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May 5, 2008

Technology presentation

I thought the presentation on technology was done wonderfully. As far as how the presentation looked, it was very clean, the slides were appeasing to the eye and it was done wonderfully. Also, every comment made in the last recitation was taken into consideration when they were making their slides: the amount of text on the slides was reduced which made it much easier to read. It was great being able to see it on the screen versus on the computer. Since they were the first group, it was also fun to watch (and a little nerve wracking!) what was going to happen for each of our presentations.

The presentation was about Somalia and technology. They talked about leap-frogging technology and another country that was involved in it. I thought this was a really interesting concept and one I have never heard of before. I'm really glad they talked about the other country because otherwise the concept of leapfrogging would become difficult to grasp or believe possible. Specifically talking about the elections was also smart. It shows the "necessity" a country has for technology. They would need proper elections. They need to be informed about who's running. They need to keep track of the ballots. That was a great example about how leap-frogging helped that country specifically. They talked about what they could potentially bring into Somalia, such as cell phones and computers, specifically the hole in the wall computers that would learning experiences for children. They also brought up the organization One Laptop per Child, which is an absolutely incredible organization that brings laptops to children around the world for $100. They brought in an example of a laptop which I thought was brilliant and which they said they were going to do before. Ozayr seemed to enjoy the computer just as much in the front row! Finally, they ended with how Somalia could construct the energy sources into their own country. I was very glad that they added this information because I believe it is one thing to create a plan, it is a whole different thing to implement it. Adding this information at the end really showed that they thought more about just bringing the technology to Solamia, but also thought about how Somalia would be able to start it and keep moving forward. Overall, I thought it was a very good presentation. I was impressed! Good job guys!

Technology and more technology

Architecture has been influenced over the years by technology in several ways. It has been influenced with the way that a project is created. It has influenced the way that a building is built, from the materials it uses to the
systems that are installed. It has changed the styles of the buildings. It has changed even the dynamics of the interior space of the building. In the end, the role of the architect has changed dramatically from being a monumental designer to a multi-talented computer-aided designer. Even knowledge and communication has changed in the form of what resources we now have access to and with whom we communicate with directly. Technology has left nothing in the field of architecture untouched. It can even be deliberated that the mind and creativity of the designer is drastically shaped by the influences produced by technology.

The design of architecture has been changed the most for architects. No longer are they constrained to t-squares and a calculator. Now the work is typically done on the computer. David Newton showed a lot of these technologies via computer including ANTSIS (keeps track of wind changes), performance testing, CAD, etc. Instead of making models, we are now using 3-D printers.

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Construction of the building has also changed dramatically. The building once was built with limited materials. The revolution of the industrialization time allowed building to be built higher and faster than ever before. The art created on the building was now reshaped from being carved with the builders chizel to the drawing board of the architect. Architects now had more control over the ornamentation of the building they are building in the way that a design for a simple ornamentation piece can either be bought or produced much easier than creating that same ornamentation in stone. Progression in heating, cooling, water, plumbing, and electrical also made changes in the buildings plan. Suddenly the building needed a greater understanding of air flow, lighting, wind, etc. for the architect to build it properly.

There is also the construction of the materials which has changed. Now there are processes which can make very fine cuts in materials for detailed work. There are even robotic used for stacking materials. Transportation has also made it much easier for the movement of large pieces of material such as steel, lumber or concrete. There are also ways now to cut extremely hard materials with diamond tipped tools and lasers, etc. We now also have the ability to mass produce practically any item we desire, so we can create larger, taller, and faster than ever before.

Architects now have access to resources far beyond the resources they had available to them before. The internet has created access to any resource written and published over the World Wide Web. Architecture ideas in Paris, Greece, Germany, and more are now just a few keystrokes away. In addition, there are a wide expanse of options available now for contacting people. Cell phones to call anywhere and anytime, fax machines for paperwork, e-mail for instant letters, text messaging for instant short messages and even Walkie Talkie features on cell phones for speakerphone correspondence.

