Sunday, November 29, 2009

Thank you so much!

Thank you all so much for all of your comments! I just wrapped up the presentation portion of my assignment and have a week to write the paper. I appreciate your help sooooo much! I had a George Bailey-like moment as I sat down to read all of the comments. I feel so blessed to have such wonderful friends and family! I am also floored by how insightful and thoughtful your responses were. This is such a great movie for so many reasons and I am glad I picked it for my final assignment. I needed a little pick me up right now.

So, I figured you needed a bit of a reward...what better way to thank you than with pictures of Ava? Here are the updates from our family.

Thanksgiving at the Setter's
Right after waking up from a nap...snuggle time with Mommy!

Ava's new favorite activity: reading books.

The Setter Clan

Our her Halloween costume.

This little update was fun! I'll have to get back here more often. See you soon!

Friday, November 27, 2009

It's a Wonderful Life

Hi folks!

I know this is a departure from my normal posts, but please read on. Seeing as there are no new super cute pics of Ava, I am not sure how I will be able to hold your attention, but here goes. This is an assignment for my Masters class. It is a mini critique of It's a Wonderful Life. Please give me feedback, as that is also part of my assignment. THANKS A MILLION!!!

There are many reasons that It's a Wonderful Life has become a classic. However, due to space and limited attention spans, I will not go into all of them here. Primarily, the film tells a touching and relatable story. It is about a man who, imperfect at times, significantly touches the lives of those around him. From the desperate prayers at the beginning of the film that psychologically call us to attention, we root for George Bailey in an almost primal way. We are reminded throughout the film how this ordinary boy puts aside his own ambitions to help those around him. In the end, he learns that although his life does not turn out how he had planned, he has been truly blessed.

George Bailey is a character that most of us can relate to. Tired of small town life and chocked full of ambition, he desperately tries to escape Bedford Falls. Most adults can think back to a time when we also went through this same period in our lives. Whether we wanted to travel the world like George or grow up to be a veterinarian, there was time in our lives when anything was possible. We all started out as dreamers, like George. Besides violence and death, the idea of a "Dream Deferred" as Langston Hughes puts it, might just be one of our biggest fears. So, from the moment we know that George is a dreamer, we feel disappointment and regret whenever there are obstacles that distance him from his dreams. It is this tension that draws us into the movie and grips us. As the movie end, we soon realize that tension slip away as George recognizes all the good things that have come into his life because he didn't pursue his dream.

The audience knows, just like George comes to understand, that our values change in life. We understand that those things that may appear to be hindrances in our lives are really the things that make life worth living. True, George may have had to set aside his boyhood aspirations, but it was all worth it in the end. The film charges us to believe that the little things in life matter the most. It also challenges our fear of unfulfilled dreams. Is is really so scary to set aside the childhood fantasies that we once held onto so tightly? It is really so horrible to grow up and be the one thing we said we would never be? George Bailey thought he would never marry, but found out in the end that it was his wife who gave him him all the good things in his life. It is ok to grow and change. We're human. We're still learning. So instead of living in fear of what you will not do or what you will not be, look around and see how life have given you exactly what you needed to be happy.