I'm not sure if these were supposed to be in two different pages but here are my reflections on two presentations from my discussion:
One group that caught my attention was the presentation about goal # 2: Achieve Universal Primary Education. It was not so much the actual presentation that interested me but the approach they took on the project. They chose to focus on Sub Sahara Africa and the low enrollment rates currently in the area. To solve the problem they decided to design a school, so instead of the children making longs trips to the schools, they're bringing it to them.
We were late. My roommate and I (who also started volunteering at homework and hoops because of this class) waited for the bus for 30 mins longer than supposed to which was the reason why we were late. I love that we have the option for public transportation except for the instances when driving a car takes 15 mins and taking the bus takes 45. But it's not a big deal.
Since we ended up being late we were assigned to do work for the organization instead of tutoring with a kid. Our project was to go through the computer games in the computer lab and determine what games were for what grade level and how many minutes put into the game would result in points (they get points for working which add up every so often so they can win things). We went through games such as Math Essentials, Consonants and such. We actually felt dumb on a few when we thought we could skip through the directions for the game and just attempt the problems only to find out we were messing up and getting the wrong answers because we didn't know what to do. Playing those games reminded me of the sweet games I used to play when I was little like MathBusters, Kid Pix and frog Xing. I look at the games my 11 year old brother plays which are mostly war and fighting. Nothing educational or creative. It's kinda sad.
Today was a nice reflection of my past and how I've decided my kids are definitely gonna be playing only enlightening games when they're little.
I'm sorry this sucks and I can't have it open up onto my blog. I couldn't figure out how to format it into the right PDF or whatever to put it on here. Plus microsoft word sucks with macs. Paint probably would've been better for this project. I'm going to keep this in mind for the future..
I would like our project to be organized but still creatively arranged. With bold words and smaller text to emphasize our ideas. Also our presentation should look and bring the attention to the readers. They should be drawn to it not because they have to but because they want to.
I want my house to act like these porcupines:
I want my body sheltered from the land and climate: earthquakes, moisture, wind, temperature etc. The built environment should protect us and be an opposition to the conflicts of the earth.
The built environment also describes the culture around it. My grandparents live in Finland in a summer house renovated into a year round house. The house is made of mostly warm-colored wood which blends into the surrounding forest. That house named "rauhala" which means place of peace. That place is where I go every summer and probably where I'll live when I retire so to me it makes me who I am. It gives me peace and happiness to be with my family there.
In connection to the built environment protecting you and showing the culture behind it, the Egyptian Sphinx Giza Pyramid also shows relative connections. This impressive pyramid has way more history than a wooden summer cabin just in a different way.
I met up with Sofia again at homework and hoops. She's such an interesting child. We talked for a little bit while we waited for everyone to get settled and for Maurie to start explaining what we were doing for that day. Sofia whispered to me:
"I have something special."
I asked her what she had and she took out of her pocket a small perfume bottle. Like one of those sample bottles except this one looked antique. She said she puts water in it so if she gets thirsty she will always have a back up. I thought that was a genius idea since I always carry a water bottle around just in case I'm dying of thirst.
We went along with the rest of the group to play games downstairs followed by study time. She had some homework dealing with putting geometric shapes into looking like numbers and letters. After a few problems one of her friends came over to talk. Sofia pulled out a jem pendant and said,
"look what I have!"
Her friend awed and ooed over it and a few more girls came rushing over to see what was going on. After they all left Sofia explained to me.
"And that's how you become popular."
When she said that I was kind of surprised. I didn't realize girls in third and fourth grade worried about popularity. I don't remember trying to impress my friends but then again I could already be forgetting what my life was like then.
Over all things are working out well this semester. It's a nice change to be around a different age group because since being in college I've only been surrounded by ages 18-22. No younger or older. It's definitely noticeable.
How I would change my schooling to advance my learning:
1. My goal for the future is to actually design baby clothes. Well, currently I'm studying architecture and I want to continue on to the architecture program. But two of my favorite things are babies (they're extremely adorable under the age of 3 and haven't been touched by reality yet) and clothes (because you can express who you are with out saying anything). Why not mix the two? Architecture is still in the picture; I'm going to create my own mix.
2. Artistically I would love to learn painting and ceramics and use those as my mediums for building plans and even essays given in school. With art you can express so much more than just the description of the idea; visuals give you emotion. Artistically I would incorporate an assortment of mediums to use for projects in school.
3. Bodily: Incorporated Nap Times in School. Enough said.
4. Lyrically... I'm not good at singing although I love music. When I'm working on almost any project (currently it's John Mayer- City Love) I need music to listen to. It's like a drug that can either keep me completely focused or turn my mind off and I let the music flow through my body and relax me. I think at the beginning and end of every class music should be played to get student in the mood to learn and at the end give them something to think about. Lyrics are stories with hidden meanings.
I believe these can all be done in a real place- this could be the reality of the architecture program but since everyone learns differently there's no way to combine every possibility to satisfy students which is why we have the constraints for the architecture program.
Goal 7: Ensure Environmental Sustainability.
