sport, and art. It wasn’t easy learning in a new language, but I assimilated quickly by studying extra hard so that I could communicate successfully.

Because I had assimilated to the Dutch culture, it was extremely hard to return to Australia. This is where I experienced reverse culture shock. Reverse culture shock focuses “on the stresses and challenges associated with moving back to one’s own home culture after one has sojourned or lived in another cultural environment” (Presbitero, 2016, p. 29). The culture shock of returning home was so hard, that I became severely depressed: I would only speak Dutch and I would call the Netherlands ‘home’. Presbitero (2016), also showed through research that with minimal support for returning students, they are more likely to be impacted by psychological and sociocultural aspects of their return home. He also states that individuals are more likely to feel that their overall life satisfaction and coping with the day-to-day stresses of social life is lowered (p. 29). Cornell University (nd.), recognises that reverse culture shock can be difficult in 5 ways; boredom and restlessness, reverse homesickness, no one wants to hear, relationships have changed and identity issues. I experienced all these feelings when I returned home. I would drink secretly after school, home didn’t feel like home, no one wanted to listen to the stories I wanted to share, my friendship circle at school had changed and I didn’t know who I was anymore.

The U-curve theory addresses the ‘honeymoon, culture shock, adjustment and mastery’ stages. Gullahorn and Gullahorn created the W-curve in 1963 expanding on the U-curve which assesses the re-entry of an individual into their home culture. Pritchard (2011), says that culture shock can be more difficult in returning to your own country and can often take up to 6 – 24 months to readjust as the traveller has acquired new experiences, attitudes and coping styles. Jackson (2014), recognises the W-curve model and says that struggles can come from missing ‘their independent lifestyle and friends made abroad, and [they] find it difficult to fit back into the rhythm of local life’ (p. 207). It took a good 6-18 months to settle back into school and home and to feel like me again, but even when I had re-settled, I knew that a part of me was still in the Netherlands.

Wcurve
https://www.state.gov/m/fsi/tc/c56075.ht

Since reflecting upon my experiences and learning about intercultural communication, I have been able to process the struggles that I was faced with throughout my return to Australia after studying abroad in the Netherlands and other holidays. Culture shock is always going to happen when you travel somewhere new because you’re exploring a foreign environment that you are not used to. Reverse culture shock for me is always going to happen when I return home from my travels as I always immerse and assimilate myself into the cultures that I am exploring to the best of my ability – which makes returning home difficult. Reflecting on this has allowed me to be more open with my mental health and understand that reverse culture shock is real.

References:

Allison, P Davis-Berman, J Berman, Dene., 2012, Changes in Latitude, changes in attitude: Analysis of the effects of reverse culture shock – a study of students returning from youth expeditions, Leisure Studies, vol. 31, no. 4, pp. 487 – 503.

Goldstein S, Keller S, 2015, U.S College students’ lay theories of culture shock, International Journal of Intercultural Relations, vol. 47, pp. 187 – 194.

Jackson J, 2014, Introducing Language and Intercultural communication, edn. 1,  Routledge, Oxon, pp. 180 – 213.

Munoz D, 2013, 5 reasons why experiencing culture shock is good for you, last viewed 25 May 2018, <https://www.vergemagazine.com/work-abroad/blogs/980-5-reasons-why-experiencing-culture-shock-is-good-for-you.html>.

Presbitero A, 2016, Culture shock and reverse culture shock: The moderating role of cultural intelligence in international students’ adaptation, International Journal of Intercultural Relations, vol. 53, pp. 28-38.

Pritchard R, 2011, Re-entry Trauma: Asian Re-integration After Study in the West, Journal of Studies in International Education, vol. 15, no. 1, pp. 93 – 111.

Smith B, Yang W, 2017, Learning Outcomes in an Interdisciplinary Study Abroad Program: Developing a Global Perspective, Journal of Family and Consumer Sciences, Vol. 109, no. 1, p. 43 – 50.

US Department of State, (n.d.), Reverse Culture Shock: the challenges of returning home, US Department of State Diplomacy in Action, last viewed 28 May 2018, <https://www.state.gov/m/fsi/tc/c56075.htm>.

Wu A, LaBrack B, (n.d.), Re-entry and reverse culture shock, Cornell University, last viewed 28 May 2018, <https://www.cuabroad.cornell.edu/_customtags/ct_FileRetrieve.cfm?File_ID=0E0673704F7A707272720105731F7505797C1B0C0578776B02737677700200007177057207060771>.