In the end, the roles for architects have changed because of all the technological changes. Close to everything has changed from manual to machine, from the drawing, to the production of the materials, to the transportation of all the equipment and materials, to the building of the building, and ultimately to the systems that would run in the home. All these new and complex changes have made it difficult, if not impossible, for architects to keep up with all the ways a building can be built. Frank Lloyd Wright was a strong believer in not only creating the art, but understanding the tool with which your creating the art. The amount of tools that we now have at our disposal makes it extremely difficult to get a thorough understanding of each one. Also, the rate at which products and homes can be produced makes a shorter timeline for the architect. This makes the roles architects play in the building process limited. The creativity of the architect could have changed also. The talents he or she was born will always be imbedded in the person, but their application in addition to their learning have the potential to shape those talents talents into a more refined architect, contributing to the needs for architecture for today and going beyond the standards the field may have created.

So, ultimately, technology may be looked at as either a good or a bad thing. Good because more options are available with materials. There are also more options available regarding the building of a home. An architect also has more options for design available. The cons on the other hand deal with the inability to understand all the tools and how they work, the limited roles an architect can play in regards to building the building and the lack of hand made artistic influence in the building is extremely limited if not gone because of technologies role. We cannot go back and change technology, we can only use it's influence to enhance our artistic approach to what we create.

I believe the question in the end comes down to "What can technology do to undo the mess we have created?" In the field of architecture now, I believe more than ever that we have to be extremely careful of not just what we build, but how it will impact our environment over time. The buildings, homes, bridges created during the industrial age and newer productions such as airplanes, cars, skyscrapers, etc all have a lifeline. Where did the 35W bridge go after it's collapse and where will the other mass produced houses be left when there walls start to decay? How can we build in an environment where architecture has been created for different purposes such as comfort, travel, defense, and escape? How can we use what has been left behind instead of mass producing more immediate comforts and adding to these aging buildings?

Here's one more technology idea for you then....I think there will be a camera that can take pictures and automatically identify measurements of whatever it is taking a picture of. We can then input that data into our program and use that piece of material however we please in the building we are creating. We will be collaborating our programs with the processes of building. Errors can then be detected before ever reaching the builders. Memory will expand and computers will get smaller and we will have more information than ever before at our fingertips.

March 28, 2008

Title Pages

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March 13, 2008

My rebellion

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I am forming a protest. My blog may be the only blog that you may see that does this, but I believe that it is necessary. When I received the news last week that we were going to the direction of thought of the blogs, I was appalled. It makes sense that we have an immense amount of work. It seems to make sense to combine two to limit the amount of work that we have to do, but let me assure you, this does not limit the amount of work that we have. This is my first point. As the example with this blog about presentations: the amount of time, effort and dedication to this blog would be the same. This would not change. Its benefits would lie with the presentation itself, limiting the need to figure out how to present the material. Keep in mind also, we are working in groups. The more options we have, the more we have to discuss.

My second point is my primary point though. It is what is being taken away from us that can have the largest effect. The blogs are not merely a homework assignment, they are an open-ended way for us to search in greater depth into the issues that surround us and ourselves. I have yet to see an assignment handed out from a teacher that reads: Find an architectural issue and relate it to who you are and relate this also to who you want to become. The only unfortunate thing about education is the lack of this open-endedness and self-direction. It can hinder creativity to the degree that as a person, you may not know what you are capable of contributing. If it is done properly however, creativity will not be enhanced, but it can me merely channeled into a specific project that is being worked on. In this case though, unless the person has done introspective work in the past, their full potential may not be fulfilled.

