May 12, 2008

School buildings

There was one more point to make regarding the presentations because I still have to comment on one of them.
One that I remember was the group of people who wanted to work on getting kids educated. Over in parts of Africa, they don't really have a place to go to study. Its always just little huts that really dont take them away from their other parts of life. A school normally needs to be somewhat secluded so that there aren't distractions from learning. Thats why many librarys have closed study areas so that you can study without having a problem of people distracting you from your work. Thats why I liked how they proposed an architectural way of fixing this problem to an extent. The buildings were to be made out of materials that the people living there were already used to. They way they could keep up the building without needing to learn anything new about it. Since their climates are pretty much the same year round, the buidlings could be pretty open. The style they decided on was similar to buildings that already exist there, but sturdier and more appropriate for school work.

May 2, 2008

Disney

I got accepted into the Walt Disney World College Program and decided that I'll make a blog about my experiences with it considering a lot of other people do so. Its a good way to inform friends and just anybody about the process. So here is a link to that blog:
http://blog.lib.umn.edu/ande8529/disney/

Eeeek! I'm so excited but I have to wait til september. I still dont know how it will work out with school, but I'm taking physics online while down there.

May 1, 2008

Sustainability Presentation

I wanted to look at how another group went about environmental sustainability since thats what we looked at. I thought it was neat how they looked at something that is happening right in our area. They looked at low-income housing in MInneapolis. They looked at how sustainable materials aren't really all that expensive. Green buildings don't cost any more than a regular building. To me, it seems like its all based in the planning of the place. They showed how the Federal Bank downtown actually didnt have a cost difference. That means the savings in energy costs would definatly be worth it. This group made me wonder why more people don't just go green. If there really is no cost difference and there will be energy saving, it seems stupid not to go with the change.
I was fond of the proposal they had to install recycling chutes in all the towers. I know I'm a culprate of not recycling if I can't find somewhere to actually put it. At home, I always recycle though. I'm big into it. We even have a composte pile. That part is a little more difficult to get when you live in a city.
I was fond of the way they went about looking at sustainability because it seems like something that is more achievable because its close to home.

April 29, 2008

OK

Alright, so I feel I can do the volunteer entry now. I worked at ACES Cityview. It was actually a lot more fun than I thought it was going to be. I didnt really think that I would be getting a lot out of helping kids with their homework. Little did I know that the kids were actually quite fun.
There was this one girl I ended up connecting with over time. She was a very quiet girl. The first few weeks when I would talk to her, she wouldn't respond at all. She just went back to her work. This last time, she was very receptive. She just started talking. There wasn't any homework for these fourth graders, so they were allowed just to color. She kept showing me what she was working on and everything related. The stories she told me got quite intense. Then a whole group of us ended up discussing Disney for awhile. I just didn't want to leave.
Each week was pretty much the same. The kids would go crazy in the cafeteria, thought it got calmer as the weeks went on. Then we would split into groups. Each week I went with the same fourth graders. They would just work on homework. Half the time they did the special nutrition packet, but that was more just for fun stuff.

April 26, 2008

NO

Now I'm kind of annoyed cuz i just did the blog, totally forgot to copy it before psting it and what da ya know, it didnt work and now i dont have it. And it was crazy long. All about the ACES work and my WDW CP application and acceptance. Argh. I'm not doing it again. Not now.

March 27, 2008

Research

Response to 6/7

From what I've noticed, pictures are very important in any presentation that we might do. Pictures keep the reader involved. If there aren't actual pictures, the words need to be able to easily create a mental picture. I think that in our presentation, we are going to need actual pictures. I'm liking the setup of doing words and pictures in a book style. Such like this would be something with a simple cover(maybe white with offset words just stating what we are looking at which could be "oil") and then pages that follow which are one with words simply describing the picture and how it relates to out whole purpose. Then would be a conclusion with what needs to be done to make sure that our environment maintains its ability for functionable life.