 

 

Advertisements

When you assume you put the Ass in Ass’Traya Content

When people are asked about Australian content, it isn’t always favourable. Australian’s view locally produced content as… Bogan, with an outback setting, manly characters, with terrible accents and purely just one big “piss up” in the country we call home. While this doesn’t surprise me, I still think Australia has produced some great film and television, Love Child, Rabbit Proof Fence, Underbelly, Packed to the Rafters, McLeod’s Daughters, The Wrong Girl, All Saints, Wentworth, Muriel’s Wedding, and Mad Max. The box office begs to differ with my personal opinion of great Australian content, I still enjoyed them, and I know that they are crowd favourites from our class discussions.

What classifies Australian Content to be “Australian”?

Screen Australia is the amalgamation of the Government, Australian Film Commission (AFC) and Film Finance Corporation (FFC) along with other agencies supporting the Australian Film Industry. Australian films are funded by the Federal Government to support “Australian screen production, with an aim to create an Australian industry that is innovative, culturally important and commercially stable” (Screen Australia, 2015).

Surprise!

When you think of Australian content in the media I bet you don’t think of The Great Gatsby, do you? Either did I at first, there was definitely no terrible Australian accents and there was nothing but class in the film although our drinking culture was definitely present. One Australian actress (Isla Fisher) doesn’t make it an Australian film, but according to Screen Australia, a film is classified as Significant Australian Content if:

  • the subject matter of the film
  • the place where the film was made
  • the nationalities and places of residence of the persons who took part in the making of the film
  • the details of the production expenditure incurred in respect of the film, and
  • any other matters that we consider to be relevant.

We all love a bit of Leo and Isla but what classifies The Great Gatsby to be Australian is the great Baz Luhrmann – an Australian screen writer and producer (and his team that produced the film). Luhrmann gathered a significant amount of experienced cast and crew members (400 to be exact) over the 17 weeks of filming. While the NSW Government invested 40% of the Producer Rebate to assist with the production and financing of the film. At the AACTA Awards in 2014, Gatsby came out on top.

Creative content and control is a significant indicator to what classifies Australian Content. The clip below from Studio 10 covers the key points in the classification.

It seems as though even our Australian media professionals are confused and they need some clarification themselves.

While Australian’s cringe at the sight of our locally produced content, we hold the history close to our heart, and we will always feel at home with Australian content. Cringe worthy Australian content is being produced, but what Australia really wants is something that is engaging, entertaining and not another boring History lesson from High School that makes us want to fall asleep or worse, not watch it at all – Australian content should be celebrated not cringed at!

 

Say what?! I don’t own my photos anymore?!

When you think about media regulation, do you think about all of those T&C’s that you clicked ‘I agree’ to without even reading what you were accepting? I know I do, and I am now very aware from my previous studies at UOW that Facebook own every photo that I post and can just take it without your permission. Were you aware? Below is a snippet Facebook’s “Statement of Rights and Responsibilities”:

  1. Privacy

Your privacy is very important to us. We designed our Data Policy to make important disclosures about how you can use Facebook to share with others and how we collect and can use your content and information. We encourage you to read the Data Policy, and to use it to help you make informed decisions.

  1. Sharing Your Content and Information

You own all of the content and information you post on Facebook and you can control how it is shared through your privacy and application settings. In addition:

  1. For content that is covered by intellectual property rights, like photos and videos (IP content), you specifically give us the following permission, subject to your privacy and application settings: you grant us a non-exclusive, transferable, sub-licensable, royalty-free, worldwide license to use any IP content that you post on or in connection with Facebook (IP License). This IP License ends when you delete your IP content or your account unless your content has been shared with others, and they have not deleted it.

So let’s get this straight, I own everything I post, but in ways, Facebook can take my information and use it as their own? Hmm… Seems logical right? My issue is that they can take your information without asking your permission, and what has the basis of last few weeks of this subject been about – asking permission before taking photos or information or things from an individual and using it as your own.

Meet the Smith’s, a typical American family from Missouri, 2 children with a mum and a dad. Happy and smiling for a family Christmas portrait, they never thought that they would hear from their family friend travelling in Prague where they spotted their faces on an advertisement for a grocery store in the Czech Republic. Kennedy (2009) explained that when the mother of the family posted her photo of her family on multiple social media sites (in high revolution, I must add), she never expected to have a random store owner on the other side of the world to use the photo. The family was complimented with a bottle of wine and the photo was removed from the advertising. This example is one of many were individuals have posted photos online unconsciously knowing that it could be used anywhere in the world by anyone.