The blogs create a way for us to find out our potential. Saarinen says, “[Form] conveys its inner meaning with finer vibration and deeper expressiveness than can the spoken tongue.? When we are given these assignments then, we first have to think about it (which is sometimes difficult as the student expressed when he spoke of his brain exploding), think about how this relates to us and then find a way to verbalize what we have learned. I have learned that Saarinen is telling the truth when he states that often what I see and what I learn sometimes cannot be put down in written text, but I carry it with me. One example being my trip to Minneapolis to take those pictures. I remember the moment of stepping off the lightrail and being overwhelmed by the blanket of skyscrapers around me. A man approached me to ask if a building was open and that somehow lead into a short discussion about the beauty of that great city. The first picture I took was of the mayor and the buildings reflected behind him. “Form must be born in closest contact with the intimacy of life.? The blogs have truly helped me understand myself to a greater degree: What draws me (the skyscrapers, nature Blog 4,5), What perplexes me (the separated society with the urban environment, Blog 2), What envelopes me (the space surrounding me and how I see it, Blog 5), and how not to create a blog (Blog 1).

Within the confines of the blog page and the undiscovered world of the blog, I can truly understand an unmeasured depth about myself and therefore understand the impact I have as a designer. For truly, “increasing sensitiveness to these mysteries by means of intuition, instinct, and imagination, is the essential thing in the search of form.?

March 3, 2008

Minneapolis Memories

I am equally intrigued by nature and architecture alike. For me to separate the two is too difficult. Therefore, after a lot of thought, I have determined that the two spectacles that awe me the most are also the ones that have the greatest impact on who I am: the city of Minneapolis and Minnehaha Falls. Both have the ability to stop me dead in my tracks when I lay my eyes upon them. In order to understand this “phenomena? a little more (this definition in relationship to myself and my environment, the moment I see it, and the impact it has on me), I decided to go to Minneapolis myself and photograph the moments that take my breath away. This is what I came up with.

Frameworks:
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Clockworks:
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Minneapolis Phenomena:
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Minneapolis Opposition:
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Minnehaha Falls Frameworks:
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It seems as though nature itself is more clockworks than frameworks, and creations of man becomes more frameworks. It's hard to picture a leaf without picturing it's movement unless it has been placed inside a vase of somekind as an ornament to a rose. For this reason, I kept the Minnhaha frameworks as what man created in Minnehaha's company. The first picture is of the bridge that my brother and I used to climb. Probably not safe, I know, but still a ton of fun! I loved it's symmetry.

Minnehaha Falls Clockworks:
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Minnehaha Falls Phenomena:
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Minnehaha Falls Oppositions:
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This is a photograph taken from behind Minnehaha Falls by a local Photographer. There are two oppositions present. One is the opposition of light. It is night-time and their is still light coming from the front of the falls. The second opposition comes from the stillness of the "falls".

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I took these pictures last year. I went for a hike with a group and was boasting about the falls and how beautiful they were. Little did I know they weren't there! I came back the next day to take these pictures of the drought and what had happened to the falls. It was absolutely horrific to see the devastation the drought caused to the area. Phenomena can not only be a wonderful and beautiful thing, it can cause the human heart to drop to unknown depths. Fish were trapped in the little water left to the area, people had vanished, for the first time, I could actually walk down the river and hear the echo of the rocks on all sides of the lifeless, gutless bank. It's almost like I could feel the areas torment with each echoed and shallow step of rock beneath my feet.


February 24, 2008

Right here, right now.

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''Fate is like a small sandstorm that keeps changing directions. You change direction but the sandstorm chases you. You turn again, but the storm adjusts. Over and over you play this out, like some ominous dance with death just before dawn. Why? Because this storm isn't something that blew in from far away, something that has nothing to do with you. This storm is you. Something inside of you. So all you can do is give in to it, step right inside the storm, closing your eyes and plugging up your ears so the sand doesn't get in, and walk through it, step by step."
-Haruki Murakami, Kafka on the Shore

I chose this quote for one particular reason or one particular line. "This storm is you. Something inside of you." Stepping inside the storm and surrendering then just is basically allowing me to be myself, understand myself, and understand how I coexist with society. I cannot and will never change who I am. I think this will inevitably lead to unhappiness.

Reflecting on this question then and pondering where I would be, I determined that I could only be one place. Here. As I was finishing my degree at Normandale Community College, I needed to take one more class, take one more credit, to fulfill all my requirements for the MNTC. I ended up taking a career exploration class. That class founded all the loose ends of my woven web... or my sandstorm. It took my skills, values, desires, and personality and applied each category to a career: each came out to architecture.

