May 8, 2008

Service-Learning Journal

Service Learning: Jackson Street Village.
Position: Tutor

Day One: Mon, March 3rd, 2008
It was the first day of service at Jackson street village and I went there knowing one thing that I will be a tutor. I didn’t know how old are they, what kind of tutoring I suppose to do? Will I be able to help them? What kind of place is it? All those questions and more were in my head before I start the service. When I first arrived there I talked to the receptionist asking her about Zakiah the girl I talked to in the phone before I came. When I saw her I told her that I am a student in the UMN and I am a volunteer student for a tutor position. My siblings (sister and brother) accompanied me and she suggested that they could volunteer two, which they both did. Zakiah gave a bunch of papers to fill out and when I entered the hall where all students stay to work with their homework. As soon as I sat on one of the tables, one of tutors approached me and asked if I needed any help! He thought that I was on of the students, and when I told him that I am a tutor, he was so impressed and the whole situation was very funny. Afterward, I sat down and finished the paper work. When I finished, I gave them to Zakiah and she start to explain some basics things to know. She told me how they are in great need to a math tutor, I told her that I might be able to handle it because I passed college math with good grades. She was pleased to hear that. After that, it was time to wrap p because they close at 5pm, So, I didn’t do any tutoring at my first day because there was paper need to be filled.

Day Two: Mon, March 10th, 2008
When I got there I found some students are already working with UMN tutors and a lot of them were just hanging out there. I approach one of the girls who were working on her math homework but she told me that she doesn’t have any difficulty with it. I told her that I will be there incase she had any question. After a while, she asked for help and I worked with her until she was done completely. Later young kids, in a pre school age entered the hall. We supposed to make them choose a story and read it with them. If they were done then they can get a snack, which is what brought them in the first place. I after they read the book make them choose a bored game and play with them. It was fun for me as for them.

Day Three: Mon, March 17th, 2008
It was spring break, and I decided to go for service because I needed the hours besides I had not much to do. I went there and there were a couple of kids who had homework but a lot of them said that they don’t have any. I worked with two kids with their homework and then I read a story with a preschooler kid.

Day Four: Mon, March 24th, 2008
When I went there was no one there except a couple of pre-school kids. Zakiah forgot to tell me that it is spring break for the kids and they don’t have any homework. I sat for a while reading stories with the kids and playing board games. I went early that day because there was not much to do.

Day Five: Mon, March 31st, 2008
It was crowded this day; everyone has something to work with. I was jumping from one to the other. Primarily, they need help with math homework and they were not very long, only a sheet of paper. As soon as I am done with one of them I go to the other. Some needed help in saving things from he Internet. Later on as usual I worked with preschoolers who always came very late which is great because I work with older kinds in fifth grade and so and as soon as we finish, preschoolers come at the right time. I could say that this was the busiest day from the time I started the service.

Day Six: Mon, April 7th, 2008
I served two hours this week because I had the chance to get there earlier. I met new kids today that I never saw earlier. This week I primarily watch the kids, they were working on their homework buy their own. I colored with preschoolers some of the color sheets they had.

Day Seven: Mon, April 14th, 2008
The kids started to get use to seeing us every Monday. Some of them come over even if they have no homework. They just come to hang out which pisses Miss Zakiah off. She always welcomes them if they have homework. I understand that, because some times they get really load and create a noisy environment for those who do have home works.

Day Eight: Mon, April 21st, 2008
I really bounded with some of the kids who I always see in every Monday. I enjoy working with them. They are really smart, specially those in kindergarten, when we read a story they some times stumbles on the words they are not sure how t pronounce but they try there best to trick me to say it so they repeated letter by letter with me. I found it very funny and smart from their part.

Day Nine: Mon, April 28th, 2008
It was the last day of service for me. I hoped to see all the kids I worked with because I had some treat for them. Other tutors from the U were already done with there service. So I was the only tutor with my siblings who served that day. I served the whole two hours jumping from one kid to the other. It was kind of busy. Later that day, I gave each kid a treat as they finished their work, which they enjoyed greatly. After that I helped Zakiah putting back everything where it belong. Zakiah didn’t know that it was the last day of service for me. She told me that the kids still have a school tell June and they really need tutors to come and help. I told her that after the semester end I would come by and offer my help whenever I had the time, which she appreciated a lot.
I really enjoyed doing my service at Jackson street village and I am willing to continuing that as long as it works with my classes’ schedule. Overall it was great experience to meet those kids and work with them. All my concerns were done as I started knowing them.

May 6, 2008

Presentations Analysis

TA: Jeff Montague
Sec# 3

Goal 6: Combat HIV/AIDs, Malaria and other disease.
They started their presentation with an activity that evolve the whole class, under each disk we found a small piece of paper with a shape on it we were to write our names on the paper and exchange it with some one else with different shape than ours, they suppose to draw their shapes on my piece of paper and at the end we should have one from each shape. One of the shapes was indicating that you are invited with HIV and after the exchange all the class except few were invited with HIV. This is to illustrate how fast it could spread. With a diagram they illustrated what happens exactly in the human body when someone get invited with HIV. The diagram was simple and in the same time gets the points across. Later they tell the story and the struggle of real people who are HIV positive.
My only critique is that I was expecting them to talk about the scientific progress on finding a remedy for HIV. I once read about group of people live I northern Europe who were immune to HIV, I was expecting them to cover those special cases and their role to a probably a final solution to this Disease.

