May 8, 2008

Service Learning Reflection

For this semester I volunteered at Volunteers of America (VOA). This organization is based on helping immigrants learn English. I really enjoyed the time I spent at VOA. I believe this was a better fit for me this semester than where I was last semester.
Although volunteering there was tough, I believe it was a good experience. I found it difficult at times because the people I was helping knew very limited English and it was hard to communicate. I believe both myself, and those I helped learned to have a lot more patience which is always a good thing. Another reason I have a more positive view of VOA is because the people that come there want to be there and want to learn. They are not forced to be there so you know when they want your help it’s because they truly want it and want to learn. I could also connect with them because I am currently learning another language and I know how difficult and frustrating it can be when you don’t understand. It is inspiring to see them stick to wanting to learn. Working with and seeing the same people from week to week allowed me to get to know some of those who attend the program at VOA.
I would recommend anyone who is looking to volunteer to go to VOA. It is a great place to volunteer and they make it very and easy and comfortable to do so. The class I worked with had about 20 students and only one teacher. When I would go and volunteer not only were the students very appreciative but also the teacher because she was the only one. I would like to return after the summer and see how the students I have worked with progressed. I would really like to see them to be able to speak fluent English so they can fully interact in everyday life living in America.

Term Project Review

One group in particular that I thought did an exceptional job was the first honors group to present. The group presented on millenium goal 8, Develope a global partnership for development. The two group members were both very knowledgable and informed on their specified topic. I thought there research was very in depth and covered alot of information. Along with good information, the presentation was interesting and very engauging. The group members provided interesting points throughout their presentation. Above all, they were able to provide possible solutions for further development. Out of all the presentations this group stands out the most which is an even greater compliment considering they went first.

Switching gears there were also a number of presentations that were the exact opposite. In my section the group who presented goal 7, Ensure environmental sustainability, was not quite up to par. I felt like only one group member was prepared and was knowledgable on the topic. No doubt, she probably did most of the work herself. The other group members read directly off slide and notecards and were not even confidant doing that. The group presented their research but even that seemed unfulfilling. Throughout the entire presentation I had already forgotten what their focus was or what concerns they were trying to portray. They presented a survey that middle and high school students took about sustainability and i thought the information was contradicting to what they were talking about. I thought the research was very thin and poor throughout the whole presentation. At the end they hadn't even provided or suggested possible solutions to fix the problem, or supply alternation decisions to the current actions taken. When the presentation concluded I was left feeling they talked for 15 minutes about nothing and I was no more informed about sustainability then before their presentation started.

April 4, 2008

Povety Cover Pages

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February 28, 2008

Classical Replaces Modern

If I were completely released from the restraints of the "architecture
school" program architecturally I would eliminate modern architecture. I
would return the world to classical Europe where architecture was a true
art. I believe modern architecture is a false art that is visually
appalling and is not as great as many believe it to be. If one takes a look
right here on the campus proof that aliens exist can be found. Glance
at the Weisman Art Museum an actual alien spaceship disemboweled itself
right on the banks of the Mississippi River!!! Such an obnoxious atracity
should never have allowed to be erected. It simply ruins the beautiful
landscape of the Mississippi River.
Now if we turn to the Louvre which was built in the 16th century there is no comparison as to the beauty of design. Its magnificant archways, carved statues and ornate detail give this museum a quality unmatched by any modern architecture. It was not until 1989 that the Louvre's beauty was marred forever by I.M. Pei. The addition the the glass pyramid is the pyniccal of modern architecture ruining a once beautiful landscape. A horrendously tacky glass pyramid clashes with the beautiful 16th classical structure.
Another example of classical architecture being ruined by that of modern can be found in London. The landscape of beautiful classical buildings is being obtructed by the grotesque invasion by one architects over compensation of his masculinity.
I could compare modern buildings to classical buildings all day and continuously show how classical architecture has this element of elegant beauty whereas modern can only be compared to Bjork wearing a goose dress. Yes its stands out, but for all the wrong reasons.
(what I compare modern architecture to.)
So, to recap if i was allowed to be released from the constrains of architecture school I would reintroduce the world to classical European architecture and do away with modern.


February 15, 2008

Twin Cities Habitat for Humanity

The Twin Cities Habitat for Humanity was established in 1985 and has completed over 650 homes in the past 23 years. The mission of Habitat for Humanity is "To eliminate poverty housing from the Twin Cities area and to make decent, affordable shelter for all people a matter of conscience." Habitat for Humanity operates and depends on donations and the hard work of volunteers. Habitat for Humanity bases itself on six goals for success: Vision, values, hope, community, integrity, and perseverance. Not only does Habitat for Humanity help families move into affordable homes but they also help families keep their homes with the mortgage forclosure prevention program. Because of the rising need for affordable housing and the rising cost of building materials Habitat for Humanity has switched from building mostly single family properties to building more cost effective mutli-family homes. Annually the Twin Cities Habitat for Humanity has over 20,000 volunteers.
There are an estimated 3,000 homeless people in Hennepin County alone. On any given night there are about 350 homeless people sleeping on the streets of Minneapolis. In order to combat homelessness $45 million dollars is being spent in a program called HeadingHome Hennepin. The promgram is aimed to reduce and or eliminate homelessness within the Twin Cities. Through Habitat for Humanity and their sponsors many lives are being changed for the better. The family receiving a Habitat for Humanity home not only needs to qualify, but also works hundreds of hours helping build their home. In addition, they must attend financial classes and learn about their mortgage. Through these classes they will be better able to make decisions that will allow them to live in their new home and have a better quality of life.

For more information or to get involved with Habitat for Humanity visit: