May 6, 2008

Volunteer Journals For ACES at Green Central

March 3rd
Today was my first day volunteering with the ACES program at Green Central. I was nervous that I might be out of place due to my lack of experience in tutoring. The other volunteers and Becca helped me feel comfortable. Today I worked with Becca and the fourth graders. The fourth graders were definitely a group that needed the extra help to keep order. Today I helped a couple of the kids with any math questions they had. After the kids finished up math homework, I helped them work on a writing assignment. When it came time for choice time, I took a group of kids down to the gym. I played soccer with a group of kids in the gym. All in all my first day went very good. I got the hang of helping out the kids in a productive manner towards the middle of the first day.

March 17th
Today was all in all a lot easier than my first day because I had a better idea of what to expect. I also had a much better idea of what to do in order to best help the kids with homework. I worked with Becca and the fourth graders again today. Today did not go as easy as last week as far as helping kids do homework is concerned. I actually was in charge of convincing one of the kids to do his homework. This proved to be a bit of a challenge. This was a whole new experience for me. It was hard to persuade him to do his homework and it required some help from Becca. After homework time was over, the kids sat in a group and talked about global warming. After the group discussion, I took a group of kids down to the gym again. I played basketball with a group of kids for a little while, and then I switched to playing soccer with a different group of kids. All in all today was a new experience that resulted in a productive day.

April 21st
Today was my first day back to volunteering after almost a month off the Aces program at Green Central. I worked with Becca and the fourth graders today. Today the fourth graders worked on homework in the cafeteria for the first half of the day. I helped a couple kids work on math homework. After homework time the kids went upstairs to see a live owl. This was very interesting and the kids were very good during this time period. They had many questions for the trainer and were very productive. After getting to see the owl, I took a group of kids outside to play soccer. I spent the rest of the day playing soccer with a group of kids. All in all today was a very productive day even though it had been my first time back in awhile.

April 28th
Today I worked with Becca and the fourth graders again. Today we worked in the cafeteria again. We spent the day learning more about owls. I helped the kids out wherever possible. The kids watched a movie on owls and the Raptor Center in St. Paul. After the movie the kids were given a set of questions to answer. I helped out the kids who needed help answering questions. I hinted towards the right answer in order to not just give them the answer. It appeared to be pretty helpful to the kids. After the kids answered the questions on the movie, they all got pictures of owls to color. Once the kids were finished with this it was time for choice time. I took a group of kids to the gym again. I played soccer with a group of kids. I was even the goalie for awhile so they could kick the ball towards someone new. It was a lot of fun playing soccer with the kids.

Summary of Volunteering
Working with the ACES program was a very good experience. I learned a lot about productive tutoring of younger kids. The ACES program is a good mixture of learning experience and fun. It was always a blast playing soccer with the kids in the program. It was very nice to work with the same set of kids each time I volunteered as well. This helped me connect to the kids I was tutoring. I think they began to trust that I could answer most of their questions. The only thing that was difficult about volunteering for ACES was figuring out a time that I could volunteer. The only day that worked for me was Mondays at Green Central. Unfortunately in the spring semester, Green Central had like 3 weeks off in a row on Mondays. As a result I was only able to volunteer four times. I think that over the course of those four times I learned a lot of helpful tricks though. So all in all I’d say the ACES program was a very fun and experience filled event.

May 5, 2008

Looking to Indigenous Cultures

Is it really possible to look it indigenous cultures as a way to become a more sustainable environment. It seems like it would be possible. The only concern that I would have about looking to indigenous cultures as a model would be: will it be possible to create new and interesting designs using materials such as adobe, cob, or bamboo. My initial point of view is that it is possible to create beautiful designs from these materials. The pictures many have seen in history books of adobe homes in the Arizona region are an example. The big question though is whether or not these materials can be used to create a home along the styles of the taste of todays culture.

I am not so certain that materials such as adobe, cob, or bamboo can be used to create a home up to the standards of today's society. Many ancient homes created using similar materials have been designed in a manner that makes them beautiful. On the downside many of these same homes could not be fashioned to include necessities of many of societies needs. Electricity might be a big one. I think the idea behind the groups presentation was a good one, but upon further examination Im not sure how well one could make it work. If houses made of these materials can be fashioned to include items included in modern homes today I believe this idea could work.

April 24, 2008

Recycled Houses... Really???

The idea that I found most interesting about the presentation on Local Materials was the idea of using recycled materials to construct a house. When I initially thought of what a house would probably look like if it were constructed out of recycled materials, the image that came to mind was not a very attractive building. So I decided to investigate this idea of houses constructed from recycled materials through image. After looking around here is what I found. Many beautiful and completely creative houses can be created from recycled materials. I also discovered that houses made from recycled material do not necessarily have to look like they were made out of recycled material. The following is a set of the most interesting images I could find of houses constructed from recycled materials.









I believe that all of these houses are extremely creative. Each with its own twist or style. I do not believe that constructing a house from recycled materials will limit the ideas and the types of houses a person can construct. I was initially concerned that recycled materials would limit the type of houses a person could design. After finding these images I believe that using recycled materials is a good innovative way to design houses while remaining friendly to the atmosphere.

April 2, 2008

Three Possible Title Pages

The three possible title pages I designed in response to this blog prompt are all fairly similar. I personally am not too computer savvy and was not sure how to approach this assignment of different possible title pages. There is a provided link to each title page in order to take a look at them.