Now this might not be at all what other members in my group are thinking. They might not have any better ideas or their ideas might far surpass what I've thought. I am still not completely sure of where this project is going and what the presentation will be like, however, an intrepretive dance could be quite fun.

All I know at this point is that it should be some sort of document that is detailed but not too indepth. There should be some sort of cover sheet associated with it. Either something very green to work with environmental stablitiy(this could be just a color or a full picture of some place that most people would think as wonderful) or it should be something disturbing(possibly a picture of oil around an environment that has been destroyed from how it originally was before the oil companies got there.) Well, either of those or the plain white paper with just a full worded title.

March 13, 2008

Ugga-Mugga

Its spring. Its sunny. Im absentminded. My computer is about to die. This was not a good time to do my blog. I'm sure there will be a day next week that isn't so nice. And since I'm not going anywhere over our spring break, I'll probably have a chance to actually do this blog properly. Besides, my only thing to do in the afternoon of next week is to watch Mr Roger's. (And yes, I actually do watch the show. Every day that i'm home at 1:00, on goes PBS and i start to sing along. I love picture-picture and watching those videos. A couple weeks ago he wanted a film and Mr. McFealy didn't bring it that day. I was saddned cuz i missed the next days episode becuase of school.) So anyway, I'll actually do the blog next week at some point. If i'm lucky enough to get to it tonight instead of reading about surfing, i will do as such though.

Ugga Mugga Daniel

March 2, 2008

I'm Getting Sentimental Over You

I have been sitting here trying to figure out what is to go with the blog prompt for this week, but wow, it is just not happening. I just keep thinking about everything else. I want to travel. It seems that that is what this class has brought out in me so far. We keep talking about Billoxi, and the funny part is that I knew someone who was down there at that time. Actually a group of people who were visiting a couple of people who they work with and live there. They were, for the week prior, in Alabama, which was actually another place that we had talked about. And this week they will be down in New Orleans. I want to go to those places too. They are actually also building homes. Its quite amazing that I can connect so much of what we have talked about just to this small group of people (who are actually part of a very very large group of people but most don't realise that part).

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(The show is the season finale and will air in May if you want to watch the New Orleans episode. This date is for when they will be revealing the family. The building starts the next day.)

Then I was watching Extreme Makeover: Home Edition(which i rarely watch) tonight and they were in Virginia with a man from the army and his family. They had a bunch of civil war stuff. When I went to Gettysburg, I got to see a lot of that stuff which is what got me interested in history(my other major). Going to museums here is all well and good, but I would love to be able to actually visit the sites of these things. Minnesota only has so much to offer in these areas as well. The closest I get to come to any of this is Habitat for Humanity, yet for some reason I've still failed to join up. My plans were always to go to the Habitat for Humanity meetings, then over to the College Republicans, but I can never get down to school on Wednesdays so its difficult for me to learn about the events.

And now I realise, I'm just like so many people that I don't like. I Make Excuses. I should just go out and do these things rather than deciding why I'm "too busy" or "unable to" go. I feel inspired by reading or watching things that are building to help people, but I can never force myself to get out there and join in. I greatly admire Jimmy Carter for bringing so much attention to this whole feild. Then now with Ty Pennington. I respect celebrities for this, but its the people like us who need to continue it. I think I respect the people who are down there now, like James, more than the celebrities. They seem to have devoted their lives (currently) to helping other people. We need to get out there and do the same thing. I'd rather travel to some place like that to help, but I know I could do just as much good around here. We need to focus on our own backyards as much as major trouble spots around the country or world.

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(That's President Bush if you can't tell)

And yet, what am I doing for spring break? I'm going to Mexico to party. I will probably be sitting on the beach or out in the water surfing. (I'm very excited for surfing.) But really, my one break, my one travel, and I'm going to Mexico. How typically American college student of me. Last year, I did a last minute trip to Mt Rushmore, which seems a lot better, but then again, the next week I was in Mexico for my sister's spring break. I even skip school to go there. And now this rant seems to have distracted from my original point of wanting to travel to critisizing myself for actually traveling.