 

This reveals major anxieties for anyone that hears about these stories as I can imagine, the fear of the photos they may put online or anybody being able to use these phones would incite some form of fear for some individuals. In most cases you will find that businesses protect their rights against being able to use consumer images through their terms and conditions THAT WE DONT READ! It’s a big long trap of extra reading to people don’t generally have time for, so it’s something that just gets skipped over, but then revealing that imagines may be used for marketing purposes if you click accept.

There is regulation in the media as a whole through T&C’s along with laws and codes of conducts that producing media need to follow for example; The Commercial Television Code of Conduct which is often advertised on television and the radio making consumers aware of the practices that commercials should be following when advertising. They allow you to have a say and openly contact the practice to report of any behaviours that you consider not appropriate.

Personal regulations that I had growing up was time limits on the computer, I had to make my parents (well my mum – dad doesn’t know how to use computers) aware if I was making a new e-mail account and I wasn’t allowed on the computer after dinner unless it was for homework purposes which was pretty strictly controlled. Having these restrictions allowed me to get out and about and be less focused on technology when I was growing up. Now a days, I don’t have restrictions, my phone goes to bed with me, it wakes me up in the morning, my laptop goes with me wherever I need it and I’m never told to get off the computer so mum can make phone calls, we all have a wide range of access to the internet if needed (through our phones and all) so there’s never a problem in our family – at least with technology usage. It wasn’t just phones and technology that was monitored when I was younger, television shows were restricted also. I was never allowed to watch the Simpsons, Home and Away, Neighbours and so forth. I’m not really sure why, and I constantly felt deprived as my friends would always talk about the latest episodes or quote shows, but now when I look back at it, I don’t really mind that much.

Regulations restrict you from doing certain things, and they are constantly in place to keep other users online safe from unwanted content. While we may not have time to read through the T&C’s it is important to consider where your photos might end up if you aren’t aware of what companies can do with your content such as videos and pictures you put out there for your ‘friends’ (AKA the world!) to see.

 

REFERENCE

Facebook (2015) Terms of service. Viewed 22 September 2016, <https://www.facebook.com/legal/terms>.

Kennedy, M. (2009) American family’s web photo ends up as Czech advertisement. Viewed 22 September 2016 <https://www.theguardian.com/media/2009/jun/11/smith-family-photo-czech-advertisement>.

Multi-media Attention

When you go out for dinner you expect that someone’s attention is on you right, well that was a different story in my case. Any time we were together, the attention was glued to Facebook or other chats, texting, thankfully never any games – that was always when we were at home.

Meet my test subject Alex – 3rd year uni, into gaming, hanging out with friends and has a passion for skiing – even though he broke his leg, nothing holds him back from doing what he loves. We spent 8 months together, and in this time, we got to know each other pretty well. The traits, the flaws, the passions, the things that make you smile, make you go crazy and the things that just make you distracted and loose all attention to where it is needed.

Over this period of time, it was clearly evident that he loved his Facebook – the morning scroll often made him late for class or rushed to get ready. Lazed across the bed of a morning while I would jump into the shower endeavouring not to be late, he would truly push the limits of time.

Of an afternoon or night-time, Alex often loved to play the latest video game that had been released. It was like he challenged himself to finish the game as fast as he could even if I was around. The phone would go on silent and he would tune into the game he was playing. Try talking to him or even ask a question if he was ready for dinner and it was a screaming matching, getting up in his face or simply just eating without him until he realised he was hungry enough to stop and have a possible cold dinner. His attention to the games and dedication truly made me amazed as I was sure that they weren’t that cool. Mind you, when I would sit down and watch, I WAS AMAZED – I was hooked, just to sit there and watching was amusing and to be so entertained by such a game even when I wasn’t playing was fascinating. Through the course of 8 months I would say Alex at least have finished 4 or 5 games and would have replayed them on different levels and difficulties.

There’s a study that suggest that the soundtracks in video games hold the players attention for longer and that with the sound on they are more likely to score a higher score (Bernhard et.al, 2014). The study suggests that players got a higher score when playing with the sound on because it gave them cues and clues to enrich their senses of warnings, highlights and feedback. This attention can be given in the games, making you concentrate for hours on end without knowing how much time as passes by, but when it comes to attention in the classroom is it a different aspect as Swing, Gentile, Stevens and Ferlazzo found. Soundtracks alone can be good for focusing, thus when you are studying for exams and can’t seem to concentrate, pop on a video game soundtrack and you will find that you will focus for hours on your studies without even noticing time go by.

