May 8, 2008

Final Research Project

I would like to officially end these blogs with our Millennuim Project. Our group did Goal 3 - Empowering Women and Promoting Gender Equality.

I would also like to say that the design and format of the project was completely my own! My group members gave me the information and resources, and I used Quark Xpress to create a template for our project. I then revised it afterward we presented our project and added in a few pages with more analysis. I understand that I used my mother's computer to create the project and couldn't take it to school, but I wish I had recieved more imput from the other group members. Regardless, it's done and over with. Hope to never do something so tedious ever again! Enjoy :)

Download file

May 7, 2008

Blog Prompt 8 & 9: Responses to the Honors Projects

I really enjoyed all of the honors projects. The first one (on goal 8, I believe?) had a great powerpoint that was really interesting. I liked learning about the technologies that people are starting to use and the visual aid of the little green computer was really cool.

The project on child mortality was shocking but I liked the way that the group looked at ways to solve these problems. Their analysis was well thought out.

Goal 7 had a great presentation and ways to implement sustainability, but I think that they should have focused on a problem outside the city or even the state. It was kind of interesting, however, to see the different things they could do to make the Riverside Plaza more eco-friendly and look nicer.

I was eager to see Goal 3's project because that's what our group focused on, but I was pretty disappointed. The powerpoint was lackluster and tacky looking, and I feel like educating women isn't the worst problem that women and gender equality face. Regardless, it was nice to see how they used analysis to solve the problem.

Well, there it is folks. Last blog prompt of the year. Of.. ever. Enjoy your summer!

May 6, 2008

Reflecting on this Semester's Volunteer Experience

So I was browsing some of the other blogs before, and realized that almost none of them have any sort of prompts on their volunteering experience. Clearly, the expectations about what we need to have done was severly mistaken. Regardless, I am going to suck it up and tap into my photographic memory to recall my semester of volunteering.

Continue reading "Reflecting on this Semester's Volunteer Experience" »

April 3, 2008

Three Title Pages

Here you go, three title pages for my research project,
Goal 3 - Promoting Gender Equality and Empowering Women

Title One: Download file

Title Two: Download file

Title Three: Download file

March 6, 2008

Blog Prompt 5 - Built Environment

So, it took me three bowls of honey nut cheerios and a few glasses of juice, but here I am, wednesday night, writing my blog. This one seems hard to me, but, don't they all? And then I got to thinking.. and damn that juice is good.

This one actually suddenly comes natural. I guess I kind of oppose this blog prompt, because it really isn't the environment that supports us. We were born in a place; this place, be Minnesota, another state, or another country, is where we were raised. We were all raised somewhere. And thus we adapted. We adapted to our environment, no matter where it be, just by growing. And of course, if you leave and move elsewhere, you will still learn to adapt. And if you oppose or have troubles adapting, you may move somewhere else, or back home. So how does the environment affect us? If you cannot learn to adapt, you will not survive. So, I am puzzled.

Of course, the environment affects us in one way or another. But I think "support" and "detract" are the wrong words. The correct, I do not know. My example is Duluth. A million times I've talked about UMD, but I had a very love/hate relationship with the place. I live in MN, so naturally I know cold, but "Duluth" cold is different. I had to move my car in the middle of a blizzard with 50 mile an hour winds, and got windburn in my face. Hate. The whole town is old, rundown, and has nothing to do. Hate. Did I mention the cold? Hate. But on a sunny day, driving down that hill, looking towards Lake Superior, endless, and sparkling? LOVE But this hill, and this lake were not "built." The aged, ugly houses, yes. Canal Park, one of the town's only treasures, yes. The badly constructed sidestreets on which I lived, yes. West Duluth, home to nothing, yes. And to answer this question as best as I can, this town detracted everything I loved about architecture, life, and the weather, from me.




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I know that this doesn't directly correlate with Duluth, but for me it does. 35 North. The single highway I drive two hours home, or two hours back to Duluth. And to think of the frameworks, I think of the road signs, stationed every so many miles, and after making the trip so many times, you know them by heart. You know the time it takes to get from one to the next, as a whole, the time it takes to get to Duluth. You can look at your clock here, and know what time you will arrive there. And for the phenomenon, just watch a sunset. It will solidify everything, and you will understand how I cannot fully hate Duluth.
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February 28, 2008

A world without constraints

I think everyone would like to think of a world like this, but without constraints, where would we all be in life? Without a job, or school, I envision many naps. Naps, food, some adventure, and then some more naps. But if I truly had the ability to do anything, regardless of funds, time, parent's consent, or any other worldly factors, I want to create. I've been creative since I was little, always doing those fun little "arts and crafts" things. I like seeing the product of my work, it has always been rewarding. But first, I want to travel.