"You will know you have found the career you were supposed to have when all of your talents are used."
-My mother :-)

Looking back, I have also found a sustainable pattern that leads me up to time in my life. Half of course is the environment I grew up in and the other half, what I believe I was given when I came here.

First, my environment. Without disclosing what I've been through, I have been through a number of things, as I know most have, that for me uniquely have strengthened me in a number of ways. It has also helped me to look and re-look at situations I am placed in. It has helped to become more observant of myself and my surroundings. Most importantly though, it has helped me become more introspective. This has enabled me to find what talents and abilities I really possess, which I desire to possess, and which can be implemented when, in which situation, and to benefit which person/people. It has also helped me to know how I react in different situations. It has helped to look at my environment and apply what I see to myself so that I am continually becoming a better person...or so I hope. I know now for sure though that I can accomplish more than I have ever thought possible because of these abilities.

My environment not only included my trials, but it also included what I surrounded by. As I grew older, I moved around a lot. This was something I became accustomed to and I also learned a lot about construction because of it. My father worked in various jobs, but always in the construction/housing industry. He was what most would call a handy man. I did not see what he did with others houses, but I know ours were always under construction. I saw garages built, heating installed, sheetrock put up, wiring put in, bathrooms renovated, you name it. My mother often worked by his side, and I often worked by hers. If she wasn't involved in a project, I would still watch by the sidelines and see what was going on. My brother had little interest in the construction from what I remember, but he was well into the cars. Fortunately, he would satisfy my curiousity for what was going on by letting me help. Usually I was the tool girl (and now I'm absolutely in love with any tool section I walk across), but sometimes he would let me help with the maintenance also, and I would absolutely relish in that. Now I get to boast of times that I helped him overhaul his 89' T-bird super coupe, silver. It was a beautiful car. I can also boast about overhauling my cars engine, with help of course...I don't know that much yet! But I know that I am one of the only people that can say that I placed the rings on the pistons of my car. It's a beautiful thing. Because of these experiences, I have enhanced my mechanical abilities and have also just learned to dig into projects and not worry so much about social stigmas attached to women and mechanical projects. I know that if they have a problem with their vehicle, their more apt to ask.

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What my brother's t-bird looked like...exactly like The only pic I didn't take of the bunch excluding the sandstorm.

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One of our old houses in Minneapolis (it was all yellow when we had it)

We lived right across from Minnehaha Falls when we lived in Minneapolis. I was fortunate enough to go to see the falls almost every day because all I had to do was just walk across the street. This experience opened my eyes dramatically to the world of nature and the ability to observe my surroundings. To this day, I am still in love with the falls and the beauty surrounding it.

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Minnehaha falls-Minneapolis, MN

Now because I know that very few want to hear about my talents and believe me I have no desire to boast, here are some of the pieces of artwork I have completed in the past along with some photography.

Photography:

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Lily at the Como Zoo Conservatory

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A path leading up to Minnehaha Falls

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Nature's simple beauty. Found this gorgeous image on a hike one day...when it was warm out.

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My dog because she's just that cute!

Artwork:

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I would often, and still do, make sketches of buildings. On a trip with my dad, this is a motel we stayed in overnight.

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Scratchboard

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Tiger Picture, done in pencil with a colored pencil background and eye

Even though there's very few photographs and pictures that I displayed, I believe that these portray what I am intrinsically interested in. I like to view all things around me and encompass whatever beauty may be found. In addition to these, as the second and third image under photography may show, I am very interested in pattern and mathematics relates to this also. It's amazing how everything in this universe is formed by laws, but still seem so unpredicable. It's beautiful how imperfect perfection can be. I have interests in business, helping people, problem solving, organization, and leadership in addition. I know that there is much that I have to learn still, but I hope that this is a start.

