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Do we know how to learn?

September 16, 2013, by

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For my english class, (Equality) we were challenged to write our very own Manifesto. We were led to write a Manifesto after reading the famous Communist Manifesto by Karl Marx. After reading, we were assigned to write our very own Manifesto on something you felt was an equality in the word. I chose to write my Manifesto on the inequalities of the Chicago Public School system. Below you can find recorded bits and pieces of my work on SoundCloud, you can also find my fully written Manifesto below. I hope you enjoy!

Ownership has changed throughout history. By definition, ownership means “the state or fact of being an owner” (thefreedictionary). Now, I believe that ownership, in the modern day, is making the average person a “slave” to their job or school. They have restrictions on every aspect of our lives. Many of us can only make enough money to barely survive. Chicago has an unemployment rate of 10.3%,(Bomkamp) which is 3% above the national average. But, are our children owned by school? Children are told where they go to school by how much money their parents have, knowing the unemployment rate, these factors can be crucial. Independence in schools are scarce, although not as scarce as school funding in poor Chicago neighborhoods. Chicago has become the murder capitol of America with the murder rate increasing by 30% in the last year(Wisniewski). To add insult to injury, there was a teachers strike involving almost all schools in the city. If schools can’t even keep the teachers in school, do these kids own their education? Is this why so many kids drop out?

In 1957, immediately after the abolishment of segregated schools in America, eight students came to an all white public school. They were threatened, had stones thrown at them, pushed, yelled at, etc. The next day President Kennedy ordered the national guard to escort each student to and from class. This is regarded as a historical day in the history of race issues. I can connect this to school inequalities with the creation of magnet schools. Now, in certain schools, students are brought together by test scores, no matter their class or race. This can help eliminate racism in schools, uneven funding, and low test scores.

In order to eliminate these problems we need to follow a set of commandments. First, we need to abolish the segregation of schools by class, by turning all public schools in Chicago “magnet” schools. This commandment would create change because we would have the ability to teach students who are all on the same level of test scores. The average ACT score in America is 21.1, Chicago’s average scores are lower by almost a full point. Magnet schools could potentially solve this problem because you can separate kids by their scores, not by their class.

Secondly, I propose that all booster funding be distributed to every CPS school, opposed to funding a certain school. All funding and booster money to a certain school be, instead, distributed to all CPS schools. This would create an even amount of funding throughout every CPS school. Lane Tech High school has enough funding to run summer basketball programs, have a team with high class equipment, etc. It is famously known that the CPS school that NBA star Anthony Davis attended Perspectives Charter School, could only afford a water weight hoop in the parking lot. How can we stop this? I believe that that if CPS accepts all booster money and distributes throughout every school would give us better funding and equipment in all schools.

It is widely recognized that in the city of Chicago, nearly 1 in 3 black males are in jail by 18 years of age (Kerby). Is this because of poor education in schools? My third commandment is proposing there be a history of racism, inequality, and gang violence seminars taught in all CPS schools. This would help raise awareness for all students and faculty about inequalities and violence in the city. Often, it is teachers not giving these black males a chance to succeed. While this would benefit the teens, it would also do a great justice to the faculty.

The right to learn and own your education should never be decided by somebody else. While CPS has taken many steps back in fighting inequalities with race, class, and gender, I believe we can move forward with new ideas and open minds. Learning is something that never has to do with how you look or what you have.

SOURCES (Below)

Thefreedictionary. Farlex,inc. 2013. 9/14/2013. http://www.thefreedictionary.com/ownership

Bomkamp, Samantha. “Chicago job growth, unemployment rate rise”. Chicago Tribune. August 22, 2013. September 14th, 2013.

Wisniewski, Mary. “Chicago mayor touts drop in crime, murder rates remain high”. Reuters.com. 9/10/13. 9/14/13

Kerby, Sophia. “1 in 3 Black Men Go To Prison”. The American Prospect, Alnernet.com. 5/17/12. 9/14/13.



NS FFT “Death”

June 2, 2013, by

The purpose of this action project is to see how foods move from the ground, up to your plate. This action project took a lot of time to research and get all the information that I needed to complete this presentation. I learned a lot about oranges from where there are grown to how they get processed in the packinghouse. I learned that there are a lot more steps to making foods eatable. It’s not just pick and eat, it’s more like pick, truck, pack, market, to eat.