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I want to see every inch of the world, and with me I'll take a journal, camera, and sewing machine. Journal, to capture every thought I think in my mind.
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Camera, to capture every sight I see, every inspiration.
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And sewing machine, so I can sew.
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Obvious? Yes. But I have always had a passion for clothes and design, and the opportunity to take textiles from other countries, cultures, and create something with it, would be ultimate. When I return, I will have some serious evaluating to do. Well, I don't have a degree (crap), but I have ideas. I will probably take up painting, because something about that creative gene just makes me wanna... create. And now I'm stuck. I'm creating beautiful things, but how does this affect others? How does this effect the environment?

When I return from my long years of travels, after collecting everything my mind can accept, I will have ideas. I will visit the most stable places on earth, and the most unstable. And I will live with them, and I will experience their joys and their hardships. And I will become an advocate for them. Upon returning from these places, I will gather my thoughts and plan them as to help these people, the people in both the good and the bad places. The good, so that they can be more environmentally friendly and learn to live that way; and the bad, to help stabilize their lives so they can understand what it means to live in a more modern world, and thus teach them how to work with the earth to find a happy medium. This is what I can do, without constraints

February 21, 2008

Blog Prompt 3 - Promoting Gender Equality and Empowering Women

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"I believe that there’s a world out there, who wants to hear music like this, who wants to put music on to be fed, to be nourished, to be held up and enlightened and excitened. And I believe that artists do that for people, and that I can do that for people." - Melissa Etheridge

So I want to be completely honest here, I'm trying to do my best on this prompt in light of my many anxieties this week. I had a paper and two tests this week, the hardest one being tomorrow (I'm still freaking out a little), and maybe this is my break from studying which would be weird because it's still homework. Anyway! I like my topic of research because not only is it something I don't know much about, it is something that I would likely become an advocate of after much research. So when starting this blog, I decided to take from our lecture Tuesday and do some "research."

The quote I picked above represents a very strong woman in my eyes, Melissa Etheridge, who writes not for the money, but for what people take from it. Her music is strong and her own, which makes me look up to her as an artist and as an empowered woman. The image is also one I have done in research, and I think it's interesting in the way that it represents women's roots and their capabilities of growing. The image also resembles women coming together, which is also empowerment.

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This image also sparks me as interesting, as I would describe it as a women breaking through the threshold and learning to fly, as if finding her inner self-esteem and power. It's poetic almost, and makes you think of the capabilities we have as women. Some strong examples of empowered women include artists like India Arie, Lauryn Hill, and Melissa Etheridge, who use music to speak from their souls, and no matter how successful they turn out to be, they let their music empower them, which makes them role models. Other women who have shown significant power are women in politics, a world seen dominated by men, such as Condoleezza Rice or Hillary Clinton, who is currently running for president. Women like this show that anything is possible, and these women are working towards a future that welcomes gender equality. Although I do not know much music from the artists I have mentioned, with more research, I think that their music and lyrics would prove to be empowering and those who would like to learn from them would be advised to research that. Until then, this is my beginning steps of research. To end on a high note.. a quote from Jane Fonda, novelist, actress, and women's rights activist.

"I was making a speech – there must have been 5,000 people, and I said, ‘you know I grew up thinking that a woman couldn’t change anything’ and I was numb and I came from a very personal place, and said, “If I can change – anybody can change.? And I remember that felt right." - Jane Fonda

February 14, 2008

Social-Design Issue (Blog Prompt 2)

It's amazing the things you can find to do when you have homework. I think I sat down about an hour ago to do this blog, and I have suddenly thought of all these things I need to do on the computer, seemingly much more important than this blog. But the idea of this blog has been in my head for the entire week, and I found it hard to find something that I really care about, that I would really like to see changed. As I wrote the last sentence, I just thought of more ideas. Where should I start?

