May 4, 2008

Gimme a log cabin and a cup of hot chocolate!

Residential architecture is my area of interest, so I am going to respond to this prompt by considering technology’s reactions with residential architecture.

I feel that technology and architecture work together to form a much less personal experience for the people who interact with a space.



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With a log cabin, which is not very technologically advanced, one can see exactly how it was built. You can understand what it took to create the building and this makes you appreciate it more and almost feel as if you are a part of it. You can see and touch everything that makes up the structure.


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In a modern home which utilizes a lot of technology, one who is walking through a building may be absolutely mesmerized and in awe of a structure. It may be impossible to understand how a building was constructed and though you are amazed by the structure, it has become impersonal. You can no longer feel like a part of it and may even begin to feel inferior.

Certain levels of technology are allowable, such as triple-paned glass. Although it is a recent idea to save energy and has been researched greatly, an average person can understand and appreciate it. I have always felt close to my home. I understand it and it welcomes me. You cannot be welcomed by something which you don’t understand.


Gimme a log cabin and a cup of hot chocolate!

Residential architecture is my area of interest, so I am going to respond to this prompt by considering technology’s reactions with residential architecture.

I feel that technology and architecture work together to form a much less personal experience for the people who interact with a space.



bellwitch_cabinint.jpg



With a log cabin, which is not very technologically advanced, one can see exactly how it was built. You can understand what it took to create the building and this makes you appreciate it more and almost feel as if you are a part of it. You can see and touch everything that makes up the structure.


1busan.jpg

In a modern home which utilizes a lot of technology, one who is walking through a building may be absolutely mesmerized and in awe of a structure. It may be impossible to understand how a building was constructed and though you are amazed by the structure, it has become impersonal. You can no longer feel like a part of it and may even begin to feel inferior.

Certain levels of technology are allowable, such as triple-paned glass. Although it is a recent idea to save energy and has been researched greatly, an average person can understand and appreciate it. I have always felt close to my home. I understand it and it welcomes me. You cannot be welcomed by something which you don’t understand.


Response to Term Project Presentation

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I thoroughly enjoyed all the presentations and thought everyone did a great job of getting to the issues in the millennium development goals. The presentation I am choosing to respond to is Melissa and Heidi’s presentation on Goal 3: Promote Gender Equality and Empower Women.

The reason I chose to respond to theirs was that they did something a little different than the other groups; they proposed an actually plan which could be, hypothetically, implemented in order to bring about change.

I thought it was great that they really took this project seriously and thought deeply about the issue and what it meant to empower women and promote gender equality. The proposed plan, Project Unity, with a little more research and thought, addresses the issues which these people face every day. The simple proposal conquers many of the issues of gender equality. It respects the culture of the people while solving the problems of huge class sizes, limited textbooks, and far distances to travel. This is a wonderful start to something which could definitely make a huge impact.

Using more images to help back up the argument may have made it more compelling. Also, I really hope that this idea gets recognized and this group doesn’t just let this project die with the completion of their presentation. The Millennium Development Goals need to be reached by 2015. Is this possible with this proposal? This was something none of the groups really talked about, but I think it is something we all should have had in mind during our proposals.

Sixth Day at PYC April 25th 10:00-12:30

Today we finally got to work with all three girls, Antonisha, Tanyka and Kashmere. Kashmere was late to school, but she began working with us when she got there. We worked on the fraction packets for a little while and then asked the girls to go get their math books and we would work out of them. We worked on their respective subjects and the girls did pretty good. Once Kashmere arrived, they had a harder time focusing. The girls were all talking a lot and there were lots of other distractions. All the kids seemed rowdy. Maybe it was the weather? Kids were going through the cafeteria not only between classes and many were just standing around for a good part of the day. I worked with Antonisha, and she was pretty much the only one who was focusing at all on her work. The other girls were very easily distracted by everything going on around them. They would leave the table to go talk to their friends, which was fine during break time, but they weren’t able to focus on their math after leaving. Finally, Tanyka started working on homework for another class and we got one assignment done with Kashmere. She hadn’t done any geometry at first and was really lost at first, but we just had her read over the chapter and then explained it in easier terms. After that, she did well and completed the homework with almost no help.

Fifth Day at PYC April 18th 10:15-12:15

Today, Krystina and I worked with Antonisha because neither Tanyka or Kashmere were in school. We continued to work on the fraction packet and she did very well. There weren’t as many distractions today so we got pretty far. Between classes, students would walk through and there would be a short time where she would get distracted, but she was good about getting focused again. After awhile, she got sick of doing math (who wouldn’t after an hour??) and we started studying for her permit test she was taking the next week. The girls seem to like that we work with them on things other than math sometimes and that we are interested in talking about them. They are getting more comfortable about asking us for help in their other subjects, which is great because math gets really meticulous to work on for a long time.