In the end, I don't believe that I should be anywhere else but here. I believe that I have been and will continue to always use my talents to the best of my abilities to benefit those around me and fortunately I have the ability to benefit myself also by attaining an eduction and the prerequisites for a career. By understanding myself, I have found solace in the storm.

The Uneven Surface of Gender Inequality

This script tells the tail of all the gender inequalities in Central Africa. In addition to these inequalities, other issues such as women's role in the family, and more specific issues such as the amount of pay women receive and the type of trajedies women experience, also exist.

Some Great Quotes (Self-Explanatory):

The true republic — men, their rights and nothing more; women, their rights and nothing less.
-Susan B. Anthony, (motto), "The Revolution (a New York weekly paper that she was proprietor of 1868 to 1870)"

We've got a generation now who were born with semi equality. They don't know how it was before, so they think, this isn't too bad. We're working. We have our attache cases and our three piece suits. I get very disgusted with the younger generation of women. We had a torch to pass, and they are just sitting there. They don't realize it can be taken away. Things are going to have to get worse before they join in fighting the battle.
-Erma Bombeck

Where the voice of the wind calls our wandering feet,
Through echoing forest and echoing street,
With lutes in our hands ever-singing we roam,
All men are our kindred, the world is our home.

Our lays are of cities whose lustre is shed,
The laughter and beauty of women long dead;
The sword of old battles, the crown of old kings,
And happy and simple and sorrowful things.

What hope shall we gather, what dreams shall we sow?
Where the wind calls our wandering footsteps we go.
No love bids us tarry, no joy bids us wait:
The voice of the wind is the voice of our fate.
http://www.gutenberg.org/dirs/etext96/gldth10.txt
-Sarojini Naidu, Wandering Singers

To be successful, a woman has to be much better at her job than a man.
Golda Meir

There can be no equality or opportunity if men and women and children be not shielded in their lives from the consequences of great industrial and social processes which they cannot alter, control, or singly cope with.
Woodrow Wilson

Action and reaction, ebb and flow, trial and error, change - this is the rhythm of living. Out of our over-confidence, fear; out of our fear, clearer vision, fresh hope. And out of hope, progress.
Bruce Barton

Just to be funny, a mathematicians perspective of women:
1)All women require time and money, so Women = time x money
2)And time is money, so time = money
3)So, women = money x money or women = money^2
4)Money is the root of all problems, so problems = sq. rt. (money)^2
5)Therefore Women = Problems

Songs:
Like a boy-Ciara
Alanis Morisette
Fiona Apple
Jewel-I’m sensitive and I’d like to stay that way (Not changing who we are to fit other peoples stigmas)
Mendelssohn-Violin Concerto #1?-very strong, motivating classical song.

February 12, 2008

Another blog for the heck of it....Singular or Plural

The english language has the ability to defiine its subjects as singular or plural throughout the context of the writing or speech. We define this by specifying the use of "a or an" followed by the object, or "s" at the end if it's plural as an example. We use this when we speak of place or places and so in our mind we think of a singular place or multiple places and some of this singular versus plural misunderstanding of place has been eradicated by the essay about Genus. I would also like to erradicate that misuderstand to the word design. I believe that typically when we think of the word design, we think of it in the singular sense just as how the world thinks of an architect in the typical sense. They think of someone who draws just as we think of a design as a drawing. We might even broaden that to the three-dimensional outcome of that drawing which is the building. Either way it is still a singular form in our mind. I would like to also apply the meaning of place to that definition also, pluralize in a sense the meaning, or at least broaden it, and see how the meaning of design can then be changed so that an architects drawing becomes more than just a three dimensional configuration. Space encompasses the whole. It feels the environment. It is more than just a moment in time, it is the elapsation of it. It is how the material performs to its surroundings, how those within the surrounding can be transfixed to whats around it. It is the sensations to the occupant, the air, and the "design" itself. This is the "designs" place. I believe then that when creating a design, the art and the beauty can be created by understanding these fundamentals. The basic structure is necessary, but the capture lies within the reflection of the glass, the bending of the wood, and the painting with an interior window that can be created by the passing of nature itself. The lighting seen from the exterior set from the inside can also create this or a view of another room. This is where the design and the occupants understand the pluralism of space. Design is not singular in nature, but it encompasses place as a whole. Just as art is appreciated at its best when its composition is uniform throughout, so it is with architecture and the design. The design is accepted and appreciated the most when it is understood in the composition of the elements of its place both within and without.

