May 5, 2008

Presentation analysis and reactions

1. Riverside Apartment Renewal

2. Environmental Website

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Service Learning #4 (Final Blog)

Today was a rather productive day at Common Bond. Throughout the afternoon I sporadically helped a teenage girl work on a paper for her ESL class about how and why she felt that the United States needed to set an official language in which everyone needed to adhere by. It was interesting coming from a Somali foreigner, and also really cool to read some of the reasons why they don’t put more effort into learning better English. For most of them it is so different than their native tongues that it is extremely difficult for them to learn and it takes a long time. They feel while practicing around us we make fun of them so that also deters their progress of the language. Another problem she found was that businesses and homes around them speak Somali so why would they need to learn a new language to get about and do their everyday tasks. I did a lot of editing on this paper because much of it did not make too much sense but I think I helped her out, I explained to her why I was changing what I was changing so hopefully I didn’t just follow her views of us and just made fun of her.

When I was not helping that girl I was typing out my Rapid Writings for 3412, and I got all of them typed out in the 3 hours I volunteered today. I was pretty happy to get those done and out of the way.

At the very end I also helped a little boy navigate to www.candystand.com because he was having difficulties typing it out and getting to play the game he wanted to. He was really cut and it was fun playing mini-golf with him online.

April 1, 2008

Cover Designs

With these cover designs I explored the covers meat, the image and layout. The text that i incorporated into these cover design ideas is no where near final. I was manipulating the placement of the text to see where it would look best on the page.

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March 17, 2008

Service Learning #3

The computer lab was completely empty today for the first hour and a half that I was there. I had my dinner in the computer lab, which consisted of day old macaroni and cheese, and then I worked on studying for 3412. I brought my note cards with because I have a mid-term on Thursday in the class. It was nice to have time to myself without distractions. It reminded me a lot of study hall back in high school. I never seem to be as productive at home in my room as I am in a foreign environment. There are just too many distractions at home. I probably got about twice as much done studying for those two hours volunteering than I would have at home. For the last half hour I had one person in lab. It was an older male checking email and updating himself on his local Somali news stations via the internet. It is really cool how they can get their local news on the internet, that way they don’t have to be completely disconnected from their native regions. At 4pm the lab closed down and I shut down all the computers and headed back to my apartment.

March 12, 2008

Finding your own style

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March 6, 2008

The City Shapes the Individual

The built environment shapes me and supports me through my everyday life in several ways. The fast paced city life allows me to get many things done within a twenty-four hour day. The noises of everyday life allow me to ignore things that are unnecessary to live my life. The opportunities for recreational activities are both a positive and a negative to my life.

A fast paced life is what America is known worldwide for. When you travel into the urban areas of America, things just happen at a different pace than they would in a rural environment. This allows Americans to work some of the longest hours at their jobs in the world, and leads to little to no vacations, and overall an overwhelming at times, but ultimately really rewarding life. Moving at such a fast pace allows us to complete many things in a single day that some people from other countries would not try to fit into two days. Our fast pace makes us more efficient at completing tasks than other places globally. The only issue with the long hours is compensating employees for the time they put in. The American workforce expects higher wages than many other countries. It becomes fiscally responsible therefore for companies to move production offshore. I know I for one have the American mindset that I need to be “fairly? compensated for the time I put into my job. I work construction in the summers, and I would not accept a job for less than thirteen dollars an hour doing those physically demanding jobs. At that point I feel they are taking advantage of my time that I am giving to them. With every second in the American life being so valuable, most would not wish to waste time doing something that ultimately was a waste of time.

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Living in the city allows you to experience many unique things that are unavailable in many other areas of the country. The noises of a big city are unlike that of any other place. When you travel to NYC you know instantly where you are. It is almost exactly like it is depicted in movies. The taxi cabs are laying on their horns, the garbage trucks are rumbling through neighborhoods picking up trash bags that have been sitting on curbs for up to a week, the subways are screeching and rattling beneath you, there is a roar of people talking that never stops or gets louder rather it is a constant and stable roar, and the diesel engines of the tour buses can be heard over car traffic. Although the city of Minneapolis and the surrounding area are not as bad as NYC, many parallels can be drawn. You do not have subway noise here, but it is replaced with semi-constant bus traffic passing by your home. When walking downtown you hear the roar of people just the same as in NYC, just not as prominent. The garbage trucks are more in the suburbs so in the middle of the city you are not exposed to them too much, but the dumpster pick up trucks do pass from time to time. Living in this environment it is very easy to become unaware of all the sounds that surround you. You learn to tune out certain sounds to that you can go about your everyday business, and at times sleep. I suppose this could be seen as both a positive aspect and a negative one. It is positive because people or things that usually would bother you maybe don’t anymore because you have learned to tune them out and ignore them. It could be bad for the same reasons, you end up ignoring something that was important for your schooling, job, or life in general.