The need to get away can be strong, but then i start to think "he ain't heavy, he's my brother." I want to help others out, and i want to love those that might hurt me. I'm not going into details on that one; imagine what it will mean to yourself.

I got into architecture when i was in 5th grade. I just cared about the floor plans. Really, up until lately, that was basically what I was into. The past couple years, I've started getting more into the styles of the outside and how they relate to the inside. Yet all of that has begun to change in this class and with the connections I have made in the previous comments. Now I actually have started thinking how the house is a home and how that home needs to meld to the people and the placement of it. There are different struggles people face, and they need to be able to come home to a place that suits them. You can't have a basement if the water level is really high, like in florida. That used to be the extent of my thought. Now it has come to thinking that the persons might need a ramp. Or maybe they prefer an open area that is much like the outdoors inside. There are so many choices or needs for the various types of people all around.

My final thought is that "I'm proud to be an American where at least I know I'm free and I won't forget the men who died who gave that right to me"

February 27, 2008

Creative Constraints

"No single outside influence can make a man do a thing which is at war with his training. The most it can do is to start his mind on a new [track] and open it to the reception of new influences..." -Mark Twain

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It would take a lot to get me to end up being something other than what I desire. I love architecture and would rather not be released from the bounds of it. By having the knowledge of what is possible, I can be somewhat creative about what can be accomplished, but I still have the restraints to keep me grounded. I might be a little more creative, though, if I wasn't as constrained. I always find that my creativity comes out when I am not forced to do something.

A couple weeks ago, I was trying to go to sleep, but couldn't. In my mind, I had words just flying through. They ended up being a poem. I couldn't sleep until I wrote it down. When I went back to look at it the next day, I realized that it wasn't bad at all. In fact, a couple people were quite surprised about it (myself included). These things tend to happen all the time to me. I can get really passionate about something when there is no reason for me doing it. That’s how it works for me especially in places like politics.

I actually could find passion in helping through politics. Just like I did at that convention mentioned in the last blog. Just to think about certain bills and how they can end up helping the general public. I like the idea of being a delegate so that I can speak for those who don't have a voice. I want to help so that they are safe from some of the harms from the "typical" politician that might be out there.

February 23, 2008

Climate, really?

I spent the day at the Republican Hennepin County endorsement convention. On the table was a sheet talking about climate change and what it really is. Not once was this issue even mentioned in the whole of the "meeting" so i brought it up with the people at my table. The only thing that they continued to talk about was that conservatives are always portrayed in a light that we dont help the environment at all and that we know this to be otherwise untrue. We push for bills to help. We each do our own part out in the community. I was arguing for all the good things that I know we do. Then, as i was leaving, I saw a man throw a stack of paper into the garbage. I was so tempted to go in after that stack of paper to find a recycling bin. You would think if somebody just read about the climate, then they would be more concerned with things like this. Some effort was being made here, but not enough.

February 21, 2008

Little April Showers

"Drip drip drip little april showers
Beating a tune as you fall around
Drip drip drip little april showers
What can compare to your beautiful sound"

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It would be horrible to loose those showers. They are wonderful, but if we keep treating our environment as we do, we might lose them.

There are definately problems with our environment. We don't want to lose the beauty or the majesty of it all but really, if we keep living as we do, how much worse is it going to get? The main problem i see is the ovewhelming population of the world affecting it all. The world has always been crazy. We think that the storms we are getting now are specific only to our time period, but there were tsunamis and hurricanes long ago. Its just where we are placeing ouselves in relevance to them. But then again, the Dust Bowl was created by our ancestors. The drought still would have happened, but the earth wouldn't have moved so much if we hadn't taken away so much of the root base that kept it in place. We just enhance the problems by where we build and what we do to enhance the problems. Its naturally a wild world. Download file(Cat Stevens) We have to do something to prevent the wild world from overtaking the peacefulness we can naturally find in it.

