May 2, 2008

Presentations and Powerpoints

I enjoyed the presentations both in class and lecture, but there were def some pros and cons to bring up.
First of all, everyone did well on their power point presentations, they were impressive and much better than anything I can come up with, that is why I give everyone two thumbs up on presentation.

The topics were all life impacting of course, everyone tries to defend why their goal must be achieved in order to begin solving the other goals, when in reality we need to battle all of them together. {Good luck with that}

Lastly, speaking is my WORST and LEAST favorite thing to do, but I was sort of not really impressed with a few presentations. I was surprised with some too, both in good and not so good ways.

The first presentation that I found particularly interesting and well presented was one of the Honors Groups who presented goal 1. It is was a great presentation. There was a ton of research done, the presentation kept my interest and their speaking skills were some of the best we saw. Another presentation that stuck with me even after a whole week is the Group from my discussion that researched AIDS and disease prevention. Not only was the presentation beautiful, the topic meant something to them and you could just see it in the way they talked about it. That was a good thing to see.

April 23, 2008


I have been slacking on the blogging, but finally not on the volunteering.

I have been working extra hard to get all my hours in for volunteering, and have finally succeeded.

Each week, I went in to Augsburg Fairview Academy every Monday from 12:00-3:00. I worked with "English as a Second Language" students. We listened to cds similar to what we listened to in Spanish class in high school. The students worked in workbooks and I was there to check their answers over and we also had many conversations off topic, but we agreed that since they have to learn about our culture, they got to teach me about their culture. One of the men told me that they cannot eat pork in their religion and that chicken and camels were more common to eat. Yes, camels. I didn't know you could eat a camel. He said they are rather tasty though.

It was interesting also to learn that there is a prayer room located in the main office of the school because many of the students pray often throughout the day. They take it really seriously and once each time I was there working with the students, one of the men would get up and pray for about 20 minutes in the prayer room. He picked a mat out from the box and went in the room.

Something that is a little more difficult about volunteering than I had imagined is not giving the answers to the student's homework. They make it hard for me to say they have to do it themselves, but we still were able to work together rather than me just giving them the answers.

I have finished 13 volunteer hours and as I look back I actually enjoyed it. It was hard at the time, but I learned more than I ever imagined. I learned about different lifestyles and different living situations. I feel fortunate, but also want to help more.

April 6, 2008

Hunger, Haiti and Hope

hiati cover page copy.jpg

March 28, 2008

title page options for research project. hmm....

we need a title page?

i will add to this when i think about this longer.

we are working on putting together a video documentary to present most of our research, however we will supplement it with a document of some sort, with a title page...

maybe we can draw something. i hope we have talented artists in my group. i can't draw.

i will get back to this...

March 11, 2008

presentation styles...research about the way we are going to research our research project

hmmm.... i would like to make a portfolio, power point, video documentary with music, or... power point maybe? i think the most entertaining for people listening to our presentation would be to watch a video documentary. it could be a very strong presentation, especially with music playing simultaneously. i love videos that show pictures that play music along with it, like many of you tube videos. as far as documenting some examples of other presentations, i could put a picture of a video camera or a computer on here, but i don't think its necessary. i think making a portfolio, although it would be a more concrete project to hold on to for later, would actually be not to our benefit for our research because it can not convey the data the same way music and a photo show could... i think so anyway.

March 6, 2008

volunteer. week one and counting. and counting. and counting.

i have volunteered two times now at my site. i would say it is pretty easy to get there on the bus. its a little scary, a little long of a walk, but it is a great opportunity to people watch. after i sign in at the security checkpoint, i go up four flights of stairs to... well... a hallway. i think i get lost or disoriented every time i go through this hallway. its easy for me to get lost even when you only go right or left. i seem to guess wrong 2 for 2 now. anyway, my classroom is quite cozy. my fist impression of my teacher was way wrong. she is a cool lady who has really good intentions for her students. like i said, good intentions. half of the students want to learn, actively participate, and half kind of got up and left during class, went to "work", or were sleeping. but there is nothing wrong with that because the students didn't seem to mind at all. they were not distracted like i was it seemed. this is a rather untraditional way of learning the way i see it, however, it is normal for these students. the untraditional way of learning for the students is the way i learn. it is quite interesting. some of the students were really funny and really nice. they asked me where i was from, and i said the U of MN. One student responded with a "good. i dont like the ones from st. thomas." it thought that was funny. they asked why i chose to volunteer at their school, and one student said, "you shouldn't have choose here. we are a bad example cuz we're all lazy." i said, "well you're not lazy. you're sitting here writing a paper." he smiled and said, "yeah i guess so." I had fun, even though i sat there most of the time. i had an interesting conversation with a girl who was memorizing a poem for a competition she is going to be in on monday, march 10th. i thought that was cool.

