May 8, 2008

Research projects

The two projects that I will talk about were two projects from the honors section. The first is Goal 8: Develop a global partnership for development. This group decided to focus on wireless phones and internet. They did research about Somolia and figured out how much better of the country would be with the help of wireless connections. Wireless would be better than having to have a ground connection. If they were to have a ground connection then they would need to have telephone polls. But with wireless they would save money because building all of the polls would take a lot of money and time. Somalia would not have had the resources to do this. Also, they used Kenya as an example of what Somalia could one day be like. Kenya has wireless and they do not have old technology. They skipped the big an bulky technologies and now they have small and compact cell phones just like the developed countries. Some computers that they have in Somalia are the $100 laptops for the children to work with. This helps the children have a better education then they would get if they did not have these laptops. The children are the most important natural resource so it is important that the country educates the children as much as they can.
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This is an example of children using the $100 laptops in schools

Another millennium goal is goal 7: ensure environmental stability.
This groups project was called improving Minneapolis slums through sustainability. They found out that Minneapolis has a great need for low income housing. A lot of housing is now being made into newer and more expensive housing so there is a great need for low income housing. This is difficult because there is not a lot of room for the housing. Much of minneapolis' neighborhoods do not want the low income housing to be need them so they will not allow them to be built. To help with this situation the group came up with the idea to make the low income housing more economical and green. If the housing is made green then this will help the environment and the people will not have to pay as much for things such as water and electricity. To redesign Twin City housing they need make it sustainable housing. To do this they looked at other buildings that have gone green. Once looking at these places they came up with a few ideas for the low income housing in Minneapolis. For example they can: reuse water, use fluorescent light bulbs, install recycling chutes, replace windows to keep in the hear. Also, they ca replace the wood panels or paint them to make the housing look nicer from the outside. They can use solar energy and energy start washers to save the amount of water being used. If all of these steps are taken in to consideration for the construction or remodeling of low income housing than everyone will be happier and better off.

April 30, 2008

fifth PYC day

My fifth PYC day was April 25th from 10:20-12:30. This day we worked with all three girls, Antonishia, Tanyka, and Kashmere. Kashmere came late, but before she came Tanyka and Antonishia were working out of their textbooks this time instead of working with the fraction packets. Once Kashmere came is was harder for the girls to work, because they would get easily distracted. Laura was working with Antonishia which was going well. I was working with Tanyka and Kashmere and it was hard for them to stay focused, especially when the classes were changing. They would sometimes get up and start talking to other people. It is fine if they take a brake, but it is hard to get them back on track again. After a while Tanyka finished one of her assignments and began to work on some literature homework she had not finished. I then began to work with Kashmere on her geometry homework. She was nervous to start with geometry, because she had not worked with it before. After a little bit of practice and focus she finished her assignment.

April 22, 2008

Fourth PYC Day

On Friday April 18th I volunteered from 10:20-12:20. Laura and I only tutored Anthonisia because Tanyka and Kashmere weren't there. We just continued working on her fraction packet. She did well on it because there weren't many disruptions. Only when the classes were changing and people would come out in the hallway she would get a little distracted. Eventually she got tired of doing math so we quizzed her on drivers ed things. I think it is good to talk about other things in their life other than just math because then we are like mentors and not just tutors. So if they have a problem they could come and talk to us about it, or if they need help in anything we could work with them on it.

April 21, 2008

Third PYC Day

My third time at PYC was April 11 from 10:20-12:20. This time both girls were there and we worked on a fraction packet. We were also supposed to work with this other girl called Kashmere, but she wasn't in school that day. We worked on the fraction packets for a while, and it was harder for Tanyka to stay focused on the packet than Anthonisia. She was more focused in the beginning, but then more people started to come into the room so it became more difficult for her. After a while both girls had to go talk to a teacher for a little and then Anthonisia came back but Tanyka didn't. We worked with Anthonisia a little bit more. Then we spent the rest of the time talking about what she was going to do on the weekend and we played a game. It was a while before we came back because we had spring break and then they had spring break then they had Friday of the week after that. But from now on we will be going every week, unless something comes up.

Second PYC Day

My second time volunteering at PYC was Friday March 7th from 10:15-12:30. This time Laura and I got math workbooks to work with the girls. Anthonishia had to work on a project so she could not work with us this time. Laura and I both worked with Tanyka on the workbook. A lot of the stuff was difficult for her to do on her own. We had to help her along with each step of the problems. Also it was difficult to keep her focused on her math. The tutoring goes on in their cafeteria, so there are more people around and it is hard to keep her on track. Also it is a Friday, so she doesn't want to be at school then either. Two hours is a long time to work on math, so we worked with her on math for about an hour and fifteen minutes. The next 45 min we helped her study for her drivers ed test that she was taking the following week. After the two hours were up Laura and I talked with Kathleen and decided that she would make fraction packets to work on with the girls.