Shadows

May 31, 2013, by

For our action project in, Street math, we found a mathematical theory to apply to a real world occupation and situation. The theory I chose was similar triangles or in other words, finding the shadow of an object by using a secondary object. I think the hardest thing for me was to try and find a real world application for it. One interesting thing I learned was, the math concept itself. Below is my presentation!

 




Mapping out Chicago: Statistically

May 31, 2013, by

For my street math final action project, we were asked to create a math problem that connects to everyday life, and solve it. I chose to do a probability/ratio problem. In my situation, city researchers are trying to determine the Loop’s percentage to Chicago, and compare to that of Logan Square and Humboldt Park. I find this to be an interesting topic because we can assume that the Loop has a much higher revenue, it has a smaller area and population. For my project, I chose to do a slideshow and infograph to fully demonstrate the differences in neighborhoods. Below is a slideshow and infograph, check it out!



pH Levels-KG

May 31, 2013, by

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Photo Credit: KG

The purpose of this action project was to test 5 different water samples and determine their pH level. The pH level is what defines whether a solution is acidic or basic. This is determined on a scale of 1-14, 7 being neutral. The purpose of doing this was to see which water sample was safest to drink. Another aspect of this project was noticing that certain types of water that you think were neutral were actually more acidic than you would have expected. I am proud of the fact that I did this experiment, and am proud of everything I learned about water and its pH levels. I learned that bottled water is not the best drinking water, as it is actually more acidic than tap water. Bottled water had a pH level of 5, whereas tap water had a pH level of 6. The best drinking water has a pH level of 7. I was surprised that bottled water had the same pH level as the Bioluminescent Bay in Puerto Rico, since the Bio Bay is filled with microorganisms and has not been through the cleansing process that bottled water has. This was finding was quite unexpected!

Click below to read my lab report:

KG_pH lab



Area in Architecture

May 31, 2013, by

For the final action project in Street Math, we looked at how math is used to create certain types of atmosphere in urban planning. I was interested in how architects maximize or minimize space without creating atmospheres of claustrophobia or exaggerated distance. To do this, it is important to calculate area of a room. Below is an example problem using area and an explanation of how it relates to urban planning.

streetmath1

 

An image that represents how architects can use area to affect the atmosphere of a space is this photo of a tiny room:

WOLFF, Jose (2008). “Shinjuku, Tokyo, Japan.” Internet: Flickr

The use of area is effective in minimizing space, and to some it may create a comforting atmosphere, but to others it may make them feel claustrophobic.

streetmath2



Into The Future

May 30, 2013, by

This project was for my Food For Thought course. The purpose of this project was to construct a mural that would explain the four units of our course in four panels. In this project I learned so much about how much our food system has changed. I am proud of all the work I did in this project and all the information i collected for my mural explanation. You can click to see my full image and you see my written explanation below.

 

MY MURAL ON BLOG

 

For my mural I chose to do a time machine traveling trough time trying to figure out how much our food system has changed over time. For the first panel of my mural I drew a lush field of plants to symbolize how back then people let nature take its course and did not tamper with the plants. Also I drew the sun high up in the sky to symbolize how it was a much brighter time for the food system. For my second panel of my mural i chose to draw the plants dying not only because this panel is named death but because we stepped in and started to spray pesticides and other harmful substances on the plants. I drew the plane spraying pesticides to symbolize how companies try to industrialize plants and other foods that would otherwise be natural.In my interview with a local farmer the farmer said that he does not believe in GMOs and other unnatural substances and that he does everything organic. For my third panel I drew the dirt dark red and brown to symbolize what we did to the dirt over the years from lack of treatment and care I also drew patches of grass to symbolize the wholes of  ”bad things” in our food system such as bad pesticides and GMOs. I also drew the sky very dark to symbolize how it is a very dark and depressing time for the food system. For my fourth and final panel I drew my vision of what I think the food system should be in the future. In the fourth panel I drew the truck to symbolize the fast food and processed chain and the missile to symbolize organic foods making a comeback and rising to the top of the food system. I drew the raised bed because I think raised beds will be a thing of the future since they are making a come up now. And last but not least I drew the all organic sign because I still have hope that our food system can change for the better. 



