May 7, 2008

BLOG 8 & 9 BABY!

These two responses are from the honors presentations. I unfortunately did not write down their names, so hope what I talk about will sound familiar. I think the groups I chose to write about did an awesome job presenting. I’m sure it would be difficult in front of 100 or more people!

The first presentation I will talk about I believe addresses goal 7, ensuring environmental sustainability through improving Minneapolis Slums. I feel this project had the closest connection to how architecture can directly help ensure sustainability. The first aspect that I enjoyed was the research on current buildings that are run sustainably. It is awesome to take ideas that are already saving so much money and so much energy and implementing them into new designs or new renovations. And some buildings have only focused on saving energy in one specific way, so to take all those and combine them into one building will immensely help our environment as well as our pockets. Some of these ideas were replacing at least one light bulb per unit with a compact florescent light bulb, using solar energy as much as possible, vertical recycling shoots, low flow plumbing, rainwater collection, and focusing on natural lighting. Also as they said it would improve the life enjoyment of those that are living in this low income housing. The low-income housing they focused on was the Riverside Plaza, designed by Ralph Rapson. I enjoy so much that they chose a local building because it makes change seem so much more realistic when it is something that we can relate to.

The second one I will talk about addresses goal 4, reducing child mortality, but I feel it touched on goal 6, combating Malaria and other diseases, as well as goal 2 achieving universal primary education. Or maybe it was goal 6 and it touched on reducing child mortality. Either way they did a great job of incorporating all aspects. First of all I love the quote that they started out with- “There are no seven wonders of the world in the eyes of a child. There are seven million.? This quote shows that children are our future and that there needs to be something done to prevent them from harm. They went on to explain that every thirty seconds a child dies of Malaria, which seems absolutely outrageous. Malaria is something I think Americans do not necessarily take seriously because we are lucky enough to have the means of prevention, where as in the example they chose, Sierra Leone does not. They said that only 20% of children are unable to sleep under mosquito nets, which unfortunately makes sense because Sierra Leone has so many other political issues right now that they cannot focus on epidemics such as Malaria. They explained that in Sierra Leone there are anti-government groups that force kids or young adults to cut off all their limbs so they cannot pick up arms for the government. Also some are forced to shoot their own parents in order to seer all bonds with family. This shows us that it is obviously up to other countries, such as ours, to take an effort to help prevent diseases like Malaria, because they have way too much to worry about themselves right now. Some ways that we can help or are helping is though Unicef, which is currently widely active in Sierra Leone, through Action Against Hunger, which has a direct link on their website on how to get involved, through Feed My Starving Children, which is in Minnesota and you can go help make/pack lunches for them to send over, and also by going on because everyone who plays their game will help a mosquito net to be sent their. They also said that Nothing but Nets has web banners that you can put on your blog, which gives a direct link to that net game.

May 1, 2008

volunteer entry for April 8th

This day was one of the first days I had seen Mayronny in awhile. She had cut bangs into her hair. It was super nice out that day. We worked on some of her math. She also brought in her moon journal, but had already drawn and wrote in it. We also read for awhile. For recreation I believe we played carpetball.

April 29, 2008

volunteer bloggin

By the way these are all Tuesdays. I volunteer everyweek on Tues from 6:30 - 8:30

Jan 15th
This was the day I was introduced to my girl I tutor Mayronny. Last semester when I had worked with Homework and Hoops I unfortunately did not have the opportunity to be a tutor because they had an overflow of volunteers in the fall. I had been science coordinator, which had somewhat interaction with the kids, but not much to feel I made an impact. So I was quite excited to go to the yellow table I was assigned to meet whoever I was working with. Mayronny is a 3rd grader, whose is from Mexico. She has many cousins here though, such as Melissa who is also at our table.

Jan 22nd
This day Melissa’s tutor was not there so I helped both Mayronny and Melissa. Mayronny was working on cursive handwriting and Melissa was reading. I think I may have payed more attention to Melissa because I was listening to her read. At recreation time we played pool, which was cute to watch Mayronny play! She was actually quite good.

