Day 17: My Life, the Reality Show I Watch to Discover Me / by Sarah Kakusho

Do you remember back when internet was just starting out and the biggest name out there was AOL? Those were the days when we used to get those silly chain emails, you know the ones that told you to forward them or else a curse would befall you for 10 years. Or how about those surveys that you would make up half the answers for? There’s one particular survey I remember filling out.

It was titled the Soundtrack of My Life.

Today, I took iPod out with me. It was a very musical day. One thing I like about the iPod is that you can put it on shuffle and get the radio effect, the mystery of what song will play next. Anyway, it reminded me of the Soundtrack of My Life. The minute I turned my iPod on and I walked up the street with my sunglasses on, I felt like newly refreshed self, the Kusho I’ve gotten to know during my two years at Soka, plus something more. I don’t quite know what it was, but everything I had felt about last night about not knowing myself seemed to be lifted.

[or maybe I was just so tired, I forgot where I put myself]

Anyway, it was a brand new day, and it felt like everything started anew…again. I was walking to all these Japanese songs, each with a memory engraved in them. One day, I hope I can make a transition to start listening to more Spanish music, so I can engrave my memories of being here in Buenos Aires into those songs.

So, I was on the way to a breakfast meeting with the committee for Argentine international relations. I didn’t know what exactly it was, but it was my chance to see some people in my program so I decided to go. As I was walking down the block where the place was, I couldn’t find it! One thing I thought I had gotten used to was the way the city was laid out in terms of streets and building numbers, until I couldn’t find building 1037 on Uruguay [see, I was so desperate to find it, I memorized it].

So, I was already a couple of minutes late, but I thought it was okay, because it’s normal to be a couple of minutes late in Argentina. I walked up and down the street, and I swear the doormen of all the nice apartments were watching me, pace back and forth. I called a few people and asked them if they knew where this place was or what it even looked like, and they knew nothing. When I hung up, I was about to turn around to go back home, and low and behold, “1037” in gigantic lettering was above the glass double doors in front of me.

So, I walk in, and I rush into the elevator to get onto the first floor… They buzz me in, and no one else from my program was there. So, this meeting only lasted about 15 minutes. It was just information about a course about Argentine International Relations. It sounded very interesting, and I would’ve definitely taken it if I weren’t taking the film track. The CARI group [the group that was holding this meeting] has had so many prominent leaders from all over the globe come to have lectures and stuff. I was looking at their huge wall of pictures. It was amazing. It changed my outlook on international relations as a whole.

Afterwards, I had to get a few errands done back in the apartment, and then I took a nap [yes, I’m still medicated XP]. I got up to leave for a field trip that I had with my film track to a laboratory that processes film. I went by train, and I thought I was going to die of suffocation. I think I no longer have claustrophobic tendencies after this.

I met up with my classmates and boy, I was so happy to see them. They are all so chill and we are so diverse in terms of where we come from around the U.S., plus Bulgaria. Anyway, Cinecolor, the name of the laboratory, is an actual laboratory. There wasn’t anything film studio-esque outside of the projectors and film reels. This opened up a whole knew world for me in terms of my perception of a film studio. The processing is actually very similar to photography on a grander scale. The lady who gave us a tour and a step-by-step processing of how a completed film comes to be actually has a degree in chemistry, nothing film related.

…so it is possible to get into the industry without a film degree.

I think one of the cool things there was a video analyzer which allows you to change the lighting and coloring of a single take, without touching the negative. Because directors often film different scenes and takes at different times, sometimes the lighting needs to be adjusted, and other times, there’s a certain mood that a director wants to convey, so the coloring is changed. All of that is processed in video analyzer, and then the codes are punched in on strips which are used on a different machine to actually print the changes in the positive film.

They gave me a strip as a souvenir.

I think throughout the entire tour, I only got the gist of what they were saying, because a lot of was technical, but because there were visuals, I was able to understand much of it. It’s funny. I’m sure there’s a different [and better] reason behind it, but I think because I look more foreign than everyone else in the track, everyone who was explaining how things worked kept asking ME if I understood. It was kind of annoying actually. But, I loved the trip there. It got me really excited to start classes at Fundacion [if only the class schedules would be released].

You know that feeling, when you’re in the car listening to the radio and all of a sudden, your favorite song comes on? As my day ended today and I was walking back to the apartment from the subway station after that awesome, informative trip, “Yukiyanagi” came on my iPod, and it made me happy, so happy I was smiling.

I was told to listen to this song when I was going through one of my toughest moments at SUA, and hearing it as I stepped out of the subway exit, it just reminded me of everyone back home [both on the east and west coast]. Since I’ve arrived here, I’ve never felt so close to home as I did at that moment.

We’re all struggling together, right?
みんなの勝利 / Everyone's victory / Victoria para todos