May 12, 2008

A.C.E.S. Green School: Day 5

My fifth visit to help with the Green School kids was on May 5, 2008. I arrived at 1:45 again and started volunteering with a group of the 4th grade kids after they were done with their daily snacks. I had to administer a few survey/questionaire tests to a few students to see if they enjoy ACES or not. After that we went outside to do their lessons on owls. Their were ten of them all together. A few kids were wild but calmed down after being disciplined for awhile. After they read their lessons they all went inside to do a project for their owl lesson. A few kids remianed to get in trouble and had to be disciplined with a time out. Overall the kids were good. After that the kids were allowed to play outside because it was a good day again, 70 degrees and sunny. I played soccer with a few other kids and volunteers until the kids had to leave for their buses/parents at 4:45. It was a draining day but a good one too.

April 30, 2008

A.C.E.S. Green School: Day 4

My fourth visit to help with the Green School kids was on April 23, 2008. I arrived at 1:45 again and started volunteering with a group of the 6th grade kids after they were done with their daily snacks. Today was their last day with their certain helper so he took them outside to do their lesson. Their were six of them all together. During the previous week i guess they were learning about water so today they drew pictures about the many forms of water. For example, one kid named Tyrone drew a picture of a river and wrote about what a river does and what flows into and out of a river. After they drew their pictures they all presented them After the kids were done with their drawings and their presentations they were taught a new lesson about how water is important. After that the kids were allowed to play outside because it was a good day again, 75 degrees and sunny. The rest of the time the kids played and me and a few other volunteers played with them. It was another good day.


A.C.E.S. Green School: Day 3

My third visit to help with the Green School kids was on April 16, 2008. I arrived at 1:45 again and started volunteering with the 4th grade kids after they were done with their daily snacks. Today the entire 4th grade at ACES did a big project that took about an hour and a 1/2. They played with paper mache and boy did it get messy. It was fun though and i enjoyed it alot. After the kids were done with the project, they got to go outside becuase it was really nice out... 70 degrees! We started a kick ball game and the kids wanted the "big kids" against them. We tried to explain to them that we didnt want that due to the fact that we could easily win, but they insisted. So we played at a very, very constricted level and let them get 6 outs to our 3. Overall, the day was a great experience.


April 29, 2008

A.C.E.S. Green School: Day Two

The second Day I volunteered with the Green School students was during their spring break. The kids went on a field trip to the University of Minnesota and toured Williams Arena, Mariucci Arena, and the Rec Center. We had a tour guide with all of the facilities. There were 15 -20 students in all. I arrived at Williams Arena at 1:00 P.M. on March 12 and helped chaperone the kids through the court of Williams arena and where the athletes locker rooms are. We also toured Mariucci arena and went into the suites, the floor level, and the locker rooms. From there we took the kids to the rec center and showed them what that's all about. When we were all done with the rec we took the kids through the mall and into Coffman Memorial Union where they bowled until 3:30 p.m. The kids had a lot of fun on this field trip and so did I.

williams arena.jpg

A.C.E.S. Green School: First Day

My first day volunteering at the Green school in southern minneapolis was actually in mid-late february. I had a problem with my scheduled first day because i was sick and missed it. My first day was on February 20th and I arrived there at 1:45 in the afternoon. The kids came into the cafeteria around 2:00 p.m. and they ranged from 4th grade to sixth-seventh grade. There were roughly 80 - 100 kids all together. When they had their snacks they all plit up into specific groups. One group did arts and crafts, one group did math, one did reading, etc. I helped in the nutrition and health class. I particulalry helped a young lady named Audrey do her nurtition homework. A few kids were unruly but calmed down after awhile. Once that was done the kids did a lesson on nutrition and we all eventually went to the gym to play for awhile. Most kids were playing basketball or indoor kickball. It was still too cold to go outside. I left there at 4:45 p.m.

April 15, 2008

Environmental Sustainability

The title page for our project should be interesting and creative. It should not have basic formats that are the norm. It should be colorful and respectful for our specific project that pertains to enevironmental sustainability and policies in eastern China. Unfortunately, my computer is from 2004 and needs a makeover because it can not download indesign and have it run properly. Since microsoft words kinda sucks for making title pages, i have decided to go with what we already have for a group title page. You've probably already have seen it. It was cut in half to save on space(environmentally sound) and has a picture of smoke stacks that says eastern China sustianability with our groups names on it. I had to kinda cut and paste the picture of it so you may not be able to see it.