Fourth Day at PYC April 11th 10:15-12:15

Both girls were able to work with us today. Kathleen had given us fraction packets to work on, so we had the girls start out with those. Kathleen had also said that we were going to be working with one more girl, Kashmere, but she wasn’t in school that day. Antonisha did pretty well with the fractions, but Tanyka was still having trouble. She had never had to convert fractions from mixed numbers or multiply/divide fractions. Krystina and I found it really hard to try to explain these basic concepts to her when she had never seen them before. Again, there were many people in and out of the cafeteria which was constantly distracting the girls. Tanyka left during the middle of our tutor-session to talk to her teacher and never came back. Because Antonisha focused well for the first hour, we spent the rest of the time talking to her about what she was going to do over the weekend and we played a few rounds of hangman.

Third Day at PYC March 14th 10:15-12:15

Today Krystina and I began working with the girls. We got books from Kathleen which would help the girls prepare for standardized testing. Antonisha couldn’t work with us because she had a project she had to do during class. Tanyka worked on the workbook with our help. She had a really hard time with most of it and hadn’t learned a lot of the material. Tanyka got frustrated quickly and was having a hard time staying focused. We tutor in the cafeteria/common area, so many students are walking through there all day. This didn’t help in keeping her focused on her work, either. Another contributing factor for her restlessness is the fact that we volunteer on Fridays when NO ONE wants to be in school. After a little over an hour we realized that there was no way she was going to be able to focus on math any longer. Tanyka was taking her permit test the next week, so we worked out of her materials from her driver’s education class to help her prepare for the test.

After working with Tanyka, we talked to Kathleen and went over the workbook. It seemed that Tanyka was having the most problems with fraction problems. Kathleen said she would find some fraction packets to work from for the next time we worked with the girls.

Second Day at PYC March 7th 10:15-12:30

Today Krystina and I met Antonisha and Tanyka. We sat in the common room and talked with the girls to get to know them better. Both girls were very interesting and friendly. It was interesting to learn about them because their lives are a lot different than mine was growing up.

They both told us that they struggled with math and that they were really happy that we would be helping them. They are both in high school, but aren’t at a specific “level? in math. The way their class works, they told us, is similar to that of a one-room schoolhouse. They go to math class, and then all the students are assigned work based upon their level of math. They each work on their homework and don’t get a lot of instruction from their teacher. I feel that this is a huge reason that the girls are not doing as well in math as they should be at their level in school.

The main goal of our tutoring the girls will be to get them familiar enough with mathematics and its theories so that they will be able to pass their standardized testing in order to graduate.

Fist day at Plymouth Christian Youth Center February 8th 10:30-11:15


This semester, I decided to continue volunteering at PYC. I worked with the after school program last semester helping out in the K-1st grade classroom. This semester, I decided to switch to the high school program, partly because I had conflicts with class times and because I wanted to experience of mentoring high school students.

My friend Krystina and I went to PYC together and met with Kathleen Butts. We decided that it would work out well to create a study group/mentorship with a couple high school girls who were struggling with math. The girls we would be working with are named Tanyka and Antonisha. They would work on math and any other homework they needed help on for the two hour time period we would be there on Fridays.

This first day was basically an orientation. We learned many of the rules of PYC and how to handle different situations with the students.

April 21, 2008

Reading 19

Technopoly by Neil Postman

Key Words:

1. One key word from this reading would definitely have to be truth. Postman repeatedly points out that technology could be the end of truth. With all these new ways to be fed information, we lose the instruction which allows us to use information wisely.

2. History is another word which in emphasized throughout the reading. Postman gives a slight history lesson throughout the reading, maybe to point out how much we can learn from past mistakes.

Discussion Questions:

1. Do you think that technology has changed our form of education for the better or worse?

2. Postman claims that technology often times can cause destruction of culture. Do you think our culture here in the USA was destructed by technology, or does technology define our culture?

Reading 19

Technopoly by Neil Postman

Key Words:

1. One key word from this reading would definitely have to be truth. Postman repeatedly points out that technology could be the end of truth. With all these new ways to be fed information, we lose the instruction which allows us to use information wisely.

2. History is another word which in emphasized throughout the reading. Postman gives a slight history lesson throughout the reading, maybe to point out how much we can learn from past mistakes.

