April 30, 2008

A.C.E.S. Week 5

So. Today was my last day volunteering at Green Central Elementary School. It was sad leaving, I didn't tell any of the kids it was my last day because I wasn't sure how they would react. The kids switched groups again last Monday, so I went with the fourth graders back to the classroom. It depends on the day, but sometimes the kids are good, and sometimes they are out of control. Today was an “out of control� day. It seems like when they're in the classroom, they get antsy, and a little crazy. No matter what, there is no way your going to get them to listen to you. Probably only 2 or 3 kids are listening at a time. It's not like the other volunteers and I don't try…we really do. But they are really rude and talk back and definitely don't listen. I know they are good kids...they just get a little excited sometimes. Anyway, they are starting an experiment that will show them how the earth is a "big greenhouse". It actually is pretty cool. I remember learning a lot of that stuff back when I was in elementary school. I have learned a lot from these kids, they're crazy, but overall pretty fun. I've had a good time getting to know them this semester, I'm sad to leave, but I'm glad I got the experience.

April 29, 2008

Term Project Presentations ROUND TWO

GOAL 8 DEVELOP A GLOBEL PARTNERSHIP FOR DEVELOPMENT DUBAI
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This group's presentation was fairly interesting, it was noticeable that they did their research and they had a creative way of putting it together. Overall, they did a pretty good job. the part I found most interesting was on tourism in Dubai. I didn't catch exactly what the group stated, but I found it interesting that Dubai has plans for the world's largest mall with some 1,000+ stores. Also, that they were going to eventually have a 7 mile long hotel strip..which is a pretty large amount of hotels for their millions of tourists that they want to have by 2015. Also this group mentioned how Dubai is somewhat like a mechanical arm. It is a fast growing area that is depending on infrastructure to take their ideas into plans and structures. I found it amazing how much Dubai is focused on luxury and tourism. It is a totally different realm than what we experience every day.

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A.C.E.S. Week 4

It has been SO long since I've been to my volunteer program. I usually go every other week, and for three weeks the program was not running. I hadn't seen the kids forever and I wasn't sure if they were going open up to me like they did before. The last time I went to Green Central, I felt the kids were just starting to warm up to me. It was really nice to be back in the A.C.E.S. atmosphere. I stayed with the fourth graders that I usually go with. The last time I was at Green Central for the A.C.E.S. program, the kids had just started a new unit about birds, zooming in more on owls and hawks. Last Wednesday, the kids were working on an art project, which consisted of making owl pellets. I know...sounds gross huh? Haha, it was actually a pretty interesting sight. The week before the kids had made paper machee by blowing up balloons and pasting the paper machee to it. This past week, they decorated their pellets with horse hair (yes...horse hair), paint, cotton balls, and feathers. I’m not going to lie..I was a little grossed out, but it was actually a pretty fun day. These kids had a great time. Clean up was a catastrophe though...which was accepted. =) After we were done making the pellets, I started working with a few kids with flash cards. I'm not going to lie..I had to check the back of a few cards to remind myself of the questions! It's been a while since I did multiplication flash cards! A few kids were extremely engaged with figuring out the answers to the mathematical questions. I felt really good teaching/helping them along with this. I felt like they were actually learning things from me. It is strange to think that I could be making an influence on these kids’ lives.

April 22, 2008

Term Project Presentations ROUND ONE

The semester is coming to and END (finalllllly), so that means groups are scrambling to put the finishing touches on their research projects. Round one of presentations were given this week. Our group presents next week so it was interesting to see how this group organized their information.


SUSTAINIBILITY & LOCAL MATERIALS

I liked how each person researched their own part. The presentation was well put together, and it seemed well practiced. As an audience member I could tell that they really knew their information and they knew how to present it in a way we could relate to.

The use of green housing and green roofs were the first two concepts. These two concepts have been pounded into our brain throughout the semesters studying architecture. I did agree with everything they brought up an example is the use of LCD lights and how they save energy. Even though they are expensive...they are extremely helpful to our environment.

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The Issue of COB building I thought was really informative. This was a new concept that I had never heard about before, so it was pretty cool hearing the details of this construction. After this presentation it made me want to research this building concept and learn about it a little more extensively. I thought it was a cool idea of customization. It is a unique way of building.

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Lastly the concept of Bamboo concluded their presentation. I actually learned a lot about the plant that I didn't know before. It seems that bamboo could be used as a strong building material and it is one of the fastest growing plants in the US. It probably wouldn't be good here in the Midwest...but in regions of the world that the plant would be accustomed to it would be great!

April 2, 2008

IdEaS 4 tItLe PaGeS...

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I made some title pages before..but I didn't like them. SO I made some new ones! =)

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March 23, 2008

A.C.E.S. Week 3

I'm starting to like the kids more and more, they are really warming up to me. They know my name and ask me more questions. It was hard at first because I only go to Green Central every other Wednesday. Last Wednesday was a switching day. So the kids that I usually worked with in the 4th grade classroom switched to the Creative Corner. They will be in that section for about a month I believe. One thing that catches me a little on edge is that there always seems to be one child that wants to ruin it for the group. I can tell that there are one or two girls that get pretty upset because all they want to do is learn and the other few kids don't care and do anything they can to prevent that. I wish that there was something I could do, but I'm not sure what...

presentation IDEAS...

