Far from the Stockholm sunrise

Name: Vanim “Van” Zetreus
Year: Junior
Major: Integrated studies with emphases in Philosophy and Cinema Studies. Minor in Gender Studies.

Where were you born?
I was born in a small town called Kristianstad, in the south of Sweden about 27 years ago.

What was the coolest or most unique part of your childhood?
I actually don’t have any memories from the time before I was 11. What I do know about my childhood I have gathered from photo albums and stories the rest of my family has told me. Apparently, I was a cross-dressing child. My mother tells me that whenever we were going to a function of some sort I wanted to wear a dress or a skirt. And why not? They are extremely more comfortable than pants.

What made you choose to come to UVU?
I wanted to come to school in the U.S., and I knew several people here through my brief affiliation with the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. The school came highly recommended and it was really cheap tuition for a university.

What are some of the biggest cultural differences from where you grew up to where you are now?
Well, the biggest difference would be the attitude towards religion. I grew up in what is often considered the most secularized country in the world, and Utah is a place where a certain religious organization influences everything. That was a real shock when I came here. I knew the influence was great, I just didn’t know how great.

Another thing is the constant intake of sugar that is almost impossible to get away from.

What are your post-UVU plans?
My absolute dream path would be to get admitted to UC at Berkeley’s Rhetoric Ph.D. program and focus in on Film Studies and Gender Studies within that program. It is a highly competitive program at a top school.

What has been your favorite UVU class?
That is a tough one. Several of my classes have made a lasting impact on me and my way of thinking. But I think it would have to be an IS300R class called Wisdom & Consciousness, taught by Wayne Hanewicz. It used a lot of philosophical and psychoanalytical theory that I was already introduced to, but instead of actually applying them to a certain issue, the focus was more on what actually happens to us when seeing the world through these theories. Dr. Hanewicz was extremely supportive of my attempt at making my gender studies interest fit within the frame of the class.

How about your favorite UVU professor?
I cannot put just one person’s name here because that would not be an accurate representation of my rating system. But the professors that share the spotlight in my world are Karin Anderson, Jans Wager, Wayne Hanewicz, Shannon Mussett and JaNae Haas. It is a five way tie that just cannot be broken. Five brilliant minds that have helped me create a way of working that will benefit both me and whoever I get to work with in the future.

What do you do when you’re not a student?  Do you have a job or any unusual or interesting hobbies?
I’m a cinephile, audiophile and bookworm. That basically translates into huge shopping trips to F.Y.E. and Barnes & Noble (places I’m not allowed to go without supervision), plus my iTunes-bill could probably give some people a heart attack.

Why do you get up in the morning or what motivates you to do the things you do?
My life has taught me in some of the most horrendous ways possible that I might not be here tomorrow. It would be stupid of me to waste a day by not getting out of bed and doing something productive, or at least something fun.

What is the worst movie you’ve seen this year and why?
The Other Guys was the most obnoxiously sexist movie I have seen in years. [My friend and] I seriously considered walking out before it ended, but we were assigned the movie in a class so we just had to stay.

What is your guilty pleasure?
I guess it would have to be my love for martial arts movies. I can watch Bruce Lee, Jet Li and the others for hours at a time. Some of the ones that have come out within the last 10 years or so are just breathtakingly gorgeous and suspenseful, while the old ones are so bad that it is impossible to resist their charm, especially when dubbed.

What current popular phenomenon is something that you just won’t ever understand or like?
Two words: Bieber fever!

In your opinion, what is the most beautiful place on earth and why?
That would have to be watching the sunrise in Stockholm, Sweden. Sitting on a ledge, looking over the water and just admire the skyline as it changes color. The birds will even come out and sing beautifully to you.

Zombies or vampires?
Easy. Zombies are brain-dead idiots dragging themselves forward, while vampires can be intelligent, sexy, gorgeous and forever young. (Just for clarification: Edward is not a real vampire. He doesn’t have fangs to chew on my neck with. He is a skinny white boy wearing body-glitter. Not that there is anything wrong with that, it just does not a vampire make.)

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