In Defense Of GMOs

May 30, 2013, by

This project is for my food redux course. The purpose of this project was to present on your position for or against GMOs and try to convince your classmates to take your side. We had to choose a method for presenting such as slide show, speech, or video. I learned a lot about GMOs and what we use them for and why they are good and bad. I am proud of all the information I gathered and how much work I put into my speech. For this project I was for GMOs and I am for GMOs outside of this project too. My perspective has changed throughout  this project now I am considering both sides of this ongoing argument, but in some way I am still for GMOs.

 

SCRIPT FOR MY PRESENTATION 

I am for GMOs even though I do not always agree with them. The reason for that is simple, because we have a growing population and we have a decreasing supply of food. I think that if we use GMOs it will give us more crop production. GMOs also have a longer shelf life, which means it will last longer and it will save crops. This is because half the food we buy rots and we throw it away, but with GMOs we have more time to use that food and less trips to the supermarket.  GMO crops such as corn has lower fungal toxin content than non-GMO corn. Also GMOs allow farmers to grow more crops with less pesticides and fertilizers. GMO crops will also contribute to fixing the world hunger problem because GMOs have been proven to produce more crops. Since we have a growing population we need all the food we can get, and I think if we keep using GMOs we will eventually have enough crops to end world hunger little by little. In a study in the US from 2002-2003 there was a 13.4% increase in the production of corn i the US. I looked at calculations from 2003-2009 and my calculations are obviously increasing because of GMOs and these are the calculations I use to create the graph. I do believe that organic seeds and food are good, but I think we have to do something fast about the world hunger problem. With organic seed we will not be able to produce enough food as we need. Throughout this project my ethics have changed. I used to think GMO seed were very bad, but now I think there are so many reasons we should and need to use them for the reasons I have stated.

This is the data I used to prove my point in the debate. My data shows the increase of GMO crop yields in USA and in Iowa increasing.

Year
US corn yield per acre (bushels)
IOWA corn yield per acre

Year

US corn yield per acre (bushels)

IOWA corn yield per acre

2003

142.2

157.0

2004

145.9

162.0

2005

139.2

164.0

2006

149.1

166.0

2007

151.1

171.0

2008

153.9

172.0

2009

161.9

187.0

 

 

 



Graduation: Soundtopia’d

May 29, 2013, by

For our 4th action project in Soundtopia, we were assigned to coordinate and align the music for the GCE graduation! We each had to pick two songs to put into the mix. The songs I chose were “Good Night” by Kanye West and “Alone” by XXYYXX. I chose these songs for different reasons, but I think they both work perfectly for graduation! Below are my two artist statements for each song I chose.
SM
Good Night
Kanye West and Mos Def
3:05
The first song I chose to put into the graduation soundtrack is “Good Night” by Kanye West and Mos Def. I chose this song because of it’s slow timbre. It has a sad mood but a happy sound. Listening to this it reminds me of the last day of summer camp or something of that nature. The beat is not the most prevalent of the song, but it does a good job of keeping a good pace. The pitch of this song is high and stays high, part of what makes the song so memorable is that it never hits a low pitch. The timbre is screechy but very enjoyable. The timbre and pitch make the song what it is. To me, this is a perfect song for graduation or any sort of goodbye you may encounter.

Alone
XXYYXX
4:01
The second song I chose was the song “Alone” by XXYYXX. I chose this song because I believe it is a song that can work for a graduation ceremony because of it’s relaxed mood and ability to blend into any situation. I find the beat to be a lot of fun. It move slow and uses different sounds to keep it going, which is a lot of fun to listen to. The pitch is extremely low, much like a lot of XXYYXX’s songs. The song never really reaches a high point which makes it a very relaxing song to listen to. The timbre is quiet and deep. I feel like this is a perfect song to play while everyone is socializing before or after the presentation.



Feeding the world

May 29, 2013, by

For my hardest and final action project of the year in my math and science class, my project was to write a research paper discussing GMOs. GMOs are genetically modified organisms. They are manufactured by humans, meaning that the seed has been changed from it’s original genes to something that is disease resistant and grows faster. I chose to side with the use of GMOs all over the world, but I chose this side of the argument for the sake of challenging myself and for the sake of the argument. I really do believe that GMOs are wrong. The purpose of this project was to dive into the huge argument about weather GMO seeds and bad or good. I learned there are many arguments to support both sides, but I learned enough to make a final ethical decision. Below, you can read my final paper that I presented in the discussion and look at the graph I presented, showing data that prouves the use of GMOs produces more yields of corn than organic farming.

Read my essay here:  My essay

Graph

Graph