May 6, 2008

Project Evaluation: Blog 9

I'm going to be evaluating the Millenium goal number six and this group was from our section on friday section 9 and their topic that they were working on was HIVS/AIDS. They realm of response was to combat HIVS/AIDS in South Africa and the reason they chose this area was because it was one of the highest percentages of infectants. Some of the contributing factors that this group discovered that causes or spreads AIDS is: rape, cultural/ ethnic barriers, political opposition, conspiracy theories, and social stigma. In the culture of South Africa polygamy is being practiced and that's not good because then the disease can spread even more. Also, they have a tradition where if a husband dies the wife is suppose to have sex with the dead husband and this is called sexual cleansing. Also, they have traditional healing and this is where if someone is sick they go to the medicine doctor and all that person does is cuts little cuts in the persons back to release the sickness. This is very bad because if hundreds of people see that doctor every week and that knife isn't cleaned properly then the disease can be spreading very easily. This group says that corporations should respond with investing in the fight against AIDS but most of the time corporations lack information about AIDS so they can't be as helpful as they could be. This groups' response in to implement the ABD education strategy and this is educating the country on the risks of AIDS and how it can spread and how they can stop the spread and one of the main things is to limit the amount of partners. Even with the tough topic of AIDS I believe this group made a great start on the path to at least limiting the number of new people receiving the disease and with this groups' efforts other people could build on top of that and start reducing the number of people WITH AIDS.

Project Evaluation: Blog 8

I'm going to evaluate the Honors group that worked on the Millennium Development goal number 7, environmental sustainability. This groups' realm of response was to take the Riverside Plaza hear in Minneapolis and renovate it so that the people living in the building would still be able to live there and that they would have more pride in the place in which they live. I think that this is a really good way of going about goal number 7 because this project is very close to home and I think the only thing that is standing in the way of this project being done is the people of the city that just don't really care about the buildings and there's always the money factor. So basically what this group wanted to do was take as many aspects of these buildings and make them either more environmentally friendly or make the appearance more appealing which in turn would make the environment around the buildings better and not scaring people away with the way the building looks right now. So this group wanted to take the old washers and dryers and replace them with energy star machinces therefore reducing the amount of water used on washing clothes. Another point that they touched on in respect with water is how they wanted to install some type of water collection system which would allow the buildings to use that collected rain water for flushing toilets instead of the buildings using their supply of drinking water for the flushes, which would save money. They wanted to install high grade three pane glass window to prevent heat loss in the winter and heat coming into the building during summer. On the outside of the building there are a lot of panels that don't match color wise so this group wanted to change those panels with wood panles or at the very least repaint them so that they match. Furthermore, this group wanted to install a new air conditioning system that would be more environmentally friendly and also more cost effective. All in all I believe that this group did a great job presenting their project and the idea of remodeling the Riverside Plaza was a fantastic idea.

May 4, 2008

A.C.E.S. Evaluation for 4/23/08

After arriving at Monroe I put my backpack down and walk to the cafeteria for my group placement and today I picked to be with the 4th graders. Once the students finished eating their snacks the leader and I led the them to the arts and crafts room so they could work on their project for the day. The project that they were working on was a dinosaur replica with bones sticking out of it and eventually they were going to put fur over the bones and the body so it would look more like a dinosaur. Half way through the day Josh asked me if I would be willing to conduct an end of the year survey with a few of the students to see what they thought about the ACES program. So after the project making session was over I went out into the hallway and had one student come out and talk with me about their experience with ACES one on one. I thought that this went really well and it was interesting hearing the students answers to some of the questions especially the ones concerning their futures. After the question sessions it was free time and I took a couple of the students to the computer lab to play games and do quick math and typing. I thought I would try one of the games that the students play sometimes just to see how it was and it was actually harder than I thought it would be and it was pretty fun too. Unfortunately free time came to a close and along with so did another day at Monroe Elementary School.

April 17, 2008

A.C.E.S. Evaluation for 4/16/08

Yet another arrival around 3:25 just in time for snack time and today I signed up to work with the 5th grade group and we went down into the room across the open area from the computer lab. Today the students worked on figuring out how much nutrition there is in what they eat during snack time and this went pretty well. After the nutrition we moved onto an activity in which the students used step counters to count their steps so they could figure out how much calories they would burn in two minutes of walking. Then we went outside to see what would use more energy walking or running by having having half of the students run and the other walk. After the study time the kids were allowed to go outside today for free time which was really nice since it was the best day so far of spring. It was fun to see the kids outside having fun running around in the jungle gym equipment and enjoying the outdoors. After a refreshing change by going outside for free time the day came to a close with another experience fullfilling volunteering day.