Discussion Questions:

1. Do you think that technology has changed our form of education for the better or worse?

2. Postman claims that technology often times can cause destruction of culture. Do you think our culture here in the USA was destructed by technology, or does technology define our culture?

April 1, 2008

Cover Page Examples

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March 31, 2008

Readings 17 & 18

Reading 17 Nature’s Numbers by Ian Stewart

Key Words:

Pattern: This reading points out the patterns that occur naturally all around us.

Symmetry: Animals are symmetric when you look at them quickly, yet are complex and unsymmetrical when you look at a smaller scale, such as placement of the heart and other organs.

Discussion Questions:

1. Do you think mimicking nature’s symmetries is a good thing to do in architecture, or is this a boring form of architecture?
2. How can we take lessons from nature’s patterns into account in making structures which are stronger against nature’s forces?


Reading 18 The World Treasury of Physics, Astronomy and Mathematics. Edited by Timothy Ferris
Key Words:

1. Loneliness: What got to me about this reading was the emphasis on how lonely being a mathematician can be. It is like you speak a foreign language and cannot even communicate with those closest to you.
2. Discipline: Those who wish to study and understand mathematics must be diligent and study in order to understand the complexity which is math.


Discussion Questions:

1. To me, architecture is a universal language. Was this reading meant to contrast the differences between mathematics and architecture, or to highlight the similarities?
2. Ferris emphasizes the lack of credit mathematicians receive. Are architects in this day and age over-credited or under-credited for their designs?

March 24, 2008

Reading 16

Reading 16 Biomimicry: Innovation Inspired by Nature by Janine M. Benyus

Key Words:


1. humbleness: I feel this is a very fitting word to describe the science of biomimicry. In order to practice biomimicry, a scientist needs to step back and realize that although they have years of training, nature still knows best.


2. nature: This reading highlights nature’s beauties and goes in depth by looking into naturally-occurring structures which could be mimicked in our everyday products in order to make them more efficient and effective.


Discussion Questions:


1. How could mimicking nature allow for better architectural structures? Which idea would be the most effective, mimicking form, method, performance, or behavior?


2. Do you think biomimicry could be the answer to the problems society is facing today? Do you think it is a step towards sustainability?

March 12, 2008

Making it Pretty

My group's term project is focusing on Ensuring Environmental Sustainability. We will be presenting our project to the class, so I thought it would be a good idea to focus in on presentation styles that work well for a large audience.

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Both of the above images show very important aspects of presentation. The top one utilizes white space with great effect. This is a good way to bring focus to a certain image.

The second image will work very well for my group project. The map does a good job of informing the reader of location and is a clean way to display information.
Both images found at http://www.graphis.com/brandingusa.php


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The crooked picture on top catches the eye and causes the reader to actually digest the image in order to understand it. This rotation of the image is a good strategy to break up monotony and draw the eye to the image.

The second photograph shows the importance of light and shadow. Correctly using the properties will create a very dramatic effect.

Both images were found at http://www.polyscene.com/


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The above images are both fairly common ways to display information, in a graph or in a diagram. The reason I chose these is because of how the images were used to the advantage of the writer. The above graph shows a drastic change, therefore making the reader more interested and intrigued by the subject. The diagram is very well put together and the use of bright colors and different size fonts draws the eye in and actually makes you want to look at it. The main reason I chose both of these is because they caught my eye and I actually stopped and read the information they offered. This is the most important goal of any information-conveying tool.


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This image was used in an article which was titled, “Does Daylight Savings Time Save Energy?? Not only did the photograph catch my eye and make me crack a smile, it also is representing another issue in our society: the blind acceptance of “facts.? I think this is a great eye-opener as it lets people start questioning what they see as fact and possible make a change in their own lives. On the topic of sustainability, it is incredibly relevant as many don’t understand the impact small changes can have.

The above image was found at http://earth2tech.com/


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I found this image very interesting. It is a creative way to display one image-or many- and makes you rethink what it is to present images.

It was found at http://www.tofslie.com/


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This is a very attractive layout. It focuses on one main image on one side and then shows thumbnails of less important images. This would work very well for a presentation on sustainability in low-income housing. If we were to do a case study on an existing home, the thumbnails would allow for details of important aspects without taking up numerous pages.

This image was found at http://www.commonbrand.com/


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The images above show another way to focus on one image while also showing thumbnails. This style puts more focus on the thumbnails than the above image. I also like the siplicity of this document. It conveys a lot of information without the use of words. I think this is the key to a good presentation.

It was found at http://www.okapistudio.com/index.php?paged=3