This first possible title pages centers around the idea of "Going Green". It uses cartoon like diagrams to explain processes that occur on a regular basis. It also explains in a way a method of addressing the issue of sustainability.
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This second possible title page centers around the idea of a "Sustainable City". It portrays images of how people typically see the city. It again shows a way or two of addressing the problem of sustainability.
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The third possible title page I designed centers around the idea of "Sustainability". It portrays and image of a city that's typically thought of as becoming more sustainable. This city being Chicago. It also gives an example of how sustainability can be thought of and what sort of actions can be used to address this issue.
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March 13, 2008

Presentation Programs

My group members and myself have already decided upon the type of presenation format we would like to use. Our idea is to use Power Point because we all have a better grasp of how to use it compared to other presentation programs. Either way I decided I should probably show a couple of different presenation programs. The following images are all different types of presenation programs.


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Corel Presentation









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March 5, 2008

Inspiration... Or just a child's toy?

Ever since I was a young boy I have been interested in Legos. They have been a way for me to creatively design objects ranging from buildings to vehicles. My interest in Legos has fostered my desire to design buildings as a profession. It may seem odd that such a simple toy would create a desire to design buildings as a profession. To me Legos are more than just a toy. Even today at the age of 19 I still love building Legos. They help bring out my creative side and help me see how different designs in buildings can be created. Some designs are completely unrealistic in today’s society, but someday in the future maybe these designs will be something more tangible.

Legos such a simple design right? How could anything complex or complicated come from them? Well if you don’t believe that Legos can be used to create complex and complicated designs, just take a look at the long list of amazing Lego designs pictured below. I did not build any of these buildings, but I would like to give a great amount of credit to the people who did. Over the years I did create some pretty awesome looking buildings ranging from a giant castle to a simple house with a complex interior design. The fact that such amazing Lego designs exist goes to show that architecture does not just need to be done on paper.








lego world.jpg

I’m not exactly sure if this is what the blog was asking me to illustrate, but I found these awesome pictures of really complex Lego designs and wanted to share them more people. I believe architecture can be more than just drawing. I believe fully it can be hands on in the form of physically building models. What better way to build an architecture model than using Legos? I can’t think of a better way to show off a building design.

February 27, 2008


What implications would the releasing of architectural students from the constraints of the ‘architectural school’ program have? Would these implications be negative or positive? How would this releasing effect the environment in different ways? To be completely truthful, I cannot even begin to describe the implications and effects of releasing architectural students from the constraints of the ‘architectural school’ program would be. Let’s be honest here though, who truthfully can predict all the implications that would be associated with this release?

I would urge that the implications of releasing students from the ‘architectural school’ program, in most cases would be beneficial. This releasing would leave students to get experiences geared towards architecture in everyday life situations. Students would learn from life in hands on situations, instead of just from books while sitting in a classroom. Many of these students could learn a thing or two by volunteering for an organization like Habitat for Humanity. Students could learn through physical doing of architecture. I believe this would have a profound impact on the environment in a good way.

Depending on what individual students did with this release from the ‘architectural school’ program, many different things could be affected including the architecture and the culture of a neighborhood. Some students would undoubtedly choose to focus on helping people with architectural design in order to further education in that field of work. Others yet might focus on the cultural side of architecture and choose to help families in the neighborhood. I would like to urge that both of these aspects are necessarily architectural and would improve the environment.

February 20, 2008

The Essense of My Values

I have over 6000 songs on my I-pod which is always attached to my belt. As a result this made narrowing what I see as the most influential music out of that list of music. These songs are a just a sampler of the type of music I find meaning in. If u want to know what other songs I find influential, Just Ask!!!

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February 13, 2008

8,000 Homeless On A Given Night In Minnesota...Really???

The old saying a picture is worth a thousand words is certainly true in the case of this image. This picture in a way sums up what the Habitat for Humanity is all about... What is the Habitat for Humanity all about you might ask. Well read on to find out.

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February 6, 2008

Understanding Time, Energy, Flow, and Transformation Through The City

Energy.jpg City's Energy.jpg
To understand the relationship of time, energy, flow, and transformation through the city -- a person must first understand what each of these terms means on a basic level. Time can be defined as a measure of the duration of an event or series of events. Energy can be explained as the amount of power that is produced. Flow can be described as the movement (often smooth movement) of an object. Transformation can be defined as an act of changing in form, shape, or appearance.

Time, energy, flow, and transformation are all aspects that can be seen in and throughout the city. Time is present everywhere a person turns. Time affects everything in different ways. Energy takes place in different ways throughout the city such as the power moved throughout the city. Flow can be seen in the way people or traffic move through the city. Transformation often happens in a more subtle way over a longer period of time in the shape of a new house being constructed or similar acts.
Traffic Flow.jpg Transformation through the City.jpg
All of these different aspects that take place in the city are caused by environment in different manners. As the sun rises in the morning it spreads its energy to every corner of the city. Flow takes place in the routes the wind takes through the streets of the city. Transformation occurs when the leaves drop from trees in the fall, often leaving the trees barren for the approaching winter. All of these ideas are rushed along by time.

Of course time, energy, flow, and transformation affect the city differently on the account of both mankind and the environment. The ultimate idea here, however, is that mankind affects the environment as much as the environment affects mankind. Both in turn are seen throughout the city everyday with mankind relying on the environment and the environment relying on the city in a way.

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