A.C.E.S. Evaluation for 4/9/08

This service learning day was my most favorite day so far this semester. The kids were in good spirit and the group that I was helping with did a fun activity for the day. We watched the movie, "An Inconvient Truth" and I always like learning about that kind of information. Even more interesting was how much the kids liked the movie and actually understood the issues brought up in the movie which made me feel pretty good since they are going to be part of the needed movement in the future. We weren't able to finish the movie but we watched a good part of it up until free time was upon us. So today we went to the big gym and the kids played all sorts of games today like basketball, soccer, and a couple of the students were playing catch with a baseball. Today went very smoothly and like I said before was a great day for volunteering.

A.C.E.S. Evaluation for 3/26/08

Today I volunteered to work with Matt's group and we were in the conference room near the main entrance in Monroe. The students who had homework I helped them figure out the problems they weren't quite sure on. Most of the students had math homework so this day went pretty well because it was pretty straight forward and was pretty easy to explain. After the homework the kids started to work on their presentation of alternative energy resources and once they were finished with reading over the material they gave their presentations on their certain energy type. For today I brought a few of the students down to the computer lab for typing and quick math games. This was pretty cool to see the types of games they have for kids to play these days for those types of learning games. Once the time came for the students to go home, that marked the end of another good volunteering session.

April 4, 2008

Cover page ideas

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March 14, 2008

Term Project Inspirations

My group is currently researching on the topic of Environmental Sustainability and we are focusing our research in the area of the big oil companies and their impact on the environment and I'm just looking for some good blogs or magazines that could give us some inspiration for our presentations or just for other information.

This one is pretty good because it deals with a lot of environmental issues.

This one deals with issues around the world and is a good magazine.

This one is very suitable for our topic because the oil is the backbone of the car industry so this blog is closely related with our topic.

This is probably the best blog because it mainly deals with the oil companies from what I saw and that is exactly what our group is researching and it also has some useful links on the oil industry.

A.C.E.S. Evaluation for 3/12/08

My trip to Monroe Elementary school was lets just say interesting. The first two buses are just they always have been but when I got on the thirdy bus it turned left 5 blocks before the turn to the school and then it turned left away from the school again so I decided just to get off and walk the rest of the way. Because of my bus incident I was late and I missed the snack time so I went right to working with Matt's group this day. The students were working on nouns, verbs, and adverbs, to be honest I tried my best to help them out but that kind of homework was never my strength but I think we did pretty well. After the homework the kids wrote thank you letters to a newspaper columnists that visit that Monday. Once they were finished with the letters we moved into free time. The kids got to play lightning and play other basketball games today. Besides my bus mistake this day went over just fine.

A.C.E.S. Evaluation for 3/5/08

I arrive a few minutes before 3:30 pm and today I volunteered to hand out snacks to the kids. After the kids were done with snack time the group I was with went up to the library to work on homework and to read. Most of the students on this day had a homework assignment that dealt with fraction so I was helping them out with that for most of the study time. The kids were very cooperative today so the homework went really well. After homework the leader went into a nutrition lesson about food and eating the right kind of foods. The kids discussed what they eat for each of the food groups and the leader informed them on the healthy foods to eat from each group. After the nutrition lesson it was time for free time. Today I went with a few kids to arts and craft. We worked on a huge painting of a dolphin but we weren't able to finish because their rides came before we could finish. Once the kids left I helped the leader clean up and then I went home, this was probably the best day that I had so far in my volunteering.

March 7, 2008

The Built Environment

Well I'm not sure if this is what the prompt was asking us to do but I'm just going to go ahead and answer it the way I feel it should be answered. When I think of how the Build Environment affects me in my everyday life I think of that as being how everything around affects me on a day-to-day basis. So my answer to the question is the built environment supports who I am through the plain fact that the build environment is everything around me and I just enjoy being outside. Some of my favorite times of the year are when I'm outside on a fresh spring afternoon or a beautiful autumn day or right after a heavy snow fall and everything is a pure white. The environment is almost a religion for me because when I'm outside on a gorgeous day the is nothing more satisfying than that. It is such a rejuvenating feeling and can make a bad day go from horrible to amazing in a matter of seconds that how much a nice day can change the way that I'm feeling. One of my memories of childhood or earlier in my lifetime was when I would wake up in the morning in the late spring time, I think, I could hear the silence of the early morning accompanied by the song of the birds and the crickets. When I think of this memory I long for that again where I can wake up in the morning to a peaceful world instead of the loud commotion of the cities that I live in now.