Goal 3: Promote gender equality and empower women.
The presentation was focusing in women in the Middle East and the struggles they have to achieve gender equality. Each member in the group covered a specific topic related to this issue. They talked about women in Iran and how they suffered consequences just for going on a protest on streets. They over all are saying that women in the Middle East suffer from gender inequalities. I want to comment on a particular part of the presentation, when one of the girls in the group started by saying that women in the Middle East doesn’t have many rights and she went further more and said “Or they don’t have rights at all?. I think that she was not supposed to say random generalizations like this. They were supposed to do an educated research and then argue accordingly. She either supports her argument or she shouldn’t tell the class this kind of thing as a fact. For me this kind of statements lessen from the credibility of their research.

March 27, 2008

Research Title Page Design

Our group is researching in the topic of SUSTAINABILIty more specifically OIL PRODUCTION IN SAUDI ARABIA
Here are the three designs of the title page:


Design33 copy.jpg

Title page1701.jpg

March 12, 2008


I want to show this video first because it try to define graphic design ad it points out that it is a way of communicating thoughts and ideas so this video relate to what we are trying to do for our research project which is to communicate through images and text to achieve an understanding of the issue we are talking about.

YSDN-What is Graphic Design?


Second video that I want to share is about the design of a book called “The Learners? by Chip Kidd. This book is different from all other book in its unique design. The layout of the book is genius.

“The Learners? by Chip Kidd

Our group is working on sustainability and we are investigating this issue in Saudi Arabia, particularly the effect of oil productivity. Acknowledging that, I found a couple of presentation styles that suits our research topic and here is a list of them:




word_template.jpgword_templateOIL .jpg

March 5, 2008

Living in a Bedouin tent…

I will start by describing staying over night in a Bedouin tent. I live in Saudi Arabia and believe it or not camping in the desert is one of the most amazing experiences I ever had. People often camp at spring, of course camping in the summer considered a death wish. You wake up exactly at sunrise; I can’t even describe the view, its so rewarding. Inside the tent, there is a place for the fire and the rest is filled with traditional hand made rugs and mattresses with a small height. You might eat on the ground, or set near the fire on the ground, so everything in its basic form. Everyone is active during the daylight but at sundown, everyone gather for the supper, which often include a camel milk, yogurts, and cheese everything is freshly made, if you have a life stock. After finishing the supper, everyone turn to their bag sleeps, some choose to sleep under the stars when the weather is fine.
I chose to talk about Bedouin tents as a built environment because with the little knowledge I have about sustainability, I saw the Bedouin tents as a perfect example for a sustainable life style that I personally experienced. Now Bedouin tents are taking different modern styles, they have the same shape of the old Bedouin tent but with variation.

First opposition: Man and the physical environment:
Bedouin tents HOLD ON desert’s hells. The tents are totally adaptive to the topography of the desert.

Picture 598.jpg

Second Opposition: climate and enclosure.
Bediwen tent have a fabric sections that cut the tent in different enclosed spaces. Those sections are removable, so they create an outside inside experience. When it get cold, the tent would be closed completely in response to the weather and opened as early as the sunrise.


Third Opposition: Gravity and movement.
Columns are obviously used as a response to gravitational force.


The movement is horizontally only, Tents never made in two stories or with stairs; it is basically wide horizontal spaces that allow horizontal movement only.


Fourth Opposition: Permanence and entropy.
The Bedouin tents toke their shape and design because they were made for movement. Bedouins with the change of seasons fellow natural resources, so the tents were made as a movable built environment.


Fifth Opposition: Mass and Form.
The Bedouin tents are more of a form than a mass. They are not structured heavily in the ground. The tents were shaped for wind protection and rain.


Six Opposition: Material and tool.
The material used to make a Bedouin tent is primarly goat’s hair. The tools used to make a tent are mainly the hands, the women in the tribe create the texture of the tent and the men raise it up on columns.


Thus, in my point of view, the Bedouin lifestyle support sustainable environment. Now a days, people in my country are living a much different life style that evolves clearing the topography of the land, the maximum use of conditioners in the summer and heaters in the winter, support vertical and horizontal movement, creating built environment that emphasis mass, and all sorts of materials and tools are used daily. I think if we kept moving forward but yet enforcing and using the Bedouins tent strategies, we would be able to contribute in a sustainable environment.

February 26, 2008

“I HAVE A DREAM….? As said by Martin Luther King

Yes, I have a dream but different than of King’s. It’s about transforming the UMN campus into an exemplary sustainable environment. This is the way I think I could help the environment. I could see this happen by making drastic changes in our campus to make it one of the best campuses in the world helping the environment.


First, we could start with a collaborate work of all architecture students, engineering, management, etc and faculty members to make changes in all buildings in campus, to support the environment.


Second, all UMN students should engage in planting vegetation all over campus, in every small area with trees, shrubs, etc to minimize our ecological footprint.

Third, changing the architecture program in the UMN to support the production of real life solutions as a result of architecture undergraduate students and graduate students cooperation instead of investing much of the students’ time in a project that expires as the semester ends. Just think of the amount of paper or materials used to produce your final draft of any project you worked on. Thus, I believe if the architectural program faculties changed their projects to real life problems and letting students involve and collaborate in the solving those problems will results in real production.


Forth, I would transfer all this knowledge and experience to my country Saudi Arabia which in serious need to such knowledge. Saudi Arabia is a developing country moving to modern urban design with great ignorance to the environment. Transferring the UMN will help me to transfer this knowledge a cross seas which will hopefully make bigger and bigger changes for the sake of the environment. This is the way I can help the environment.


February 19, 2008

Change is not tomorrow it is Today...


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February 14, 2008

What's Next?


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