Swing, Gentile, Stevens and Ferlazzo posted an article in 2010 “ISU study finds TV viewing, video game play contribute to kids’ attention problems” stating how the attention of students from 3rd, 4th and 5th grades along with college student’s attention spans decrease in the classroom the more they play video games. They express that the students are exposed to “constant stimulation and constant flickering lights, changes in sound and camera angle, or immediate feedback” which then impacts their classroom attention because teachers are not able to provide this sort of stimulation (Gentile et al., 2010).

When I asked Alex about this statement he disagreed, and I have to agree with him. The hours spent playing video games can often stimulate your concentration when it comes to other important things in life. You’re teaching your brain to focus on things that may seem important in the long run. Although it is important to point out that it often comes down to the amount of hours that you play. Alex also stated that ‘gaming in the long-term can help improve your problem solving skills, attention to detail and strategic thinking as video games stimulate different types of thinking and different areas of the brain’.

gaming

http://techu4ria.com/scientific-studies- 1

Miguel Vidaure, 2015, wrote an article”Scientific studies show why everyone should play video games” backing up myself and Alex’s views on gaming and how they are not all bad for you. Players playing action games have ‘enhanced cognitive abilities… with noticeable differences’. Vidaure (2015), also found that the brain was able to process data faster and therefore learning more efficiently. At the end of the interesting article Vidaure says that playing video games is good for you, but should not be used as a substitute [to physical exercise]. He stated that “fresh air and sunshine are just a few benefits of outdoor physical activity that isn’t offered by video games” (Vidaure 2015). Vidaure says that is it important to still get physical activity into your daily routine, but when it’s not possible (such as bad weather), you are still able to exercise your brain with video games along with the use of motion games that allow you to burn calories while ‘climbing mountains, running through forests and enjoying virtual settings’.

I decided to personally test my own concentration and attention span by setting up a time-lapse video of me sitting at my desk trying to study. This was taken in a period of an hour and you could clearly see that my attention was consistently directed at other things such as my phone (texting, making phone calls and scrolling through Facebook and Twitter), updated my Word Press site, leaving the room to cut my father’s hair and even look at dresses I was given for a special occasion. In the space of that our, my goal was to have this blog post finished and uploaded, although I found that I had only written about 5 lines. If this is me in a semi private space with family around, imagine what I would be like in a public space! I always wondered why I loved puppies so much – maybe it’s because we have the same attention span.

14442544_1348191958538704_1855845035_n
Distractions in an hour of study

 

References:

Bernhard, T., Spackman, M. and Baxa, J. (2014) Video games: Do you play better with the sound on or off? Viewed 21 September 2016 <https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/what-shapes-film/201402/video-games-do-you-play-better-the-sound-or>.

Gentile, D., Swing, E., Stevens Martin, S. and Ferlazzo, M. (2010) ISU study finds TV viewing, video game play contribute to kids’ attention problems – news service – Iowa state university. Viewed 21 September 2016 <http://www.news.iastate.edu/news/2010/jul/TVVGattention>.

Vidaure, M. (2015) Scientific studies show why everyone should play video games. Viewed 21 September 2016 <http://techu4ria.com/scientific-studies-show-why-everyone-should-play-video-games/>.

BCM240 Project Proposal

Getting ideas for a research project is not easy unless you get talking and researching and thinking about what you have previously done.

In my subject BCM210 last semester I conducted research to do with Studying Abroad and how student experiences can be both positive and negative during and also upon their return. As I have completed lots of research previously on studying abroad and student exchange, I wish to continue this study.

While learning about students in my tutorial I discovered that there was a student (Charlotte) from the USA that lives very close to where I was based over in the states working on summer camps as a soccer coach. We soon connected to build a working friendship which has allowed us to pair up for Task 3 researching studying abroad and how students can get the most out of their experiences while studying abroad. We want to look at the geographics of how students connect and engage with others while on exchange and how they connect with friends and family back home. Charlotte and I have spent lots of time brainstorming, creating and scratching many ideas to present and expand our research. Charlotte and I will collaborate together while gathering primary and secondary research and information from other exchange students at UOW as well as online.

From discussing our strengths and weaknesses, we will be presenting our information via wordpress with a category allowing you to select what type of section you would like to read into about exchange.

We hope to blog on the following topics expand our own and others knowledge of studying abroad: How we use media to deal with the geographical space between home and our host country. This proposal lead to multiple sub blog posts topics that we can research into and talk about with students. They are;

  • How you deal with time zones
  • How do you connect to home (social media, Skype, different apps and apps that do/don’t work)-link to descriptions/videos of how apps work
  • Who you contact and how relationships have changed

 

As well as these topics we will also include posts about our own experiences and find academic articles to help with expressing these views. Being able to talk to other students as well that are currently on exchange will help with the research, thus we will endeavour to get some thoughts from other students dealing with the emotions of it all.