Somethine we have to notice is that all the world is effected by events that take place halfway across the earth. Looking at the Mt St Helens eruption, we can see that teh ash was noticed on the east coast. A storm out at sea can cause the shoreline to change. Last year when I was in Mexico, there was a storm out on the ocean. It wasn't close at all, but it caused larger waves on the shore where we were. This causes more erosion of the beach. The beach in the picture below was completely covered by water near the end of the week because the waves had risen so much due to the storm.
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Now this relates directly to our polution. If we throw something on the ground near water, its going to spread to a much larger area with runoff and seepage into the ground. What ends up is more water that we can't drink. If we cause too much heat in cities, it will raise the general temperature of the area. This can in turn affect the environment, possibly causeing larger storms. In this we have to wonder, Who'll Stop the Rain?.
Download fileSuch little things can mean so much.

I think that we just have to start off with what we know affects others and change that. The whole world is in the palm of our hands. I feel similar to what Walt Disney said, "I always like to look on the optimistic side of life, but I am realistic enough to know that life is a complex matter."
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February 14, 2008

Worms?

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They are all over Minnesota, and thats the problem. Most people think that earthworms are as normal to our environment as the prarie grass, but they really aren't. Technically, they are one of the worst invasive species that we have in our state. They have taken over so much area under the topsoil. It might not sound like a problem because people use them for good, such as in compost piles. The problem with this is that the worms get out into the wild and start to cause a different type of decomposure of the soil. Most forest are supposed to have a hard ground with a softer, spongier layer on top due to the decomposition of leaves. That is where most of the flowers and grasses grow during the spring months. With the worms invading, the spongy layer is taken away causing the flowers to have a harder time growing. In turn, we lose much of the lush greenery that was originally all over the state's forests. This effects the whole ecosystem of much of the land in the area.

Worms aren't the only problem. We have so many invasive species in our mist. Many of them have come over in the ballast of boats used in trade. The boats would need to have weight to offset the load they carried, so they would fill up the bottom with water. Once they reached the destiation, the cargo and the water would be dumped. In this way, many creatures have traveled over the oceans when they should have stayed put in their native lands.

Its not just something that concerns large trade. People are causing more invasive species to show up by what they decide to plant in their gardens. Wouldn't it be nice to have some of these plants in your yard?

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Don't do it. They are all able to spread their seeds and they are all native to Japan. To have them in our backyards would only cause problems to our own environment. We have already lost dozens of plant species to invasive ones. To let it happen again could cause a change in our climate, our ways of growing crops, and the general ecosystem.

To learn more about this problem, visit the Minnesota DNR website
http://www.dnr.state.mn.us/invasives/index.html

February 1, 2008

Goldworthy

The city always has energy flowing through it. Like the Petula Clark song says, "Listen to the music of the traffic in the city, linger on the sidewalks where the neon signs are pretty." She finds the traffic to be musical; to many it isn’t but depending on how you look at it, it can be. The signs give off energy that is different from that musical traffic. It just shows that there is so much going on, yet it all seems to connect in some way. It all flows, you really can't see it all at once and once you think you can, something has changed, therefore it is new. If you actually become part of it, you really are just a small item in the vastness of it all. This is how Goldsworthy looked at it all. He saw nature as ever changing. Every part is just miniscule in respect to the whole piece, but it’s also very important to it all. He threw a hunk of clay into a river, and it caused the river to turn red. It also made ripples in the water. Those ripples go out to have an affect on everything they touch. First to the shoreline, which in turn affects the grass or whatever else lays beyond it. It keeps going out. This is much like what happens in a city during a traffic jam. One car could be on the side of the road due to an accident with another car. That accident doesn't only affect those two cars. It also tends to cause traffic to slow up or stop because emergency vehicles have to get through quickly, many of the people slow down to gawk, and people just want to make sure that they aren't interrupting. The energy from the car crash as in turn affected all the others who are driving through that area, as well as people connected to those drivers. Everything really does flow together, in any landscape that we find.