April 14, 2008

First PYC day

For my service learning project I have decided to volunteer at Plymouth Youth Center in the high school. My first day I went on February 8th from 10:30-11:15. I went there with Laura Fickes and we met with Kathleen. She told us that we would be working together in a study group with two girls, Tanyka and Anthonisha, in math. This way the girls would be able to help each other and then if they could not figure out the answer than Laura and I would be there to help them out. The first day was more of an orientation and we just met with the girls and got to know them more. Both girls were very nice and they told us how much they really did need our help with their math homework. We talked about the PYC and how long they had been there and what school they went to before they came here. Then they asked us about college: if we liked it, if it was hard to get used to, etc.. After we got to know them a little we talked with Kathleen again and she told us that she would have workbooks for the girls to work with next time we came.

March 31, 2008

First Impression

Here are three examples of possible cover pages:
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March 12, 2008

What makes a good layout?

My groups term project is on achieving universal primary education. The area that we have chosen to research is Tamil Nadu, India. We decided to choose this area because it was greatly affected from the Tsunami in 2004. We plan on looking at the schooling before and after the tsunami and then compare it to the education in the United States.

Here are examples of portfolios:

web portfolio.jpg
This first example is of a a cover page. I like this page because it is simple and keeps your attention. It is not overcrowded, and the page design is well done.

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These next two examples are examples of web pages with portfolios on them. These are nice because it would save paper to use a web page.
Another example of using the internet for a a portfolio would be to use a wiki. For our rough draft of our project we put all of our information together using a wiki.
Here is our rough draft:
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March 5, 2008

The built environment

So this has nothing to do with the Built environment... but is really funny so you should play it to the class.
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The built environment has formed who I am today. Everything around me has had an impact on the way I think and act, most of the time I haven't even realized how much of an impact it has had on me. When i was little my town was mostly a houses and cornfields, there were not a lot of subdivisions. But over the years cornfields are being taken over by subdivisions. Going down my road used to be so pretty because the road was lined with trees and fields, but now it is has only a few trees left as houses on the sides of it. There are rarely animals that are crossing the road, compared to when we would always have to stop and let the deer pass. It is sad because it seems that the only important thing to people is to keep building, When is it going to stop so there will still be some green on this earth.
It is as far from the city you try to get, the closer it comes to you. The cities just keep growing and there is nowhere to hide from it. To put this in perspective lets compare this to a horror movie. You know when the good guys are running from the bad guy and the bad guys are always walking and the good guys are running as fast as they can. I never knew how the bad guys always stayed right behind the good guys because they are only walking...

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(Sorry I couldn't find one without the subtitles)

To try and explain how the built environment has affected me I will start saying that it has made me want to become an architect. Every time I walk into a house or building it evokes a certain feeling. The little details change the way a person feels about the space. This is why I want to be an architect. I want to create spaces where I can affect the way a person feels.
This shows the change of the built environment. It started out simple but then it has grown and spread through out the world. The types of buildings have changed and there are all different ways to do things.


This shows that time is running out. The way we are building today is not very consciencous of the environment. We need to make more things green and worry about the environment more.

Phenomena/ opposition
No matter what the weather might be. The built environment has to be prepared for anything that might happen. It is not always clear what or when something will happen, but there has to be a way to fix or prevent the built environment when a phenomena occurs. This is also an example of an opposition of climate and enclosure. Buildings have to be able to stand up against wind, sand, etc...

The built environment is constantly changing and I want to be a part of that change. With the frameworks, clockworks, phenomena, and oppositions, I want to work with these challenges and try help make a better built environment.

February 27, 2008

There are many wonderful things that will never be done if you don't do them- Charles D. Gill

If I were released from 'architecture school' I would...
1. travel around the world
If I had the money and time I would love to travel to as many places I could. I want to experience as many different cultures as I can in my life. The world is a beautiful place and I want to see as much of it as possible.

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2. do Habitat for Humanity
If I were to only travel around the world I would not be helping the environment. I would not be helping other people or the environment, so I think I would also like to do Habitat for Humanity. If I did this then I could travel to many countries and help build houses of family in desperate need of the help. With this I could go to South Africa, Egypt, Congo, Rwanda, Madagascar, Congo, Kenya, Uganda, or many more places.
In South Africa 57% of the population live in overcrowded urban areas. Habitat for Humanity South Africa has built 1700 houses in 18 communities which has given 10,000 people shelter. It would be a great experience to do Habitat for Humanity because I would be helping many people and be able to do what interests me, travel and architecture.

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Here is a Real Life Story of a family that had a house built for them.

Octavia and her family were living with her mother in an overcrowded house with 10 people. Octavia was desperate for a home of her own, so was thrilled when she heard about Habitat for Humanity through a friend and her application was accepted in the Ethembeni project.