What's this about? I care about the environment because recently the lakes in my hometown, Madison, have been increasingly getting muckier, the weather is being messed up and turned around. Even worse all around the world I'm hearing about forest loss, billions of people with out drinkable water and children dying because of infections from infected water and facilities. We could go from looking at our word as
to a desolate area with no clean water and dying forests. I'm hoping for the first. I thought this cartoon was fitting for global warming:
Saving the planet is just a mouse click away...
So while we're busy using up the word's natural resources, artists are taking the time to motivate people to change. This song is a compilation of multiple artists: Wyclef, Mary J. Blige, Monica, Claudette Ortiz, EVE, Musiq, Ashanti, Faith Evans, Fabolous, Brandy, Jadakiss, Jaheim, & Missy Elliot called 'Wake Up Song'.
Even though this is about voting, being an active citizen and taking responsibility and voting still creates an impact on environmental issues.
This song by Jack Johnson called "The 3 R's" directly talks about how we should 'Reduce, Reuse and Recycle" to help out the environment. The song was made for the soundtrack of "Curious George" to help sing to children the importance of recycling and helping out the environment in any way we can.
Here are some quotes that I thought were creative, yet sad:
"Don't blow it - good planets are hard to find." ~Quoted in Time
~Alan M. Eddison
"We could have saved the Earth but we were too damned cheap." ~Kurt Vonnegut, Jr
I'm from Madison, WI so Minneapolis is a definitely a larger city than what I'm used to. Crime is low and overall it's a safe city. I've been taking the bus to and from Madison-Minneapolis and when I was waiting for the bus to return after winter break a homeless man started conversation with me. He wasn't asking for any money just friendly conversation and I had twenty minutes so I accepted. He explained to me his past: his wife divorcing him, family across the country, currently unemployed. He was bipolar and had trouble reading which caused most of his problems. He had a job interview the next morning for a construction company which he was hoping to get. After saying goodbye to him and getting on the bus I realized that was the first time I'd ever talked to someone who was homeless. He seemed like a really great guy but the scary part was he was my dad's age, making him someone real.
Since coming to Minneapolis I've encountered my fair share of homeless people either sitting quietly or asking for small change. I've always wondered what their stories were; why they were homeless, if it was their fault or something else that caused their life to turn to despair. Large cities seem to attract homeless people, and at the same time aggravate businesses and residents in the area. As I got more in depth in my issue I came across an article from MPR (minneapolis public radio) about housing promises for long-term homeless people. Monica Nilsson, director of the outreach program, explains that: "one-night shelter stay can cost taxpayers and charities $32. The numbers spiral upward rapidly after that. A night at a Hennepin County detox unit is $192. A night in jail costs $363. The offer of a $600 per month apartment -- $20 a night." So it's actually cheaper to have a homeless person housed than have them live on the street with this solution. Even having housing/architecture students build as learning projects would help decrease cost of housing. If this program expanded and more people recognized the issue instead of leaving it as a problem I would hope this would solve homelessness not just in Minneapolis, but through out all cities.
Minneapolis Public Radio. "Mpls program promises housing for long-term homeless." January 22, 2008. http://minnesota.publicradio.org/display/web/2008/01/18/hennepinhome/ (2/12/08).
Loring Nicollet Bethlehem Community Center.
Last semester I worked with Maurie and the children of Bethlehem Community Center as an art project facilitator. I've volunteered previously at St. Mary's hospital but I've never worked one on one with children before although I've always wanted to. This was a great opportunity to find out if my love for children matched how well we actually got along.
I was happily surprised. Since I'm volunteering on mondays this semester I'm actually tutoring a child instead of directing a group project. Sofia, the girl I was paired with, immediately shook my hand as she introduced myself. We sat down and she volunteered us to be in charge of the play equipment. We headed downstairs and handed out pool balls and carpet ball materials and headed over ourselves to join the fun. After playtime was over, I followed her back upstairs to get started on homework that she brought. She told me she was in 3rd grade, two grades below my own brother, so I understood where she was at. As we discussed if milk was under a sweet or sour category and how to spell 'sauce' and 'unique' I realized how much fun I was having! Although we have a huge age difference we still laughed at the same things and we both were interested in each other. I loved hearing her ask me for help and her eyes brighten when she understood something. When our 2 hour session came to an end, we filled out our log sheet, and both felt accomplished when we could say we completed all of our goals.
I love being around people all the time. I'm rarely alone and if it is it's only so I can concentrate and get something done quickly and then I'm back to being around friends or family. Even one of my reasons for choosing the U of M was because of the large and diverse setting. I believe strongly that along with architecture or even designing anything for others you need to be able to communicate and respond well to other people. It's a relationship that without trust and an open mind would never work.
After watching the film in class I was amazed at what nature could become with a little work from the human touch. Most often we consider the human affect on nature as a negative aspect because of the growing problems with global warming, hazardous waste and rain forest destruction. But Goldsworthy turned nature into sculptures that demonstrated the flow and energy he put into them making it look effortless.