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May 7, 2008

missing blog- Why I Took 1701

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May 6, 2008

comments on presentations

I thought that the presentations were great, it was fun to see the same goals aproached in such different ways from group to group. It was also interesting to see all the different designs that the groups created. Many of the things that we were researching related to other classes I was taking so it was enlightening to see all the connections from subject to subject.

One of the most interesting presentations from our section was the AIDS group. What I found interesting is that they had some information that I cannot remember ever hearing even after this subject has been extensively taught in schools. The fact that tattoos and piercings don’t transmit the infection was counter to what I had believed to be true. I would have believed that since both of these can potentially transmit blood between people that the virus could spread. I would have to agree with them that the best prevention is education. I came across research in my own group about how the South African president had spoken out against potential life saving drugs that could prevent mother to child transmission saying they were toxic and even making a statement about how HIV does not cause AIDS. I think it is very sad that this information was misconstrued to a populace that probably does not have the means to find out otherwise. I am not really sure why a leader would do something so counterproductive to the health of his people; maybe he was not educated on the subject either. It seems like lack of education is one of the biggest factors in the spread of many diseases in Africa. Many people do not know how diseases are spread and thus cannot protect themselves. The same can probably be said for many other problems such as over population, just by looking at the current growth rate for developed verses developing countries. I really do not think that any of the current problems can be solved without addressing the population density issues. With so many people to support and their numbers only increasing, it will be impossible to provide resources for everyone.

The other presentation I found interesting was the environmental sustainability one. Mainly I liked their approach to the information by creating the booklet to lead people to the website. I thought this was much better than just creating a site and hoping people access it. One fact I found interesting was that if everyone replaced one bulb in their house with a compact fluorescent bulb it would save enough energy to equal taking 1 million cars of the road (although I don’t know for how long). It seems like such a small change for a huge environmental impact. The bamboo clothing being naturally antibacterial was also something I didn’t know. The only thing I worry about is what kind of impact these energy saving devices will ultimately have. The light bulbs themselves contain poisons that damage the environment when not disposed of properly. It seems like so many of the new technologies we create lead to frenzies where people assume they have the answer to the problem and he ill effects are not realized until it is too late.

4/7

I found out that today was going to be our last day to tutor. Everyone has BSTs next week so they won’t need to meet with us anymore. I wish them all the best of luck on their test. I worked with someone new again, but this time the teacher gave us a print out of her last test results so we could see what parts she struggled with. I didn’t know that it was an option otherwise I would have always asked for the results. So often the kids I work with don’t know what they want to work on so we just kind of guess our way through it all. This made everything so much easier and could have been extremely beneficial starting out. It’s difficult to cover chapters of math in one day. I hope that the kids enjoyed us being there as much as I enjoyed being there.

3/31

No volunteering- classes out for spring break

3/24

Well I didn’t really see any of the kids we were working with before come in today. It’s been a few weeks because I was unable to go last time and worked it out with Takara. I kind of feel like I let them down even though I didn't mean to miss the last day. Many of the kids seem to be specific with who they like to work with. We did get a new volunteer today which is strange because she is in the same class so I would have thought she started sooner. Now we seem to have more tutors than pupils, and spent most of the day waiting for the few that trickled in. I did get to work with someone new for a few minutes today and she seems to have a good handle on the material even though the teachers made it seem like she would need a lot of work before the test.

3/2

I was glad to see that the girl that got in trouble last time was here again. In fact most of the people we had been tutoring came in again for help. That makes it really fun because you know they are actually getting something out of the experience. It seems like almost everyone wants help with their math because that’s the only thing we have worked on as of yet, which is fine with me because it’s the subject I find easiest to help with. Hopefully this will all help on the basic standards test coming up. I overheard that for a lot of the kids this will be the last attempt they get to pass it. I don’t really know how many attempts you are given but I can’t imagine that life will become much easier for any of them if they aren’t able to get a diploma. So many jobs today seem to require some form of education that alternate options are pretty scarce.