Octavia is now living in the new home with her two sons and their two cousins. Nkanyiso (22), the eldest, contributed some of the ‘sweat equity’ required from the families by HFHSA. He celebrated his birthday during the build and says the house is the best present he could have received! “

The house is closer to Octavia's work, cutting down on transport costs. All of the family was looking forward to living in the Ethembeni community. They say they have an even closer bond now than before because of their collective participation in the project. They thank God and Habitat for Humanity for this opportunity to own their own home

This is a video clip of Habitat of Humanity in Uganda
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February 19, 2008

You cannot teach a man anything; you can only help him find it within himself.- Galileo

Goal 2: Achieve universal primary education.
Plants are shaped by cultivation and men by education. .. We are born weak, we need strength; we are born totally unprovided, we need aid; we are born stupid, we need judgment. Everything we do not have at our birth and which we need when we are grown is given us by education. -Jean Jacques Rousseu


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Universal Primary Education is very important and is trying to be achieved by 2015. Every country has achieved different levels of primary education, but some are in desperate need of help. By looking at the map of Africa you can see what areas need more help than others. For example Niger and Chad are in critical condition, so they need the most help. From the pictures you can also see what kind of conditions they have to learn in. Compared to the United States it is easier for children to achieve primary education, but in Africa they do not have the resources to go to school. Also since genders are not equal some women are not allowed to go to school, so they will never get their primary education.
The quote by Rousseu explains why people need to be educated. You can only learn so much from not being in school, but to really succeed in life you need to learn the basics of your education. If all children had their primary education then this world would be a different place. People would begin to realize the harm they are doing to people and will then begin to change the situations people are in.


February 14, 2008

Time or money?

One of the first questions I asked myself when I came to the University of Minnesota was where do I buy my groceries? I know that there is the Harvard Market, The Centennial Market, and I can always buy groceries through Gopher Groceries. These places are not REAL grocery stores, first off they are over priced and for Gopher Groceries you need to spend at least $75 for your delivery to be free. If there was a REAL grocery store on campus it would save money and be a lot more convenient.
Right now I get my groceries by going to the Super Target in St. Paul. When I do this I have to plan it into my schedule, between going to classes and doing my homework that does not leave a lot of time to go grocery shopping. It would not be that big of a deal if I could make it a quick run to the store, but no, it takes about 20 minutes to get there by bus. So both ways it takes about 40 minutes which does not include the time it takes to actually shop for my groceries. Then another issue is how am I going to get all of my groceries back to my room? I can only carry two bags in my hands and then I have to make sure I don't buy too much so I can fit it on the bus.
It is convenient that Gopher Groceries delivers, but why would I want to pay for delivery when I could just go to a grocery store myself and save my money and not pay for a delivery charge. The only way there would be no delivery charge was if I spent $75 or more on groceries. Most of the time I do not spend $75 dollars at a grocery store, because I have a meal plan and I do not need that much food in my room. So what do I do if I only want to pick up a few things?
Well, I could go to the Centennial Market or Harvard Market, in the off chance they actually have what I need, but most of the time they do not. If they do have what I need the prices are ridiculously high, so I would just save money by going to a grocery store. But I don't want to waste my time spending at least an hour just to go grocery shopping to pick up only a few things. Also, these markets do not have a fruit section, or a deli section. It seems that they only types of food they have is junk food. If I were to only eat the food at the markets, then I think it would be very easy for me to gain the freshman 15... which I would rather not do. And the other option would be to eat at the fast food restaurants which are all over campus. It seems as if the design of the campus was to make people gain weight.
Their are many places where I could eat fast and not spend a lot of money, but they are not the healthiest places. If I could go to a grocery store, then I could buy the healthy food I wanted and not have to worry as much about gaining the freshman 15.
So my choices are, spending more money on something that is more convenient, spending more time on something that is cheaper, or eating out and gaining weight.

February 3, 2008

Flow through the city

The first thing that came to my mind when I thought of the flow of a city were the roads that go throughout the city. I looked at a map of Paris with all of its roads and rivers flowing through it. After looking at the map it made me think of my art one class from high school when we were learning how to design. I learned that that center of interest is the first place your eye takes you when you look at a piece of art. When I would draw a design I would always have to think where I wanted the movement of my piece to take the eye of the viewer. To bring the eye to the center of interest I would have to make that part more interesting and busy. To do that i would draw more lines or bring other lines into the center of interest, so that every line would bring you to the center of interest. From looking at the map it made me realize that this map did the same thing as the movement throughout pieces of art. All of the roads that were outside of the city lead to the center of interest, or the heart of the city. No mater where I looked on the map my eye would always end up looking at the busiest part of the image. All of the roads outside of the city are farther apart, but as you get closer to the city the roads get closer and closer together and there are also more of them.