May 8, 2008

April 24 2008

Today is a relaxing day for me because none of them have homework. The younger children went home early because it’s so nice outside. The teenagers and I on the other hand, stayed to help with their weekend event.

The instructor, Zik, told us to put one of everything (gum, chips, trail mix) she had bought into each of the “healthy bag.? Therefore, in the bag, there are dental stuff and these snacks. It was very nice to help out with this event, although I can’t participate, but I still feel like I’m part of it. I enjoy doing this, because I realized they are very organized when they work together!

Today I volunteered 2 hours (4 pm ~ 6 pm)

April 10 2008

Today they arrive around the same time as usual. I did help them with homework, math in particular. On the other hand, I found it challenge when the children really have difficulties in math. The reason is it doesn’t matter how I explain, they just don’t seem to get how to do them. The problem is as simple as reduce the fraction of 24/10 to the simplest form. I tried to tell them to divide the top and bottom by the same integer, then slowly increase that integer if you could, eventually you’ll figure out the simplest form. However, the child I was helping thought this was hard. Sigh.

It’s okay, because that’s why I’m here for right?! :D

From helping this child in math, I’ve learned that my explanations to everything is not necessary can be understood by others. Since I comprehend and interpreted things differently than them, then I need to be creative to come up with some different perspectives to help them understand this simple math question.

It was fun torturing them math. :D

Today I volunteered 2 hours (4pm ~ 6pm)

April 3 2008

Today is a rainy day, so the kids arrive to the center a little late. But somehow this doesn’t stop them to come here for help. I quickly help with their homework and then start play games with them. Also, I spend some time to chit-chat with them. It was very nice because I get to know how they have been. Afterwards, we all gather up to clean the building.

It’s all about team work. We sort out and clean the room as fast as we can. Then some kids need to leave early, the rest, I play games with them. They all seem very nice joyful. Every time I come here, can’t wait till the next time to come again. Although I pretty much do the same thing every day, but I found it to be very nice to hang around them.

I volunteered 2 hours today (4pm ~ 6 pm)

March 27 2008

This week, I focus more on personal interaction. The reason is that it’s the week before their spring break, and I just want to let them express what they have planned to go or visit. Also I just return from my spring break, so we can exchange our “spring break? stories.

They are very cute and excited about spring break. Some are going to visit family members out of states; others are going to special places for vacation. Each of them has their own special stories to tell, that’s wonderful. I learn a lot from chatting with them since we don’t really have that much time to spend with each other. Furthermore, I learned what kind of persons are within those small bodies. And always want to get to know them more, because each of them is interesting in their own ways. Although they are still kids, but some already have develop their personality and temper and might possibly can be call adolescents.

Today I volunteer 2 hours :D

March 13 2008

Today is kind of special- it’s the week before spring break!! Therefore, like usual, I still go to volunteer.

They are very excited and energetic today. Mostly is because they are looking forward to their spring break as well (in two weeks). This had made my volunteer day too. I help with some of their homework, but they seem to learn faster today and most of them finish early. Therefore, we went on to the daily activity a little bit earlier.

Being with them let me recalled some of my earlier memories. Because they always will do some unexpected things to get into trouble with Zik, the instructor? But she still very nice to them.

Yap! Basically, everyone are very well behaving today, did their homework in a fast and progressive way and had fun playing games to make to make the time go faster.

I volunteered 2 hours today! (4pm ~ 6pm)

April 29, 2008

Presentation blog #2 (Economic development)

In this presentation, the presenters chose to focus on the economic development in Dubai. The way they present their information is very similar to other groups, chose to use slide of power points. However, because of the technology difficulties on that day, they can’t put their visuals on the scream which made their presentations difficult to see and comprehend. I think they were not finish with their research yet, so towards the end of the presentation kind of get cut back on the info.
However, I think their topic is very interesting in a way. They did found signs of economic improvements in Dubai and the causes that are transforming this country once are a third-world country into a developing country. One significant cause that improved its economy is tourism. In the past few decades, Dubai had changed a lot to the city area, and created plenty of attractions for the tourisms. Maybe is because the natural source they’ve got, or just the man creations that attract people such as the 3 billion dollar development of Dubai world and Dubai Mall which will be the biggest mall in the world.
Over all, I like their presentation and the information that they had found. I think it would be much more interesting if they had completed the research. Just to expend the expected projects in Dubai- Dubai Mall and Dubai World, I think it will be interesting if they can present more about the plan. For example, drawing, intentions, details in designs or what are some reasons to build it beside to attract tourists. It’s just the personal interest, but they certainly introduce other stuff capture the focus and interest of their audience.

