May 13, 2008

Volunteer Journal #8

My last day with CommonBond was Monday, May 5th. I started by doing flashcards with some of the kids. Once everyone was there we practiced letters and colors. Two colored letters would be held up and then the teacher would ask which was a particular color. The kids would say, “The f is purple,? for example. Whoever got it right got to hold on to the letter. We practiced counting on our fingers again and the kids are doing much better. We had story time then sang and danced a little. We did the hokey-pokey and the kids loved it! They were so adorable. I will miss volunteering at Skyline Towers and would like to possibly work there next semester also. It was a great experience and the kids were so much fun! It was awesome to see how much they improved throughout the few months I worked with them. CommonBond is a great organization and I would recommend volunteering there to anyone. It was a lot of fun!

Volunteer Journal #7

On April 28th, we worked on motor skills with the kids. They practiced this by lacing strings around a picture. They didn’t really like lacing around the picture and instead choose to weave the lace back and forth across the whole picture. They did a good job though! We practiced counting on our fingers also. The teacher would then hold up a certain number of fingers and have the kids say the number. It helps them to really learn the numbers and not just memorize the pattern. We practiced letters by stamping them into play-dough after a while. Class was ended with story time and singing.

May 6, 2008

Blog #9

I liked the first group's presentation, other than the fact that it was way too long, and thought they had a lot of good information. It was cool that they actually picked an architect, a female one at that, and focused on her work. India is not a place that I know much about so I really enjoyed hearing about whats going on there. I didn't realize they had such an issue with slums there. They did a great job presenting but had a little too much information on their power point. Its more interesting if the information in front of you is minimal and they expand on it more. I couldn't really focus on or read anything they actually had on the slides. They had a lot of great information and put together a very good presentation.

May 2, 2008

Volunteer Journal #6

April 21st was a beautiful day so we took the kids outside. We played hop-scotch to help them with numbers and then practiced writing on the sidewalk with chalk. One of the teachers also brought snacks for the kids. They loved it! Most of the time outside was spent on the playground. The kids loved being pushed on the swings and going down the slides. I had so much fun with the kids outside!

Volunteer Journal #5

The next time I went back to CommonBond was April 14th. The kids had spring break the week before. They are still making great progress with their letters and words. Today we played with play dough and stamped letters into it. It was a fun activity that I haven't done with them before. We also sang songs and they knew dances to go along with them. They had a great time. We had story time as usual at the end of class.

Volunteer Journal #4

March 31st was my third time volunteering with the Pre-K literacy group. We did the usual activities like practicing writing letters, counting and doing the alphabet, and also doing flashcards. The kids make more and more progress each time and I am truly amazed by how fast they learn. I'm starting to get to know the kids more and their different personalities. It is so much fun going now! Their teacher had been trying to teach the kids the difference between two and too by looking at the words on the flashcards. They actually knew the difference! When they see two, they hold up two fingers and say the word. When they see too, they say "me too." I don't think my five year old sister would have known the difference between the two. The kids are doing so well with their English!

April 30, 2008

Volunteer Journal #3

On Friday, March 28th, I volunteered at Commonbond's Playhouse Parade. This even took place at Mall of America. Five playhouses were built by different companies in the area and donated to Commonbond for a silent auction. The profits went to the organization. I worked at a station with two of the playhouses, they were stationed throughout the mall, giving people information on Commonbond and the auction for the playhouses. I also sold raffle tickets for a sixth playhouse. The Playhouse Parade is a very unique idea that seemed very successful. Everyone I spoke with loved the playhouses. They weren't your traditional playhouses. I would love to have one now even!
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My favorite!
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This is the playhouse that was raffled off.

April 24, 2008

Blog #8

Ensure Environmental Sustainability

When I think of environmental sustainability, I think of green living and conserving our resources. The group that presented on Monday really expanded my views on the subject. I loved that they covered several topics about sustainability. The web was a good presentation idea because sustainability can be expanded into many forms. Although it was a unique idea, it was very hard to follow. I did like that it was much more interactive for the viewer though.
This group covered the goals of the UN very well. These goals include:

1. Integrate the principles of sustainable development into country policies and programs; reverse loss of environmental resources

2. Reduce biodiversity loss, achieving, by 2010, a significant reduction in the rate of loss

3. Reduce by half the proportion of people without sustainable access to safe drinking water

4. Achieve significant improvement in lives of at least 100 million slum dwellers, by 2020

I really enjoyed the part of the presentation that focused on water. We all know that water if an important part of our lives but we really don't appreciate it as much as other cultures do. It is easy for us to just turn on a faucet and have clean drinking water; many people do not have this luxury and we take it completely for granted.
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This group made great points about being environmentally sustainable in your daily lives. I loved the idea of planting your own garden, purchasing sustainable items, reusing furniture, and voluntary simplicity. America is driven by consumers and we are the number one contributer to global warming because of our actions. I really liked how they brought up the idea of educating children on the issue. If they learn these things young, it will have a better chance of sticking with them in the future. They will develop healthier and more environmentally friendly habits that will lead to a better world. Overall, this group did a great job presenting and covering several topics within their UN Millennium Development Goal. It was well presented and interesting!