But the cities aren't all bad, they can have their beautiful sides too, you just have be around at the right time of the day to notice it. Walking along the streets with cars and bus zooming by is not the place to find it but once you get away from the busiest streets thats where you can find solitude and the beautiful scenery. One place where I found this was on the bike paths down by the Mississippi River but thats where you can get away from it along and enjoy the natural vibe from the river.

So all in all I don't see my built environment as the buildings and the man made structure as my environment, I translate it as the natural environment around where I have to go out and explore to find those places of enjoyment which will make the other things that aren't as beautiful a little easier to take in. I'm the type of person that just needs to go outside on a nice day and just be outside, I could just sit there and soak in the wonder of nature and that would be enough for me because my built environment isn't build it was already here and I just have to find it.


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February 29, 2008

A.C.E.S. Evaluation for 2/27/08

3:24 on the dot I arrived at Monroe and walked into the lunch room to receive my assignment for the day. Today I was given a new assignment for the day and that was to work with the 5th grade group I think it was. But anyway after snack time when moved into study time down in a room across the hall from the lunch room. A couple of the kids actually had homework to do and the others didn't. So the ones that didn't have homework were either suppose to write in their journals or play a card game dealing with addition and subtraction. After the couple students finished their homework the kids moved into arts and craft time by making game pieces for their board games that they were making. After that was done the leader put in a movie about space, the movie was pretty much about how it's completely different without gravity and I thought it was pretty interesting actually.

Once the movie was over it was time for free time but only one of the students was able to go because the rest weren't being very cooperative during study time. Three of them had to stay in the room for five minutes while the other one had to stay for 15 minutes because he was being very disrespectful and uncooperative. So I volunteered to keep an eye on them while they had to wait out their time before they could go to the gym for free time. After the 15 minutes I brought the kids up to the gym and they played ships across the ocean and basketball for the shot time until the buses came. Today was probably one of the more stressful days because the students didn't want to do what the leader was asking of us and I didn't know how to control the situation but I suppose those days will happen with elementary kids. Looking foward to next week and hopefully that day will go more smoothly than today.

A.C.E.S. Evaluation for 2/20/08

Just another day of arriving at the Monroe school around 3:20. I walked into the cafeteria and received my assignment for the day and I was assigned to work with the 4th graders again. After their snacks we went up to the library and started study time. On this day I helped the kids with their homework and helped them find some good books to read during the study time. This study time went pretty smoothly compared to other days so that was nice.

After the study time we moved onto the fitness and nutrition part of the lesson. The students just had to read out of their packets and they discussed the material with the leader. After the Fitness and Nutrition the students played silent ball unitl free. Today the kids had three choices for free time they could either go to the gym, go to the art room or go do typing. Most of the guys went to the gym and the other volunteer Tommy went with them. I went with the group that wanted to do arts. Arts was interesting to see what the kids were making and the quality of work. After awhile the buses came and sounded the end to another day of volunteering at ACES.

Who needs 'Architecture School'?

To answer that question plainly, pretty much any one that wants to become an architect needs to go to architecture school. But what if I were released from the constraints of the 'architecture school' program?

I would establish my own workshop and design and build wood projects not even for a living but just because I would enjoy doing it. I started woodworking as a sophomore in high school and I have loved it ever since, so that's what I would do if I were released from the constraints of the architecture school program and I would work in an area such a this or something similar to it.

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My workshop would have everything a craftsman would ever need. There would be power saws of every kind, drills of different sorts, there would be sanders, lathes, clamps, screws, nuts and bolts, stick, glue, string, tape, markers, and last but obviously not least an unlimited supply of wood to make any type of project. This workshops would be state of the art and I would be able to perform any task with the tools of my choosing.

I would initially make small projects and just practice the trade of woodworking, after awhile though I would move onto bigger and more detailed pieces that would involve more thought and design process. The ultimate stage would be for me to design and build my own buildings completely out of wood. An example of something that I would build is this....