Jan 29th
This day I worked with both Mayronny and Melissa again. It was even more difficult this time because they were both reading which I had to continuously go back and forth. I was hoping they would just keep reading, but one would stop when I went to the other. I believe we played carpet ball that day which is like small scale bowling with pool balls.

Feb 5th
This day I worked with Mayronny on her math. I love math and was excited to try to teach what I know. It is much more difficult than I thought, but I did teach her the finger trick when multiplying with 9. She didn’t get it right away, but when I reminded her at a future date, she totally remembered how to use it. Instead of recreation time they had the store in which the kids are able to buy things with the points they earn for doing what they are supposed to. They also get extra points if they fill out reading or other subject vouchers. Mayronny had saved her points from that previous fall so she had a lot to work with. She got these Brat doll things that she could switch their outfits.

Feb 12th
Today we read and did correlating worksheets for it. I taught her that if you read all the questions first it is easier to pick out what you need out of the story. As we went through and read I asked her if she knew what things were, such a squirrel, which she did not until I drew it. It is so exciting to be able to teach little things like that.

Feb 19th
I did not stay this day because there were more tutors than kids, which is a good thing for the kids that there were more than enough. Also good for me because I had a calc test that needed much studying.

March 4th
Mayronny was not there today so I was paired up with a 4th grader named Nayelly. We worked on math for awhile and then read. She speaks Spanish as well so we chose books that had Spanish as well as English so I could help her with English and she could help me with Spanish. So we switched off reading each part as I attempted to translate what I thought it said in Spanish. For recreation we went to the gym and they played ships across the ocean. I was not feeling so active that day and just watched.

March 11th
Some of us again left because our tutees were not there and there were more tutors than kids. I had a drawing to work on I remember so I was once again thankful for the extra time even though I was disappointed not to see Mayronny.

March 25th
Mayronny was not here on this day either. I believe she had been there the previous week when I was not. Her cousin Melissa told me she goes with her family some place, which is why she probably wasn’t there. Anyways, I was paired up with a 2nd grade boy named Uriel. Working with an energetic boy was quite a different story compared to calm sweet Mayronny. We did some geometric puzzles and then played addition bingo. For recreation time we played this gigantor foam-q-tip game that had the same rules as hockey. It was so fun to be active and play like a kid again. We only played for a little bit because it was store day in which they could spend the points they have earned. Uriel’s older brother kept coming over to talk Uriel into using his points on him. I told him that he did not have to. I tried suggesting getting earrings for his mom but he decided on some cars instead.

April 8th

April 15th
For these last dates here I attempted to go through my syllabuses to see if it would trigger what we did these two days, but I cannot remember. I will resubmit those dates if it comes back to me.

April 22, 2008

Meonka n Me

I worked worked with Meonka today. She talked a lot about how bored she was with everything today, and come to think of it last time as well. I tried getting her to figure out why, like maybe that she didn't get it or that maybe it was all too easy. She then gave in and told me she liked school, but still not knowing which was true. It could be both. Meonka is quite blunt so I caught myself repremanding maybe more often than I should. I also tried explaining to her the more she pays attention in school now, the easier it will be for her in the future. Oh I was Meonka's tutor today because her tutor Genny and my tutee Mayronny were not there. It definitely was the brightest part of my day to spend my time thinking about someone else and not thinking about all the end of semester stress. Still realizing how enjoyable the simple things in life are. She also told me she hung up the picture i drew her in her locker which made me smile.

April 17, 2008

entry for 04.15.08 volunteering

This day was very warm and very windy, which may have been why the girl I tutor, Mayronny, did not show up. It is one on one tutoring so if a kid or a tutor does not show up they pair you with someone else who is "unemployed." On this day they paired me up with a 3rd grade girl Meonka. So Mayronny is normally quite a quiet contained girl so it was quite a difference to work with Meonka. She was A BALL OF ENERGY! She was going from reading, to drawing, to puzzles, to the computer lab, to the gym and then to the game room. During this all she lost her 2nd tooth which she was not happy about. Meonka is quite out spoken and does what she wants without care, but I could truely tell that she enjoyed the time that we spent together. I truely love the one on one aspect of this program. And while I was sad not to have worked with Mayronny that day, I feel lucky to meet and get to know the other kids there too.