Interviews will be conducted and recorded which would allow for Charlotte and I to reflect back on these while producing our work. It should be considered that we could do a film recording for one of our blogs as this is another platform that would be very useful in sharing the experiences of students. This still needs to be discussed.

Sharing these experiences will help students dealing with any problems they may be experiencing also which we should be conscious of although I feel that this is going to be a positive learning experience for Charlotte and myself along with the students involved.

For Better or For Worse; Cinema Experiences

Maria Goretti was a film that stood out to my Grandma when I asked her about her cinema experiences. It wasn’t something she did often as a child and teen but she remembers taking the train in with her friend to the cinemas in the city. She couldn’t remember much more than that, so it made it hard to find out more of what cinema experiences were like back in the 1930’s and 40’s.

I’ve been to the cinemas a lot. I’ve been the only one in the cinema but I’ve also struggled to find a seat battling it out with the troublesome child that doesn’t sit still and just doesn’t stop talking! There’s nothing more annoying than a child running around at the front of the cinema distracting you from seeing a movie that they child shouldn’t even be in where you are stuck looking up at the screen and having your neck starting to cramp and being separated from your friends because there isn’t even enough seats. That was probably my worst cinema experience of all time, I love kids and I love working with them, but those kids were lucky to be alive leaving that cinema. I defiantly wasn’t happy! If someone can explain how 3 year old children were capable of entering a cinema that was a MA15+ movie, who the hell let them in and why on earth would their parents take them to such a movie. This makes me seriously consider Hagerstrand’s 3 constraints.

Hagerstrand was an urban planner who created the theory of time geography emphasising the way people live their lives through time and space. Hagerstrand had 3 constraints that we are able to relate to this week’s topic of cinema experiences. His constraints are: Capability, Coupling and Authority, each focusing on  how if and who you are with when using a space.

Capability in terms of cinema experiences, questions how you are going to get to the cinema, the transportation you will use which cinemas you may attend. Coupling is about who you are going to go with if you go with any at all and authority is about whether or not you are legally allowed to attend the cinema in terms of your age, how you are going to pay for the cinema experience and if you are allowed by your parents/guardians if they still play they sort of role in your life.

On Thursday the 25th of August around 3pm, I went spontaneously to the movies to see War Dogs with a friend from uni (Coupling Constraint). We paid $9.50 for a student ticket down at Hoyts at Warrawong Shellharbour which I was rather happy about! We took my friends car to the movies (Capability Constraint of transport), because I didn’t have mine with me at uni that day. Obviously being university students over the age of 18, we were legally allowed to see the movie because we are over the MA15+ requirements of the movie and we had paid for our ticket (Authority Constraint). The seating was set seating, but because there weren’t many people in the theatre, we sat wherever we wanted. As we walked up the stairs to the better viewing we noticed there was a group of 3 young adults that were sitting in the first row up the top, then a few rows behind them there was an elderly man, we were meant to be sitting behind him, but decided to sit further up the back. We were one row from the last and I felt comfortable where were sitting until a young couple sat behind us. Everyone based themselves in the center and I noticed that I did the same, I looked up to the projector room and ensured that I was sitting right in the center. For as long as I can remember, I have always sat up the back where possible, feet always went up on the seats, and I would always smuggle in snacks because I wasn’t going to pay $5 for a bottle of water or $4.50 for a packet of lollies, it just seemed ridiculous when you could walk 50 metres to get the same snacks for half the price.

I really took advantage of the need to go to the cinemas this week for uni. I went a second time with a group of friends from work. This was a very different experience, we saw Sausage Party on a Monday night at 8:30pm paying $16 for a student ticket. We sat down the front and I actually felt so much more comfortable sitting there, compared to up the back like I normally would, I felt as though I was at a better level of the screen. There was only one other person in the cinema that sat directly up the back in the centre, he was in his 30’s or there abouts. Knowing that there was only one other person in the cinema, it allowed me to feel more comfortable in the fact that I could laugh as loud and as much as I wanted.

There are plenty of cinema experiences that I could personally reflect on, but it’s important to recognise the 3 constraints that are relevant to this week’s reflection and that they link with your own cinema experiences.

 

References

Whittemore J 2003, Time Geography: Torsten Hagerstrand’s Works, viewed 31 August 2016 <http://study.com/academy/lesson/time-geography-torsten-hagerstrands-works.html>.