Download file

April 10, 2008


A PowerPoint presentation should be more visually enhanced than word enhanced. I hate it when people put a lot of words on a slide and then read off of them like it is a book. A PowerPoint should be more pictures based than anything else because you are trying to captivate the audience with your research instead of bore them to death. I want to have my PowerPoint for our group project to be more colorful and picture enhanced than most to help the presentation flow with the audience. We should have some words on the slides, but words that are checkpoints or guidelines with generalizations to help our group present the information. We should all know the info by now so presenting should not be hard. We therefore do not need to plaster up a lot of words onto the slides.


March 12, 2008


I looked through CMYK Magazine online and found a few styles that I liked. One was that anyone could post their profiles on it, for a minimal fee, for possible job opportunities. These profiles were unique to look through, at least the ones that the site allowed you to look through. Another thing that was cool about the site was the magazine articles from different volumes along with their pictures. The articles discuss things that involve information from design to classes and jobs. The pictures within the articles and within the magazine are vivid and full of imagination. Visual aid is very important in presentations and I feel that making creative visual interpretations of what we have researched is a plus in trying to get our point and message across.


Graphis Online also had some great imagery and must be commended as well. Graphis uses graphic communication to get it’s point across. The internet site looked like it was going under construction when I looked through it so it was not as nice as the CMYK Magazine site. Graphis’s layout was different from CMYK, but I think it was better because it was not as cluttered and colorful. I like color, but too much is vanity in my opinion. It was simple but yet it gets its point across. Our project should also do this because spending to much time on aesthetics instead of the content is futile, even though the presentation should have some aesthetical imagery and style. In the words of Michael Scott, “K.I.S.S.: Keep it simple, stupid?.

March 10, 2008

Through the ages...

I’m sorry to bring this up again, but the Pantheon in Rome, Italy is one building that can relate to who I am. That building fascinates me to this day. Built almost 2,000 years ago, the Pantheon was a great temple for all the gods at the height of the Roman Empire. The massive dome of the building was not matched in size until the fifteenth century (don’t quote me on that). The building was adaptable to all the cultures that inhabited Rome throughout the 2,000 years of time lapse. From ancient pageantry to Christian ideas to modern influences, the Pantheon has adapted so well throughout it’s history that it has maintained itself to be a habitable piece of architecture. Stepping into the building is like literally traveling through time. The following picture is taken by me last winter break to show the rich and strong interior of the building and how it contrasts from the exterior. It doesn’t look like much on the outside; just an old building to a regular passerby. On the inside, however, is where that stereotype ends.


The framework of the Pantheon was revolutionary when it was built in ancient Rome. Never before had a building been so perfect with its concrete engineering or it’s dome shaped ceiling. It is still debated on how exactly the concrete dome was actually built. The land that surrounds the Pantheon factors in on how old the Pantheon really is. The Pantheon originally had a grand staircase coming from it’s front façade and was positioned up above it’s surrounding buildings in ancient Rome. This is no longer the case because Rome has slowly been rising above its original foundation from years of rebuilding periods from fires or floods or raids. The Pantheon still sits where it was positioned 2,000 years ago. However, the surrounding land is not where it originally was and the modern streets and buildings that now encompass the building are on or above the original level of the Pantheon.
The building relates to me in a few ways. One way is that it appears rough and aged on the exterior, but on the interior it is a rich and deep place that is full of quality and strength. Another relation is that it is a very adaptable building, especially to its surrounding political environments. I am also an adaptable “building?, for wherever I go I have a knack for fitting into the prominent culture. I also see a resemblance to how the building has stood for almost 2,000 years and it still maintains a habitable sense. When outside elements may have an effect on other places, the pantheon remained and remains strong. I like to think that I stand up against the elements, even though at times I am needed elsewhere. My will and strength run deep when I apply it, and I can compare it to the building of the Pantheon, which has stood up against many pillages, culture shifts, religious influences, and intrinsic societies. An engineering model of it’s time; the pantheon is still a marveling piece of architecture after nearly 2,000 years.

(I appologize for not posting this sooner. I forgot to do so last week and just recently remembered)

February 27, 2008

A product of my environment...