April 28, 2008

Presentation blog #1 (Poverty & hunger)

In general, I think the presentation was good. This group has clearly addressed the issue of poverty and hunger in Minneapolis and knows the materials well enough to explain in a detail format. Although the presentation information wasn’t distributed evenly to each members, but I believe that each individual have their own contributions such as writing and researching. One major disappointment was regarding to the slide shows, we didn’t get to see any of them today.
They had identified the main reason that causes poverty which is insufficient of money, shelter, and the discriminations between classes. People are not completely helpless since they are supported by funds provided by organizations and companies. As an architect, we can’t fulfill every requirement to pull them out of poverty, but design a livable environment for them is a fairly good start. According to the presentation, the organization is non-profit and only design to solve poverty. Since there’s a critical financial limit, they came up with the idea of using natural material such as solar panels and other local materials that can keep living cost low and last longer.
My focus was attracted by the possible architectural solutions that are mentioned at the end. The reason is because they had solutions beyond my thoughts which are to build taller buildings that can contain more people. First, they will create a small market on the basement (ground level) of the residential buildings. This can provide more jobs opportunities for the residents and maybe free services. Ideally, this can save money for transportation. Secondly, the residential buildings will be cover by a special window that can block the heat from the sun and keep the living space cool during summer without open the windows or turn on the AC. Thirdly, there will be green plots (or so called “green roofs?) on the roof regions. This way, they can grow their own produce. Lastly, as a start, those businesses on the ground level will start with funds from government and other organizations, after that, their revenues will only for rents.
I like their research subtopics, because they capture the issues well and provide possible architectural solutions for future architects the opportunities to solve them. Although it’s not going to be solve completely any time soon, but there’s always hope. Poverty and hunger is not our enemy, “we? are our own enemy.

April 7, 2008

March 6 2008

Today as usual, went to the site and help the kids with homework. Some are really active and always want to play, but the instructor made them read a book to me before they can play. Then soon, it would approach to the time for them to leave.

I find them to be very cute sometimes. It reminds me of my childhood, always get into trouble and trying to get away from punishments. For example, if they have homework that day, and they finish before they leave, then they will get a snake. On this day, a kid didn't accomplish anything and snick into the kitchen to grab a snake and was cought by the instructor. I found it to be very childish and only child can do so. i didn't knwo him though, however, that first impression of him to me is not good.

other kids are great and is always willing to learn, which make me happy! :D

i also volunteered 2 hours today!

April 3, 2008

3 layouts

In our project, we divided ourselves into three different sub-topics. My topics are bamboo construction and vernacular architecture in desert areas. I think I’ll focus on the research of benefits of choosing bamboo and the what if can do to maintain the sustainability to our environment. The second is about the vernacular buildings in the desert area, I’ll try to describe the difference of how it stands out from the rest of the buildings and how much it can do in a positive way in our environment.
As for the layout of the presentation, we’ve discussed to use color coded for each section and keep them all organized; it’s easier for us to present during the presentation. Furthermore on the portfolio, I was thinking for each section, we can use images of structures or some buildings printed in very light color as background that reflects on the upcoming topic. Also, on the same page, we can write short description of that topic and maybe raise some critical points before actually dive in.
As for the cover page…we are currently haven’t decided yet, but it’s definitely under construction.

First option:
Use this picture as one of the cover page
-print on a color code paper
-print it with light color so can have writings on it
-maybe not putting in exactly in the center, toward the bottom right-hand corner

Second option:
Use this page as another cover page
-delete the background and just leave the structure
-print it in light color and put it in the center of the paper
-write title and short description on the top

Third option
Use this picture as another cover page
-print this page as light as possible
-fill up the entire page
-write description

These are just some basic cover pages that I think might work on my cover page. I think the lay out for the content need to be very neat. In order to do so, the page should have lots of white space with respect to the image and the writing. Therefore, it won’t seem like its overload.

March 20, 2008

Febuary 28 2008

Today is the second day to volunteer, also is a special day. With the mid-term laying ahead of us, I couldn’t help myself to do anything else besides studying. However, I did put on a casual smiley face and went to volunteering expecting to be relaxed with helping kids.

From a different situation, they have a short day today and have to end the program at 5pm sharp! Time is money, want to cherish every minute I have with them. Therefore, as usual I went there right after class and helped the kids with homework. Some finish fast, others don’t have any, so I turn out to play games with them. Since its snowy and cold outside, we play cardboard games inside.