April 3, 2008

Layout Practice

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March 13, 2008

Layout Inspirations

My term project is based on environmental sustainabiity. My group chose to take the route of researching petroleum production and how it affects the environment.

This is something that many people have to end up using that live near petroleum extraction/production sites, due to the respiratory Issues caused by the black smoke.
inhaler.jpg inhaler

This Is representative of cancer, not just breast cancer, that Is formed due to the exposure of chemicals during the petroleum production.
pink ribbon.jpg breast_cancer_ribbon

I enjoy these layouts because they Incorporate Images with the text but still allowing the text to be the main focus while giving a bit more Information with the visuals.

Interesting use of text that creates its own Imagery.

This Image to me represents how the public thinks that they are so dependent on these natural resource destroying oil companies that they end up narrowly following this Idea of energy rather than searching elsewhere. It is also quite visually appealing.

I enjoy this Image because it pulls together Information from many places to share an important message in such a witty way.

This Image to me may represent the massive production of petroleum mask masks out the music of the life in the oceans and seas they set up in.

I just truly enjoy the aesthetics of this Image. I believe it may also represent all the different parts coming in to one being, which is representative of the knowledge/research of each group member that becomes a part of the research as a whole.

March 5, 2008

Regretful Lack of Wonder

A framework that is within the built environment that detracts from who I am is the units of time such as seconds, minutes, hours, and days, that have been set up by man. So many activities could be continued on for what we now consider a day, but nobody ever thinks about that because our world is too fast paced. To be quite honest one of my favorite things to do, or one of the most enjoyable things to do is to just be. To let go of time and whatever your current responsibilites are and let your mind relax and wonder where ever IT wants to go, not where it is constantly told where to go. Its just time you can reflect on everything. I feel I have such a lack of reflection time. That I am just doing and not being able to pull the true meaning out of everthing I have been experiecing. I will look back and hope to find my own meaning out of it then but it is never the same as realizing it all as it is happening to you. I enjoy being productive though, but I just don’t really know if I consider it all productive if I am just doing it all as a means to an end.
You might be able to consider a school year it’s own phenomena because it is a cycle of something that has a distinct period of time. What goes on in this phenomena depends on a framework such as time. Well actually I believe time more so would be considered a clockwork- “clockworks are frameworks in which fixed numbers of things that start with a given set of mutual relationships? (clockwork lecture) . So the things would be the units such as hours, minutes, and seconds which all are a set that have mutual relationships.
And really, not to be so negative, I honestly do feel units of time help support who I am. If there were not units of time I would not push myself to be as “productive? as I am. I would not push myself to learn as much as I have learned. If there was no conception of time I would probably do more physically active things than intellectually active things, so this way I work my brain out to what I hope is its full potential.

February 28, 2008

To be Released

I would join NPO rebuilding and/or design teams that are helping rebuild the South due to Hurricane Katrina.
I could volunteer for companies or organizations that do historical building renovations. And do research on renovations that would be more sustainable to the environment and share this information with my boss in hopes that it will impact their process.
I could also volunteer at a landscape architecture firm and do research on ways to prevent the cutting of trees when doing new building projects. I would once again bring this research to my boss and hope the take it into account. This OBVIOUSLY depends on the company I would be volunteering for.

I would do paintings that illustrated how unrealistically beautiful the world was 8 billion years ago, before human inhabitance. I would possibly do paintings of what the environment is now to see the contrast. I would then sell these paintings for thousands of dollars and donate that money to wildlife conservation organizations.
carboniferous forest.jpg

I would plant gardens for people in patterns and symbols, as art pieces, and would charge them and donate the money to tree building organizations or a flower/plant conservation organization.

Even though I absolutely love me a steak, I would quit eating red meat sue to its high concentration of harmful synthetic hormones. To actually make an impact I would have to take it one step further and organize a boycott and hope it will affect red meat production. Or I could lobby in Congress to get them to pass stricter hormone concentration laws.
Red meattttt.jpg

I have thought about actually going into biology so that if I were to lobby in Congress there would be some merit behind my arguments. This would increase my chance of impacting Congress members.