My environment is not going to be an imaginary one. It also is not a conventional one. Anyone can discuss how they would impact their environment in Minneapolis with respect for architectural purposes. I figured I would stray away from that and do something different. The environment that I am going to discuss is that of my home environment in central Minnesota. This environment consists entirely within my family’s farm. This farm has many things that make it very different from my environment in Minneapolis. For example, unlike Minneapolis, my closest neighbor on the farm is a half mile away. There are more trees on my farm than all the people around that area combined. The land is forested with a creek that flows through the south end of the farm; along with some marshes and a pond. The wheat and corn fields that lay with the land are plentiful and flow when the wind blows. There are more animals on the farm than people in the Twin Cities (when you factor in all of the mosquitoes and bugs… massive amount). That is my environment; an environment that consists of 245 acres of rolling, forested and fielded land, 4 people, and one hell of a lot of trees, plants, and animals.


How would I change my environment on this farm you might say? The lay of the land says a lot of what can and can not be done. For example, if I really wanted too, I could cut down every tree on my farm and make a lot of money. However, I would never do that because I treasure the quiet environment. This would artistically change the environment as well because going from a luscious forest to a barren waste land of stumps is a drastic change in scenery and art. I could also level the swamp that exists and construct a building, but I would never do that both because it would disrupt the local ecosystem and it’s illegal. If I were to stop planting crops on the fields the fields would eventually turn into small clumps of trees and an eventual forest. The environment would thus change for certain animals and they would leave while others would move in.

Architecturally, the farm has its own unique style. It consists of a few older buildings around the turn of the 19th century along with a few new contemporary ones around the last turn of the century. A couple of the older buildings are all but one with nature, with the buildings having trees and plants growing around and through the old rock foundations and rotting wood frame. Architecturally I could have the old buildings renovated to serve a human purpose again. This would restore the old buildings prestige but it would require clearing the land surrounding the old buildings which would affect the current environment.

February 20, 2008

Values and Opinions

The project goal I chose was goal number seven. This goal was the most appealing to me because I believe this issue affects all of us on a world scale. My opinion is obviously debatable but I feel that environmental sustainability will affect the most people on this planet in the future if it is not managed during this present time. However, every issue and goal is important and interested people will tackle them.

Some inspiration I have found with images for environmental sustainability focus around negative impacts on the world. For example, the following pictures identify an environmental sustainability issue that the United States and a fair share of the world are facing. Renewable energy is something this country needs to extensively research or else we shall fall into a dark age. Coal and oil (Fossil Fuels) will not suffice with the economy for long and do not suffice in terms of environmental factors. To show you an example, a coal plants look a lot like this:


Sure, coal is still becoming cleaner and more efficient, but it is still not healty for the environment... sort of like a black cancer of the earths lungs. However, some positive influences that I have about environmental sustainability are in recent designs of buildings. Environmental sustainability in design is also an important issue because it will ensure future benefits for a society with efficient and eco-friendly buildings and structures. More and more buildings are looking into renovating their facilities to be more eco-friendly. For example, normal houses and some commercial buildings are starting to build solar panels on the roofs of their buildings.

A few songs that have motivated and influenced me for my project goals and that define my values include (and in random order):

“The Captain? - Guster
This songs says to face forward, move slow… forge ahead. I could go into more depth on it (in a political sense) but that basically sums it up on a simple note. Don’t give in to what you think is easy, for the road to success is not an easy one.

“I Won’t Back Down? - Tom Petty
The title sums it up. You have an idea or dream… stick with it.

“Gimme Shelter?- The Rolling Stones
It’s not just the name of the song, but the song speaks of love during very hard and trying times. In my opinion, many obstacles face the people of the world, whether it is wars, poverty, corruption, or disasters. These obstacles need to be assessed and addressed. This song gives me a feel to do that by building a “shelter? to combat the hard times.

“Rockin’ In the Free World? – Neil Young
Even with all of its problems, America is still a great place to be compared to the problems other countries of the world face.

“Always Look on the Bright Side of Life? – Eric Idle
No matter what happened to the other half of the glass, it will always be half full.