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How a topic is presented is as important as the topic itself. If the topic is displayed in a speech form without pictures or visual aids, my guess almost 99% will find it extremely boring. Images and text are highly useful tools. For one because they help get the point across a lot easier, and for two images catch a persons attention and they become interested in the topic.

While looking through the suggested magazines and blogs, i found a few interesting styles of presentation that I thought were smart and creative.

On the CMKY magazine website there various styles that each columnist chose to individualize. I wish I could put a picture on my blog, but I couldn't figure out how. But anyway, the use of standard inspirational quotes that are used as an image outside of the original text, is a creative eye catching idea. The image/text made me stop and think about what it was saying and then connect it back into the main text. I think it would be a good idea for these types of images to help present in our presentation.

I definitely think it is important to have pictures. There are different ways of using pictures to portray certain emotions. It would be quite boring to be reading about a building and then see a picture of it, then read about another building, and see a picture of it. I think that while writing about a building or a specific topic it is important to incorporate an image of the subject, but then to also be creative and connect it with something similar to relate and go beyond the regular into the unique.

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This is a link to one of CMKY's mag. articles. I found it very interesting to look at. The images look sporadic, but are they? I feel that they were strategically placed to invoke a feeling...to get you thinking.

For our topic of Poverty and Hunger we should incorporate artwork, text/quotes, photography, and also creative drawings to help better understand our feelings and thoughts of topic.

"Being a creative genius is not enough; you've also got to have a hard head, a strong back, and an absolute fear of failure."

March 14, 2008

Presentation IDEAS...

okay. so really. i had absolutely NO time to do this blog. and i am going on vacation and wont be back until right before school starts again. SO. I will. I PROMICE. get this blog figured out when i get backkk.

just stressful.

March 5, 2008

A.C.E.S. Week 2

So things are SO much better. At first I wasn’t quite sure if I wanted to go back to the same forth grade classroom that I was at last time. But I’m really glad I did. I’m not sure what was with the kids the first week, but I feel a lot more comfortable with them now. I felt as though the kids were actually excited to learn and be there. Which is great, I had a lot more fun interacting with them. I think that they took into consideration what I had to say, and learned from it. They didn’t have much homework because of the long weekend they were about to have. The teachers had conferences on Thursday and Friday, and the kids seemed really excited to have a few extra days off from school. But who wouldn’t, I’m not going to lie, I was a little jealous. Anyway after homework, we continued with our “fish story� project. Becca (which is the 4th grade teacher) conducted an activity which allowed the kids to pick characters, a location, and a main theme. The kids seemed to have some great ideas and their minds were really running. Their suggestions to the activity were extremely creative. The setting was in L.A. and the main character was some singer…that I’ve never heard of, but the kids seemed to all know him. This didn’t have a lot to do with the fishing story, but it was just to motivate them and to get them excited about the story they would be starting. We ran out of time with this activity and moved to different areas where the kids got to pick what they wanted to do. I always have to leave early because I have class, so I left about 15 minutes into it. But I’m glad that I’m starting to like it more. I was really nervous after the first session, but now I’m excited to go back.

March 4, 2008

L.O.V.E. L.I.F.E.

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so. my. mind. is. not. functioning. very. well. at. the. moment. cReAtIvItY. is. hard. to. find. sometimes.

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Architecture is everywhere. As beings we have no choice but to look at it. Like it or not we are completely engaged on the built environment. Our world is caught in the middle of a revolution. We continue to advance in technology which allows us to keep moving forward in architecture. It is kind of satirical because now...of all times, we are trying to find ways to connect back to nature. I think that we are way too advanced to ever reach back far enough to bond with nature, and live the way people did before. But that’s beyond the point. In my perspective, architecture can be defined from the basic elements of art. Which are, line, shape, form, color, value, texture, and space. Each one of these elements is personally related to the architect. The architect has total control of the structure; he/she can imagine and create their thoughts. After the structure is constructed we observe the building and comprehend it by a certain feeling we attain.

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I think that architecture has a massive effect on every individual’s life and how they live it. For me, I have a love for art. So one way I connect to architecture is through the basic principles of art. I break down the complex form of a structure to each distinct line, form and shape. By doing this it improves my understanding of the building, and I feel an optimistic passion for architecture...I could stair at a building for hours on end, trying to figure out how and why it was built that way.

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Architecture can be seen as clockwork because of its cyclical movement. It starts with basic forms, and then gets increasingly complex and complicated until we decide we need to go back to simple forms that connect with nature.

