Tag Archives: independent study

Managing the Tanks Over Break and Returning from Break – Nick

      I was extremely excited over break as well as my return because of how much the experiment would progress. The next phase of the project was organizing the stabilization of the water in the tanks, figuring out the specifics on our actual coral specimens, then we had to sort out how we are going to set up the platform in which we are going to place the corals, and we had to finalize plans on the lighting fixture.

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Assembling My Experiment and Beginning Water Stabilization -Nick

This has been the most exciting two weeks so far in the duration of this project. This is because all of my materials arrived, so I was able to start to assemble my experiment. This also meant that all of my knowledge about my experiment and my procedure because I needed to properly compile all of my materials and place everything with intention and purpose.

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Gathering Materials and Planning Setup – Nick

   These two weeks have been a bit of a change. Instead of looking at different research articles and various YouTube tutorials, I was actually able to make this vision start to come to life with the addition of the first round of materials. This means that the next phase of my project is beginning.

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Introducing New Concepts and Building a Concrete Structure to the Project – Nick

   The past two weeks has been a relatively kinetic time span in terms of planning out the logistics of this project. I say this because there have been a lot of different things/ideas that have come into light that are taking this project to new heights.

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The Life of Robert F. Kennedy – Nawal

I decided to start researching Robert F. Kennedy and his assassination. Although his death was in 1968, I decided it would be important to understand who he was before then, and his life before running for office and his assassination. I broke up a two-hour long documentary between Tuesday and Thursday for a general idea of who he was, because I didn’t know much about him before. I plan on taking parts of this and focusing on specific aspects of Kennedy. This is a synopsis of his life: Continue reading

Reflections – Natalie

I’ve done a fair amount of reflection in my past few blog posts, but I suppose there’s always room for more. Over the course of this semester I’ve both achieved and not achieved my goals. I actually have a much clearer and more long-term view of the trajectory of my work, and a vision for what I want to achieve not only in this semester, but further on in college. Continue reading

Reflection blog – Perline

During my summer trips to Shimenkan, I was able to explore and view the current state of the village from my own perspective. The experience was definitely special and seeing the actual village made it easier to learn about the history. For a large portion of the semester, I’ve been studying the history of Shimenkan and I explored topics like poverty, the value of charity, charity and more. Continue reading

Assistant Teaching – Alec

My time in the 6th grade classroom is quickly becoming a part of me in that I am connecting with the kids much more now. I feel like they trust me now and they are much more comfortable with asking me questions and having me help them. I feel more and more that this is no longer just a project, but something that makes me get up in the morning and smile while walking through the entrance of the middle school.

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The value of money – Perline

How much has changed in Shimenkan since Pollard’s arrival?

How much has changed in Shimenkan since the Chinese government started their reconstruction work?

The answer to the first question is A LOT, but the answer to the second question can be both a lot and very little.

When Pollard first arrived at Shimenkan, he had no money. As a religious missionary, he had hope and a plan to do his work in the village. Without money, he couldn’t buy land from the villagers or the local government. However, he made a deal with the landlord. He asked for “some land that is only worth one whole piece of calfskin”. The landlord was confused, but he thought a full piece of calfskin is barely anything, so he said yes to Pollard’s request. That night, he cut up a whole piece of calfskin into thin strips and sewed them together into a long line. The next day, when he met with the landlord to take the land, he rounded up enough land to build a church with the strip of calfskin. With some villagers’ help, a church was built. In the beginning, the church served both as a school and a church. As time went, the first school and the first hospital was built at Shimenkan.

Three years ago, the Chinese government started to reform areas that are in poverty. Shimenkan was listed under one of the targeted rural villages in the “help the poor” project in China. In the whole process, the government invested over 10 BILLION Yuan on this small village. New apartment-style houses were built, and the village is physically connected with roads. However, even with the new houses and the roads, villagers here are still trapped in poverty. The government doesn’t seem to understand that the real way to improve these people’s lives is to teach them how to fish, not just give them the fish. From the physical appearance, Shimenkan has changed much more than what Pollard had done. However, what the village really needs is education that will provide them a chance and the ability to connect with the outside world.

With little money and resource, Pollard built a church, a school and a hospital that really improved people’s quality of life. With more than enough money, the government only helped the village on the most basic level. I hope that the government can see that it is the education system that needs to be improved so the villagers can build more wealth on their own.

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This picture was taken in the early days of Pollard’s arrival. I found this picture in the Shimenkan gallery.

Portraiture – Natalie

This weekend I finally got to get going on some of the stuff I talked to T. Chris about a week or so ago. Last night I had Maggie sit for me so that I could paint her. I painted her for about an hour and a half to try and get the bulk of the imprimatura done. Basically, the imprimatura is the sketch and toning layer of an oil painting. I first lay down a solid base color (this time I chose cadmium red with a hint of Venetian red to produce the warm pink color which underlies Maggie’s skin tone) by spreading thinned down paint with either a large brush, a paper towel, or a mixture of the two until I have an even medium to light shade covering the entirety of the canvas. Continue reading