February 11, 2008

The Red Cardinal

Friedrich Engels describes the city in the chapter “The Great Towns? from The Condition of the Working Class in England. “The hundreds of thousands of all classes and ranks crowding past each other, are they not all human beings with the same qualities and powers, and with the same interest in being happy? And have they not, in the end, to seek happiness in the same way, by the same means? And still they crowd by one another as though they had nothing in common, nothing to do with one another, and their only agreement is the tacit one, that each keep to his own side of the pavement, so as not to delay the opposing streams of the crowd, while it occurs to no man to honour another with so much as a glance. The brutal indifference, the unfeeling isolation of each in his private interest becomes the more repellent and offensive, the more these individuals are crowded together, within a limited space. And, however much one may be aware that this isolation of the individual, this narrow self-seeking is the fundamental principle of our society everywhere, it is nowhere so shamelessly barefaced, so self-conscious as just here in the crowding of the great city.?
I was drawn into architecture for its ability to capture the things that I love about life and its ability to use my talents on an everyday basis, so when I walk the campus, I am inspired by all that I have been given and all that I will be able to make of it. I treasure the short, brisk walk on the way to the next classroom, the few moments I have to myself, but I can’t help but to notice with my upwards gaze those who are walking by. My attempts for eye contact in the past seemed futile. It is also rare for me to stumble upon another who notices the first cardinal in the spring time, who can enjoy the magnificence of the light reflecting off the angles of a steel building, or who just enjoys their morning coffee or laughing with their children. I cannot help but to smile when I see another do the same. When I meet a person with whom I can indulge in a deep conversation or one with which I can have a simple, unreserved conversation, I find myself happy to know that others like myself exist. I wonder why in this world where industrialization and urbanization has brought everyone closer together, why we still feel the need to keep our boundaries so separate?

I believe that several things may contribute to this separation. Designs may contribute to a degree, technology even more so. It seems to me though, that over the years, as jobs have changed, so have our expectations of ourselves during our workday which leads to a change in expectations after the work day is over also.

Technology and designs have simply made life more efficient and faster paced for everyone. Due to these issues, we are simply less likely to notice what is going on around us. We take less time to focus on our tasks or try to “multi-task? in order to accomplish more. Designs have made places and items more efficient so that we are less likely to have difficulties in operation or in finding locations, etc. Everything has supposedly just become “easier? for us to handle, so we can go about our day accomplishing other tasks.

As we have progressed from a manufacturing job era to a service oriented job era, I believe that this has created more stress amongst the general population. The time required in these two environments is similar. The pay may also be similar. The major difference that can be seen between these two environments is what I would call the placebo smile. The placebo smile can be seen now everywhere and of course everyone knows about it. Genuineness is a rarity and this due to the forced necessity of it in the service environment. In the manufacturing era, it was okay enough to simply make the products the best you could possibly make them. Now though, in the service era, you have to fulfill your job obligations, with not just a smile, but a sincere smile, because, after all, the customer is always right.

So how does this correspond to daily living? A neighbor next door? A stranger in the gas station? The bus driver? You somehow are expected to smile…genuinely…if you look at them. Right? So here are our options: avoid or placebo smile. Whatever happened to simply being human? Making mistakes or having a bad day? I would love to have a talk with you and if your views differ from mine…great. I want to learn. I would love learning from you. I would love to know that you’re having a bad day just as I am. I would actually love hearing that more than the same old, “I’m doing good,? or ignoring me totally. Look at me and frown, but at least look at me. And I hope that you can start to see the simple things again, the things that we design around. Maybe the next time I look at the first red cardinal, I may find that this whole time, the red cardinal was looking at me.
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February 4, 2008

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