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The most controversial part of the built environment for me would have to be the opportunities for recreational activities it places around us. You cannot go through life constantly working and never having fun, so all around us there are opportunities for us to escape the grind of everyday life and have fun. These can come in the shape of parks, bowling alleys, bars, restaurants, and clubs. They allow a person to do something they would not ordinarily do in a “normal? day. This is a nice temporary escape from the fast pace life that Americans live. I like to go to the rec center here on campus to play handball both to relieve stress and to forget about everything that there is going on all around us. It can be a bad thing in the same boat though, because we can get sucked into something when we should be doing something else. For example one time I went out to a bar when I knew I had an exam the next morning and that I should have been studying for it. So when I took the quiz the next morning not only did I not know the material that was on it, but I was also hung over. Needless to say I did not do well on it. Although the opportunities that a city and that built environment presents to us. They are mostly seemingly good from the outside, but it is very easy to abuse any of them and make them a negative influence in your life.

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Yes...I posted this a little late...Sorry!

March 3, 2008

Service Learning #2

Today a mother came in wanting help setting up her resume in word. I do not have much experience with making or working with resume’s so I was really nervous at first, but I googled some pictures of resume’s and got a good general idea of what the format was for them and I went to work typing out this woman’s work experiences and whatnot. I had her write her own cover letter, mainly because I had to leave to get to my night class on time. I wanted to stay longer to help her out more but was unable to because of class. Other than that I just sat around talking to the lady about her children who were 4 and 6, and after school they came in and visited and they were a lot of fun. I do love kids, I get that from my mom who is a preschool teacher. But now I am rambling so I shall leave you.

February 27, 2008

Free to Fly

I would enter suburbia and let that be the canvas for my ideas of change. The environment has always been a big deal to me, I am a big outdoors man and i love everything nature. It scares me to think about what could happen to our earth if we do not change what we do, or as a country change our habits so that we tread more lightly on this Earth.

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February 19, 2008

Values Rankings

Answers to the Values Rankings

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Educational Woes

We must first look at our own educational system before we can reform that of other countries. The American public has turned their eyes away from the educational woes of their own people, so why would they care to help other developing nations? We need to make the public aware and advocates for higher education, then push them towards equal opportunities and primary education worldwide.

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February 13, 2008

Development Debacle

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The Minneapolis Warehouse district has changed a lot in the last ten years, and the most recent addition to the list will be the new Twins Stadium. This construction and development of that area has displaced many families and individuals. Leaving the homeless and with no extra cash in pocket to find a new place to live. A solution must be found, this cannot continue.

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February 11, 2008

Service Learning #1

Today was a pretty slow day in the computer lab at Common Bond. I only had one person in there the whole time I was there. That was nice because I had a lot of German II homework that I needed to get done for my night class. I did a lot of reviewing for my test that I had and also a lot of filling out work pages. The guy asked me one question when I was in there and I helped him print out an email. Other than that I pretty much just sat around ate a bag of Doritos, worked on German, and logged my hours.

February 6, 2008

The Goldsworthy Flow

How we live our lives in the city is driven by our surroundings. In the city everything seems to happen at a much faster pace than in nature. I think that Goldsworthy's work depicts the difference between nature and the city very well in his river leaf snakes that he made. They show how fluid things change, and how relaxed of a pace things happen. In the city the flow is driven by how the buildings interfere with our pathways and humans. The obstacles of a city make everything more crowded, louder, and make things move at a faster pace. The energy you get from a city is obviously much different from the energy you get from nature. In nature things are more calming and relaxing, in the city it is stressful and fast paced. I feel that when i am in the woods, i am the happiest. I don't have to worry about anything, and i can just let my mind wander. In the middle of a big city there are too many distractions which would not allow me to do that. Too many other sounds, sights, and smells require attention, that my brain cannot filter through those and just allow me to meditate. Goldsworthy's work allows him to forge these connections with nature that really allow him to free himself of the stresses of everyday life. I wish more cities would find ways to incorporate nature into them, and then maybe the energy and flow of the city would be altered.