March 1, 2008

time to step it up a notch...or ten

i think for the most part the environment that humans create positively shapes our lives. we wouldn't have walking paths around lakes, cabins to enjoy a mini vacation, valuable time to visit friends and family who live far away. there are many things that humans create that we need to stay healthy too. we need doctors and necesssary medications and surgery tools and machines used in severe emergencies. just think what life would be like without stop lights or bridges or parking ramps. sure we would get by or adapt but i think it is beneficial in more ways than not to have these amentities. thank goodness we are able to have showers and toilets too. im not even going to get in depth about that topic.

something else i was thinking about was the north shore in duluth minnesota. for those of you who are lucky enough to have seen this place in real life, rememebr it forever. the north shore is somewhere you can live among nature to the largest extent compared to anywhere else. something interesting that i was thinking about though, was even though it is pure nature, there is still a human touch to it everywhere. the trails have to be maintained and kept up to keep a clear and safe path. there is a committee of people who groom the walking trails and clear brush. humans mark the landscape no matter if you are developing a community of houses or walk the nature trails in duluth minnesota. hmmm....

i found this picture on my computer and thought it was so sweet. my sister and i were going out to the car one morning after a fresh snow. her fiance wrote on her windsheild earlier so she would be surprised when she come out to go to work. so cute. (some of you probably thinking 'cheezy' but i thought it was cute) this is an example of how humans can make a positive change on our environment. it meant so much to her too :)

i know a lot of people relly like valley fair but i was thinking about what is going to happen to all the machinery, materials and garbage when that place is no longer able to run. someday that amusement park will no longer be in business and what are they going to do with all the rides? are they going to leave them there all deserted? it is so much waste it makes me sick. this is a great example in my opinion that humans and technology have made a negetive impact on our surrroundings.

so much waste. are they going to be able to reuse any of this stuff?

February 22, 2008

Architectural Impact on Environment: Biomimicry

If I could design and have the most significant positive effect on my environment, then I would consider myself a successful designer. One of the techniques I was recently introduced to was the idea of “biomimicry� in archietcture. I didn’t quite have a handle on the concept, so I did some research. Biomimicry is using nature and its behaviors to design architecture with similar characteristics. Some of the renderings for biomimicry are outrageous. It looks lika a giant critter or flower in bloom taking over the city. flower.jpg I would take an appraoch to design that wasn’t litterally biology taking over, but systems like water retantion and cooling systems taken from nature incorperated in the design.
fbtreehouses01.jpg Finca Bellavista: A Sustainable Rainforest Community
on the base of an almost 6,000 foot primary rainforest mountain on the South Pacific Coast of Costa Rica - not far from the Pan American Highway, Finca Bellavista was created with the sole purpose of preserving 300 acres of local rainforest by offering a unique opportunity for ecologically minded property owners to live sustainably in and steward a managed rainforest environment.
Ecological Research Building at Stanford
One of the most interesting and innovative systems introduced to the building was the use of a hydronic system to cool down the the building. Water is sprayed thinly on the roof at night. During the coolness of the night, the water is chilled as it runs down the roof loosing heat to the night sky. It is then stored into a highly insulated water tank, where it is later used for the cooling system of the building during the day providing an energy saving of around 90% from that of a typical chilled water system.

February 18, 2008





Influences on my Values

Hunger knows no friend but its feeder.

More than 820 million people in the world suffer from hunger; and 790 million of them live in the Third World.
-Fidel Castro

The rich swell up with pride, the poor from hunger.
-Sholom Aleichem

Song playlist:

imagine by john lennon
breakable by ingrid michelson

February 12, 2008

Social - Design Issue

Design is supposed to be a way to improve our society, not make it worse. This means we are supposed to design responsibly and be aware of what we are doing to our surrounding environment. We should be designing for needs not wants.

A wonderful way Minneapolis has recently improved our society is by adding the light rail system of transportation. This is a great way to get around the city and use less gas! A design issue Minneapolis is continually dealing with is traffic congestion. Adding the light rail is a smart and economical way to solve a problem. I ride the light rail when ever I can and I will try to get others to also!

February 2, 2008

eco circle of life.jpg