I feel that architecture itself is a form of phenomena. Contained in architecture are origins, destinations, boundaries, duration, hierarchies, change, and behavioral characteristics. For example, the duration of architecture is elucidated through how long the structure lifetime is, maybe forever, or only a few months. Another example is its behavioral characteristics. Architecture adapts to characteristics that we adapt to ourselves. A structure can hold characteristics that contain the stableness, chaotic, beauty, vibrancy, and special effects.

The need of oppositions in architecture is required for success. The six oppositions which include man vs. physical nature, climate and enclosure, gravity, permanence, mass and form, and materials and tools, are the underlying rules that are mandatory to make architecture satisfactory. Gravity is an interesting opposition; this is because to create anything, we need to understand every aspect of it. The opposition of mass and form is necessary, obviously, because without mass or form it would be impossible for a structure to exist. I think that being creative with mass and form in a building can be perceived as brilliantly aesthetic.

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My passion for architecture is being built upon everyday. Visually I can attain sublime emotions through line, form, shape, texture, and color. The world is an amazing place. This may sound…I don’t know…�perfectly inspirational�…but really. Life is way to short to be wasting time. Once you find your passion, rather it be architecture, music, or even scuba diving, your life will come together, and you’ll realize what you’ve been missing, and it will inspire you to move forward with concentration on whatever it is. This may sound extremely irrelevant and confusing to this topic, but just hear me out…once you find your passion, life will become so much more and you’ll understand that it is truly hard to explain.

February 25, 2008

YounG ImaginationS.

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February 20, 2008

It's gunna be a long walk..

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February 19, 2008

ACES Volenteer Journal Week 1

I was pretty excited for my first day at the after school program. I have volunteered before in high school for a class. I went to a third grade classroom and helped out with different exercises for 4 hours a week. I figured my experience with aces would be a lot like the one back at home in Rochester, MN with the third grade class. I guess I was completely wrong. My first day was a little frustrating. I got there around 2pm and the kids were just getting out of class. At first, I was a little apprehensive because I wasn't sure what my place was, and how to handle the kids. They had snack, then we took a group of fourth graders up to a classroom. Once we got to the classroom, the main ACES volunteer, Becca took over the class. It seemed like the kids were extremely excited. I feel like the whole time the kids were out of control. Pretty much the whole time it seemed like there was maybe 1/3 of the class listening. Which consisted of three kids? One would think that since these kids have the chance to do something fun and stay after school, they would take advantage of it. After the class meeting, Becca pulled us aside and apologized. She said that the kids weren’t usually like that, and she didn’t know what had gotten into them today. I later found out that on that day, which was Wednesday the 13th, the kids had been split up into new groups. I'm guessing this had something to do with their extra energy. Overall, my first day gave me a new outlook on the life in the twin cities. I grew up in a totally different atmosphere, and I think that by doing this volunteer work it is going to open my mind to a lot of new things. I'm excited to see where the rest of my time with ACES takes me

February 11, 2008

Homeless? Blog Entry 2.

So, the issue I decided to document was the issue of homelessness in the cities. I did a little research about the homeless and found some decent facts. Supposable on May 25th 2000, over 9000 people were turned away from shelters. This statistic appalled me. I’m not sure if it is because I have split thoughts on the whole issue, or if that is just absolutely ridiculous. You could say that I have a hard time holding sympathy for the homeless. I understand that a lot of them have full time jobs but still can’t make end meat. But for the rest of them…come on. It is not hard to get a job of some sort…doing some kind of work. As for the ones who have mental illnesses I think that the government should take action, and get these people help. If they don’t have any sort of family to help them, the government should see the pain these people, take it into their hands to hand over a small some of money that the rake in every year from us paying taxes. Another statistic I found said that one in five homeless adults has been diagnosed with alcohol abuse disorder, and one in eight has a drug abuse disorder. I don’t have any sympathy what so ever for these people. It is their own fault that they got wrapped up in drugs and alcohol. I’ve had some close friends that have experienced both of these things. From experience is where I get my thoughts and nothing is going to change them. Okay. I’m done. ANYWAY. Sense we do have the homeless; they do need a place to live. Going back to the first statistic I mentioned about how over 9000 people were turned away from shelters in one day. There needs to be more shelter for these people. The Northern states, such as Minnesota and Wisconsin, are ridiculously cold in the winter. Give me one reason anyone would want to be homeless here. I don’t get it. But, it is cold here, and there are shelters to help the homeless, but a few more wouldn’t hurt. I think that when designing these shelters, there should be a way to incorporate optimistic views on getting together life. The shelter needs to illustrate the past usage into the new plan for an adequate design. It needs to be functionally satisfying to the new users and keep the old stimuli. The design issue is completely relevant to the overall idea of the usage. If there was a shelter, which there probably is somewhere, that looked like a prison, it wouldn’t be very homely or inviting. Now, let’s say there was a shelter with vibrant colors and abstract shapes incorporated in the architecture. Which one would you rather go to? As an obvious choice, I would go to the “cool� looking shelter. In the cities and all over the country homeless shelters should design to reach toward the advances to end poverty and homelessness.

February 10, 2008

Inspiring Inspiration

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