February 12, 2008

Social Design in Minneapolis

One social-design issue I found while thinking about Minneapolis was the IDS Center. The IDS Center was built in the mid 1970’s and was the city’s first high rise building or skyscraper. It cemented Minneapolis as a world class city because of it. However, with respect to social-design, the IDS Center has various attributes that make it a unique building. Sure it might be a little contraversial because it is a skyscraper and not a socially active building like a mentoring school or a memorial, but please hear me out.

Economically the IDS Center is located on the rich Nicollet Avenue of downtown Minneapolis. The building has a few commercial retail shops along its first few floors around a massive, glass-encased courtyard. This brings in economic support for the city. However, the main economic support for the city is the remaining fifty plus stories of the building. These levels are home to over 1.3 million sq feet of office space. Trying to replicate that amount of space within the city of Minneapolis without a skyscraper is mind boggling. There are a few skyscrapers in downtown Minneapolis, but none of them are as prestigious or as well known as the IDS Center because it was the first one built. Since it was the first skyscraper, the IDS Center started building commercial space upwards and not outwards, which is a major social design concept which was made famous in New York City. The IDS Center is home to many businesses and organizations and

Another social-design issue of the IDS Center is that it is a symbol of the city. Since it was built and cemented into the world scene, the tower has been a symbol of Minneapolis for its modern style and aesthetical splendor. To me, it resembles a large tree on the horizon, with it roots consisting of all the utilities and foundation walls, its trunk consisting of all the stories of office space, and its crown consisting of the top level with the building’s spires. The glass curtain wall that reflects the mood of the weather resembles the leaves of a tree, while the water that supports the tree’s growth can be compared to the people that work within the IDS Center every day. A tree is a symbol of life, and so is the IDS Center in central downtown Minneapolis. Since then, Minneapolis has slowly but surely converted into a progressive looking and thinking city that shows concern for it’s fellow citizen. I’m not trying to link the IDS Center with empathy, but ever since the mid 70’s the city strove towards excellence in the modern area, whether it is for architecture or for its citizens. To me, the IDS Center is a tree of life that began to grow throughout Minneapolis and has now become a symbol of this fine and compassionate city.

February 5, 2008

Andy Goldsworthy Energy, Flow, Transformation Blog 1

Andy Goldsworthy is an artist, and as an artist, he has abstract thoughts and perspectives of the world that surrounds him. One perspective is what I will be discussing below. That perspective is the idea of energy, flow, and transformation within in nature. I will apply that idea with the city of Minneapolis and its citizens.

Minneapolis has a vibrant energy that surrounds it. This energy is a product of the people that work and live within the city, the same people that use Minneapolis to their advantage everyday. Through all the diverse people and cultures that make up the city, one culture, as a whole for all of them, emerges as the city’s sole benefactor. This culture is educated, determined, self aware and as other people from other cities might say, extremely nice and caring. This “Minneapolis Culture? gives off an energy that few other cities in the world can claim. Minneapolis is a city that has so much positive energy towards its natural environment and its diverse cultures that it is a staple of what is to come across the United States and the world. This energy is portrayed throughout the city in numerous ways.

This energy flows from the city in numerous ways. Whether it be the man made transportation systems like planes, trains, and automobiles, or through basic sidewalks, speaking, or through TV and radio waves. It could be through nature as well, like the mighty Mississippi, the whirlwind breezes from the downtown skyscrapers or through the many trees and animals across the city. The flow of this energy has transformed the city into a great place to live.

The transformation of Minneapolis can be seen even today, but it was very evident through the city’s past. The small milling town along the Mississippi boomed in the late nineteenth century from a small town along the river. However, with most booms, the city cut through its natural landscape instead of flowing with it. Minneapolis gradually grew throughout the twentieth century, with its buildings, parks, and ever growing diverse people/culture. Lately, Minneapolis has become an oil well full of progressive thinking when it comes to architecture and its natural surroundings. The new futuristic architecture across the city is breathtaking. The green of the city during the warm months is spectacular, and the people flowing through the city everyday through different means of transportation is becoming more and more efficient, even though it does not appear that way. The energy of the people has transformed this city into a beautiful place.

Minneapolis has come along way from its humble beginnings to transform into a city full of vibrant energy from its citizens and unique American culture. This energy flows all across the Midwest from its Minneapolis epicenter through various ways and means of transportation. This energy and flow has thus transformed the city from a small but booming mill-town to a naturally, progressive thinking beacon of the future.