This may not be lyrically in the terms of a song, but I would write to chemical companies and explain scientifically how their chemicals are ruining many ecosystems. I would also write Congress to push them to test more, if not all, chemicals before they are put into the market as well as the environment.
This idea may overlap an artistic action as well as lyrical one. I would “graffiti? quotes around the city on who and how many people are suffering due to contamination of many aspects of the environment, especially water.

February 21, 2008

Appreciating the Environment

Goal 7: Environmental Sustainability

We never know the worth of water till the well is dry.
-Thomas Fuller, Gnomologia, 1732
dry well.jpg

Modern technology
Owes ecology
An apology
-Alan M. Eddison

In America today you can murder land for private profit. You can leave the corpse for all to see, and nobody calls the cops.
-Paul Brooks, The Pursuit of Wilderness, 1971

The use of solar energy has not been opened up because the oil industry does not own the sun.
-Ralph Nader. Quoted in Linda Butts, ed., Loose Talk, 1930

The sun the moon and the stars would have disappeared a long time ago…had they happened to be with in reach of predatory human hands.
-Havelock Ellis, The Dance of Life, 1923

I think the environment should be put in the category of our national security. Defense of our resources is just as important as defense abroad. Otherwise what is there to defend?
-Robert Redford, Yosemite National Park dedication, 1985.

Nature provides a free lunch, but only if we control our appetites.
-William Ruckelshavs, Business Week, 18 June 1990

"Access to an adequate supply of clean water is a basic human right." -Maude Barlow and Tony Clarke, Blue Gold

I was not able to upload my music files so here is a playlist with the explanation of inclusion for each song:

1. Smart Went Crazy -Atmosphere. Smart here may represent the technology that has caused the environment to go "crazy."

2. Sitting, Waiting, Wishing -Jack Johnson. "Must I always be waiting on you, must I always be playing your fool?" This is probably how Mother Earth feels towards humans with their lack of effort on her behalf.

3. Mediocre Bad Guys -Jack Johnson. This song is for the people that sit around and wait for action to just happen. They may not be horrible people, but can be considered "mediocre bad guys."

4. Lost Ones -Lauren Hill. "It's funny how money changes situations....did you really gain from , you really lost one." This along with the next song are for the politicians who are too wrapped up in money and power, to ever allow environmental consciousness into their lives.

5.Forgive Them Father -Lauren Hill. "Forgive them Father, for they know not what they do....they say all the right things to gain their positions." Once again for the politician, and once again looking at money induced ignorance.

6. Hello, Goodbye -Unknown Prophets. "I wanna say hello to the good times, goodbye to the bad times." This song represents the hopefullness and determination of those who are actively making a difference for our environment.

February 14, 2008


I know this does not occur just in the twin cities, but is a social design issue that continually affects the public without them even realizing it. It is the design of drug representatives catering huge gourmet lunches to doctors and all of their staff. The drug representatives do this in order to get an opportunity (such as lunchtime) to talk to the doctors about why they should choose their drug. This does make sense for a business decision, but it looks too much like bribery to me. You know how doctors push for drugs before the think of other alternative treatments. The whole time they do this they are thinking about the pressure these drug reps are going to put on them as well as the pressure of the office for that gourmet fettuccini. While the doctors and the staff enjoy the gesture, it unfortunately allows the drug companies to have way too much power over how the medical industry is run. It allows them to continue to raise their prices knowing the doctors will loyally continue to thrust their drugs at their patients, without giving a mention of any generic cheaper brands. There are people who absolutely need these drugs and are forced to pay these high prices. Once this money is received from these innocent people the money is spent to lavish those that are already well off, not to mention vacations and BMWs for those that work for these companies. It makes me sick and I hope to God that we will get a president that believes in universal health care. The reason that I chose this issue is because I have friends who are nurses or receptionists in doctors’ offices and they naively love these catered lunches without realizing the vicious cycle they take a part in. What I have done to be a de-activist about this issue is share my feelings about it with my friends when they talk about these lunches.