April 2, 2008

Blog #7 Title Pages

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March 27, 2008

Volunteer Journal #2

On Monday at CommonBond, we started with practicing writing the letter M. Once again, the little girl followed directions, and the boys screwed around. A couple were doing a lot better than before though. We then did flash cards to practice colors and learning the names of animals. The kids got a break to play with Play-Dough. We ended with story time as usual.

Volunteer Journal #1

March 10th was my first day volunteering with CommonBond. I do the Pre-K literacy program at Skyline Towers in St. Paul. I'm working with Somali children who don't speak English as their first language; many do not speak it at all. We practiced writing the letter W with the kids, did the alphabet, and practiced numbers. We also had story time for awhile and just read to the children. There were several little boys there, and one girl. The difference between them was amazing. The girl sat quietly and did her work. She was very good at following directions. The boys were trying to wrestle each other most of the time and wouldn't cooperate at all. They scribbled all over their writing sheets. It was a fun experience and I am happy I'm volunteering with CommonBond. I love the kids there.

March 13, 2008

Blog #6 Yoda vs. Darth Vadar

I found this cool website... this isn't my real blog but I thought it was funny.
Check it out

http://www.presentationzen.com/presentationzen/2006/01/contrasts_in_pr.html

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I promise I'll make a real one...

March 6, 2008

Blog #5

The built environment supports who I am because it is how I developed my knowledge of buildings, how they interact with the environment, and my taste in architecture. I am attracted to certain buildings, and they ultimately end up influencing my own designs and ideas. I do not believe this detracts from who I am. It helps me to come up with new ideas that are my own. It also changes the way I think and challenges me. There are new factors that may force you to become more creative and your end product may be something greater than you initially imagined.
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Something you may need to overcome is the opposition of man and physical nature. You must think outside the box and factor in physical landscapes and topography. You can even use physical features to your advantage by making them a part of your design. Another is climate and enclosure. New materials and sustainable ideas can be created to make the most of the climate in a certain region. An example would be finding ways to use precipitation in a region to your advantage by creating new ways to capture and use the water. Permanence and entropy is another opposition. Architecture can be made to last forever; which is usually the way we think about Architecture. There is also the example of FEMA trailers and refugee camps. These are meant to be temporary. They are usually not considered great works of Architecture, but I believe the design of many of these is kind of brilliant. These places are meant to support most of the functions of daily life and were specifically designed to help people. They overcome constraints such as space, price, and mobility. They may not be aesthetically pleasing, but their usefulness is great.
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There are many obstacles that challenge you in life and design. I believe these influence us for the better and force us to be truly creative and original. The built environment supports who I am and helps me to realize my personal views on the buildings that surround me from day to day.

February 28, 2008

Blog #4

If I were released from the constraints of the Architecture Program, I would be travelling the world. This would have to be a world where money grows on trees, of course. I would be a wandering nomad without a care or worry in the universe. I would travel to exotic places, ancient world wonders, and places off the beaten path; places where no one has ever been. Places that have not been touched by humans and still contain the natural beauty of our planet. None of the stresses of the "real world" would follow me on my journeys. It would be the ultimate escape. I would like to build my own little getaway in each of the places I visit. I would build a mountain top home with floor to ceiling windows to take in the natural beauty of the surrounding area, a modern treehouse in a forest, or maybe a home with a view of a waterfall; for some reason I have always had a facination with waterfalls. I could stay in each place for as long as I wanted, depending on my mood. All of my projects would encompass the features of the area. They would bring the environment inside and look like they belong with their surroundings. One of my biggest pet peeves is when buildings don't fit in with the surrounding area, or when they're ugly and blocky and really don't fit with anything. A building should compliment its surroundings. If I had limitless funds, my life would be peaceful, completely stress free. I would do whatever I wanted.
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February 20, 2008

Blog #3

An End to Poverty and World Hunger...

"Pain is inevitable; suffering is optional." ~ Greta Randolph

Playlist
Keep Holding On - Avril Lavigne
Yellow - Coldplay
How to Save a Life - The Fray
Best Days - Grahm Colton
Pictures of You - The Last Goodnight
Time is Running Out - Muse
Give It All - Rise Against
Stand in the Rain - Superchick

These are all songs I listen to when I'm upset or sad. Something in these songs just makes me feel better. In some, its the lyrics; in others its just the melody or sound of the song. A few of the titles are self explanatory. A
part of the song "Yellow," by Coldplay, really reminded me of my topic of poverty and world hunger. "your skin, yeah your skin and bones, turned in to something beautiful"
With our help, these people who are only skin and bones can turn in to something beautiful.

"Do not spoil what you have by desiring what you have not." ~ Epicurus

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These are photos of my friends and I messing around with food. We had a great time and half that food probably went to waste. People are starving in this world and we really never think about this. Somebody would have been so grateful to have that food and we took it completely for granted. Everyone's mother has probably said "finish your dinner, there are starving children in this world!" to them. This went in one ear and out the other at the time. I probably had some smart ass reply like, "well why don't you mail them my dinner then? I don't want it!" The issue of poverty and world hunger has never been something that I've really thought about. It needs to be made much more public.

Poverty and world hunger is an issue that needs to be taken on. Our nation needs to be informed of these issues. Its happening in America as well as around the world. We need to open our eyes and focus on someone other than ourselves. These people need help.

"You shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you mad." ~ Aldous Huxley