Although it didn’t seem I did much with the kids, but from their happy faces I can tell I made some progress today. Sadly I can only be there for an hour, but think from another perspective, I have another harder task in front of me…study for mid-term!!!!

~Poor college students…~

Oh! For easier tracking…I volunteered for 1 hour today (4~5pm)

February 21, 2008

Today is the first day of the volunteering for me. I started with 2 hours (4~6pm)

Since it's the first day, I start with an introduction and meet most of the people, the environment and the kids. Because it's a new volunteer site for me, therefore, everything is new to me. The new instructor was somewhat nice; I can tell she's a lady with full hand of tasks and with kids while trying to introduce everything to me. She flip through my application papers in a rush and gave me a warm welcome by showing each rooms, office, play room, restroom, cafeteria etc. Also, I met a classmate of mine, Chris, who is going to volunteer the same time as I am on Thursday afternoons.

Coincidently, they have an activity after the homework help, some kind of food feast, and I stayed a little bit to help set things up. It was kind of funny that when I arrived shortly at the site, so does the instructor with a car load of food, and she called out “Christ? but expecting me to go help her get the food inside. I correct her nicely and helped her carried chicken and mashed potato into the cafeteria. If I remember correctly, I think it’s a parent night.

For the most, I like Jackson Street Village; it’s different than the previous site because they are really open. Since I can only make it on Thursday’s after school, they usually have me to help out the kids with homework. Otherwise, just play games with the younger kids. They are really fun to hang out with; some are hard to control but can be correct by a simple tone of “good talk.?

I’m excited about next Thursday (march 6 2008)

March 6, 2008

I came from Taiwan!!

Taipei is a beautiful city located in Taiwan, also known as the capital city. It’s a city that’s approximately the size of our capital, St. Paul, but occupied by 6 million people daily. Literally, I mean from sunrise to sunset, even until late at night! Since it’s one of the most populated countries in South East Asia, we have a special living style called “night-life,? where most people come out at night to “socialize.?
With the completions of two tallest buildings in Taiwan, it definitely increased the popularities of Taipei. Increase in activities, events and speed up the busy life style of Taiwanese people. There’s a populate saying, there are only 24 hours in a day, but Taiwanese people live it like 46 hours. They are Taipei 101 and 新光三越( translation, Shin Kong Mitsukoshi the second tallest shopping mall/ business building)

新光三越 at night
新光三越 is completed in December 23, 1993 and was the tallest shopping mall. it’s standing 244.2 meters, with 51 floors. Then, how does it effect us, well, the location has a big advantage, because it’s in the center. Secondly, it’s a population spot to hang out. I’ve been there, very crowded and gorgeous place to spend an afternoon or night. Mall within it, contain famous brand from around the world. Another reason is stores around it, due to the great location and a better name, “money maker.
新光三越 #2.jpg
money maker

Few years later….a tall building was design, build and well construct in Asia…

taipei 101.jpg
Taipei 101
On Dec. 31, 2004, the completion of Taipei 101, it transforms the city of Taipei into much more flourishing place to live. Standing 508 meters tall with 101 floors, and in the center of the city; naturally became the most populated place to hang around. It is a business top place and is the busiest shopping center. The design of this is really special. Let me tell you why….
taipei 101 at night, snap shot.jpg
The night snap shot of Taipei 101
Many people don’t know Taiwan is an earthquake active country. Just a brief history about it, on September, 21 of 1999, there’s a shocking earthquake really awake Taiwan. With the 7.3 and happen around 2:30 am, really shocked the entire country of Taiwan!!!
Therefore, when Taipei 101 was standing tall and high on the Taipei ground, I certainly can hold myself to go examine the structure. (actually I did that just last summer XDDD) Anyways, the architecturally design is really unique. Since its located in this kind of habitate, the building itself has its own technique to fight against earthquake. Check this out, it’s a giant ball located in the center of the building. It’s function is to keep Taipei 101 balance at all time, for example, if the wind blow the building to the east, the ball would tilt to the west to stay in balance.
Taipei101ballance beem.jpg
The giant ball to keep it balance.
How do these two buildings define or influence me? Well, like I state before, I’m from that big city, used to that kind of lift style. Always crowded and stay busy! Therefore, in a sence, I think my personality is somewhat like that. I can change accordingly with the environment that’s surrounding me!

who left the dog out~!

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taipei 101