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The reason in which my wood crafting would have an impact on the environment would be harmful in some ways but also helper in others. It would be harmful to the environment because I'm using wood to create my project which forces trees to be cut down which isn't good for the environment. Another reason why it's probably not good for the environment would be that I'm using electricity to power my tools and that in turn would create some amount of air pollution. But on the other side of things is how my work would be improving the environment. I would counter the cutting down of trees by planting ten new trees for every tree I use on my projects. As for the enegry use, well I would go all rustic and use hand powered tools but that's just no fun so... I'm not going to do anything about that beside trying to find quality tools that are more enegry efficient than their competitors. Now for my main reason why woodworking would be beneficial to the environment is that it would add beauty and peacefulness to the area around the finished project instead of some ugly metal building.

Just for fun here are some of my wood projects that I have made... in real life.
This first one is a wine rack that I made for my brother.


This second one here is a coffee table that I made for my parents and goes very well with their newly updated family room.


February 22, 2008

Environmental Sustainability

The planet in which we all live on is in danger and we are the reason for our planet's current condition. Earth is in a state of Global Warming right now and humans are the main reason for this. I believe that our environment is most important thing in the world, more important than, the economy, professional sports, national defense, immigration, and even my own life. Why do I feel so strongly about this issue, well if our environment becomes an unsuitable place for us to live in, then... well there won't be any of those previous things that I mentioned and anything else you can think of. That is why I believe the number one thing on people's mind is to put forth some kind of effort to help repair our environment.

As long as people buy into the fact that our environment is in trouble, I believe that we can make a campaign towards Environmental Sustainability. The way in which I think we need to become completely dependent not on fossil fuels but on renewable energy sources and eventually get to the point where we are using non-carbon emission producing everything. Some of my ideas that I think would allow the human race to accomplish this mission would be to it illegal to own a carbon emission producing vehicle and for all vehicles to be electric or at the very least high- quality hybrid CARS, and no more giant SUVs. On the lines of energy producing facilities, I would strongly suggest utilizing solar energy on every house roof top and large solar energy plants for extra energy. Also, in windy areas wind mills can be very productive and produce no pollution.

The reason for me picking these following quotes is because they appealed to me and I thought that they related to the topic of the environment very well.

It is horrifying that we have to fight our own government to save the environment. ~Ansel Adams

The activist is not the man who says the river is dirty. The activist is the man who cleans up the river. ~Ross Perot

Because we don't think about future generations, they will never forget us. ~Henrik Tikkanen

The use of solar energy has not been opened up because the oil industry does not own the sun. ~Ralph Nader, quoted in Linda Botts, ed., Loose Talk, 1980

Here is an example of some solar energy panels which gather the sunlight and transform that sunlight into energy for other things.


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I really like this picture because it's just an example of just how beautiful nature can be and I really want to preserve this because it would be a horrible thing for a site like this to be destoryed.


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These next two photos I thought were good for this post because these are two examples of things that are happening in our world right now that need to be changed. First there are the factories of some kind that are producing a lot of pollution that can lead to global warming. Then there is the polar ice that is melting due to global warming and is causing sea levels to rise which endangers millions of people.


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My parents introduced me to this film and I was shocked after I watched this. It is a movie about the electric car and how it was killed. It just doesn't make sense to me how the government and all of the other players didn't want to have the electric car on the market. The car didn't produce any carbon emission and it functioned like a normal car and all of the people that drove it loved it.
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Im sorry if this link doesn't work but it was just a trailer for the movie "An Inconvenient Truth", I believe that this is a must see movie because it deals with multiple topics concerning or environmental troubles.
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This link will provide you with ten easy things that you can do to reduce your own carbon emissions and I believe that these will truly help and are really not that hard to follow or at the very least try to follow.
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The songs that I choose might not be directly related to the environment and it's issues but these songs are some of my more favored songs. They are very motivational songs for me and I believe that is good for this topic because the human race needs to be motivated to accomplish environmental sustainability.
Lenny Kravitz.......... Fly Away
Tom Petty................ Learning to Fly
We The Living.......... St. Paul
U2.......................... Beautiful Day
Jack Johnson........... Times Like These
Kanye West............. Stronger

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One last thing, how could you not want to treat and love this?