Well, I just transfered to the U of M campus, and I think about the way the campus is set up. I read another blog with the same idea and I wanted to build on that. I think that the campus is poorly built. I live about as close as you can to campus (without actually being on campus) and am still walking long distances to class. I can normally take the 16, which is nice, but take our class for instance. It's located in the Bell Museum, which is right off University. But what bus takes you there? I walk 3 blocks to get on a bus that only takes me about 4 blocks closer. And then I walk another block from 4th Street to get to class. How is this functional? I constantly remind myself that I'm getting exercise and that it's good for me, but then I think of those -10 degree days, when I'm practically a walking popsicle. I like to envision the idea of the skyways in downtown. Although the the campus does have underground systems (which actually is really nice), it still doesn't fix the problems people face getting from point A to B. The bus system is something to be desired, but I think that better ways to get places needs to be in order, otherwise a better design of the campus. I also don't understand the St. Paul campus, why is it so far away? Before I transfered here, I didn't even know there was a St. Paul campus. I do think the campus connector is handy for that, but I have yet to experience classes on the St. Paul campus. Although I have happily left behind Duluth, there are things I thoroughly enjoyed about its campus. First, parking was close. Sparingly, but close. One building always led to the next, and time between classes were not spent getting on a bus to go across a river or into another city. Everything was connected. Even the dorms were connected. I distinctively recall waking up about 15 minutes before class, throwing on some flip-flops (in mid-winter), walking to class, and never thinking anything of it. It was a luxury, but it was smart. Who's crazy enough to go outside in Duluth anyway? I fully understand that the U of M campus is more than two times the size of the Duluth campus, but I can't help but thinking that a better design would be much more efficient for students, faculty, and anyone just trying to get somewhere faster.

February 7, 2008

Blog Prompt #1 - Arch 1701

I always find that starting out a blog is the hardest part of writing one in the first place. I feel like once I get started, the ball starts rolling, the words just flow, which coincidentally is one of the themes I'm writing about tonight. I guess I could start by talking about the film showed in class, featuring Andy Goldsworthy. Immediately, I was drawn in, unable to think otherwise, amazed at how his mind works and how well he connects with nature. I was out of my element, never even considered the idea. And it instantly inspired me. I was overwhelmed with school thinking about how hard it was transferring in from UMD this semester, how I couldn't last, and this film made me realize why I chose this field in the first place. I love art, I love creation and making my ideas come alive. Right away I thought about going out and buying the video, and sending it to one of my friends who is an art major at UMD, and sometimes loses confidence in herself. I knew it would inspire her too. Anyway, back to the assignment! The question calls for an investigation about the energy, flow and transformation of the city.

When I think about energy, I think about the way we move, the way we communicate. I see someone running, and think about the way we envibe energy, with rest. But energy is more than just our individual energy. It is the light we turn on, walking into a room. I comes from a company, we pay money for it. And driving through Maple Grove the other day, I saw a large windmill in the middle of a huge development, in the middle of streets, shopping facilities, restaurants. And I thought about the huge windmills in the countryside, turning in circles, creating this vast amount of energy. It's amazing that something can come from a concept so simple.

As far as flow, and image of the city comes to mind. Like in movies, when a camera stays focused on the same spot for several hours, and then the film is sped-up, and you see thousands of people moving through that point in the city in a matter of seconds. This is my idea of flow. In orientation, we were told that 100,000 people move through the University on a given day. These people have a destination, a place to go. And the way they move with the stoplights and bus stops gives me the idea of flow. The way that the buses circulate, are at the same place at the same time everyday, because if they were not, something would be wrong. There is flow for a reason. In a city, it is the way we move, our motivations that get us from one point to another. If there were no flow, we would never get anywhere, we would stand still, without reason. It also ties into the idea of rivers and tides. The tide comes at the same time everyday, as I mentioned earlier. A river flows, and continues to flow even when the surface is frozen. Without this flow, nothing would move, nothing could get anywhere, and everything would stand still. In a city, flow is everywhere. From the people to the traffic, it is what motivates us, what gets us from Point A to B, which is a huge part of life.

Now for transformation. I think this is a huge part of Andy Goldworthy's film. The way that he transforms things from nature into art. It is truly amazing. Transformation is not always amazing and positive. Sometimes things transform into something bad, like the way we have been treating our environment. Looking at the effects it is having, like global warming, should be a warning sign that things need to be transformed to the better. However, many do not see these negative effects as a transformation. They don't realize what we have had and what it has turned in to. But in all essence, it is a transformation. Most people view the word transformation as a vessel of architecture. Thinking about the city, I envision the way things are transformed, from renovations in a small building, to transformations effecting an entire city. I see Uptown, the way that people are working to transform it, and my biggest hope is that it doesn't ruin the authenticity and the crowd that Uptown draws. Transformation is also everywhere. From a person transforming their image, as they are part of the city, even small, is a transformation. From small businesses to an entire city, transformation is everywhere. Andy Goldsworthy really touches on this in his movie and it gives inspiration that transformation can be good and beautiful.

So like I said, I had no idea how to start this. Similarily, I had no idea it would be this long. The words just flowed, and without that flow, there would be no blog. :) Enjoy your night.