Friday, August 1, 2014

Last day in Chicago

The Sunrise walking back to our rooms
In the morning Alexa and I went to Starbucks to go buy a cappuccino for Alexa, so she could no.  I ordered a hot chocolate with a chocolate glazed doughnut. We went to Starbucks because she stayed all night working on her presentation that she had today. She needed to be awake at 7:30 AM because her group was going to rehearse for the presentation.  When we were on our way back to the campus, a security guy started talking to us and he asked where we were staying at because he had seen us passing once already. We told him that in South Campus Residence Hall. Then, he told us that if we knew that we had a Dining Hall there. We said yes but it was close. Alexa and I found out that securities work at night too. He told us that he been there since two in the morning and his shift finishes at 8:30 AM. We never knew about this and it surprised me because I couldn’t believe that they are there the whole night. When we arrived to South Campus Residence Hall we went to Halperin lounge where we were at working. Then, we started drinking our drinks and the doughnut too. I finished eating a group member of Alexa team came to the lounge to start rehearsing. I went upstairs to my room to sleep.

But First Let me Take a Selfie.
I woke up from the noise of the rain and it was barely noon. I started getting ready because I needed to talk to Achy for my grade argument. She was going to talk to us individual. But we needed to go at whatever time we wanted to from noon to four in the evening. I went to the Dining Hall to get lunch first. After I was done eating, I started walking to my class. When I got there she was alone, so I was able to talk to her. Achy told me that I have worked hard in the class, but we both knew that I was not prepared. She told me that I have improved these three weeks. That made feel good about myself. She recommended me to find someone who would work with me one on one. Also, she asked me how old I was when I came to the United States; I told her I was six years old. Achy also came to the United States when she was six years old from Cuba. Achy knew I was not in the level as my classmates because they all came from number one schools in the country and state. She also told me that if she was in high school she wouldn’t be in the level as them either. I remembered that she told us on the first day of class that she dropped off from high school. But she worked hard to get her Bachelor’s degree. Then she told me to keep working hard, to keep in touch with her, and that she would give me a letter of recommendation if I ask her for it.  She gave me a hug and a kiss, to not forget to keep in touch with her.

Cloud Bean
The Beautiful View
Group Picture
Later on, we went to Millennium Park with Alexa, Dani, Oyin because she haven’t seen the famous Cloud Bean and plus it was our last day to explore Chicago. We met Alie at the Millennium Park, so we could go to the Navy Pier. We walked about twenty minutes before we got to the Navy Pier. We wanted to get on the Ferry Wheel to see the City of Chicago all the way from the top. The ride was awesome and the view from the top was beautiful. When we got off from the Ferry Wheel, we went to take a group picture with Chicago skyscrapers behind us.
More Beautiful View

Navy Pier
Then, we went to go eat at the 20 degree to try the Chicago style hot dog. I ordered the Chicago style and a salad called, Fiesta Salad. We were talking about if we were going to miss people from school, what university we want to go from the ones we visit, and what time we need to be ready tomorrow. We finished eating and we came back to campus.
Chicago Hot Dog Style P.S I put ketchup on it

We all decided to go pack and take a shower and meet in Keller lounge at 9:30 PM. I went upstairs and finished packing because I started packing earlier in the day. Then, I went to Keller lounge where all the girls were at using their computers. We found out that in the West lounge they had an Ice cream fest. We all went to go get ice cream. Then, at noon we all singed happy birthday to Dani, she’s turning sixteen. We ended our night watching a movie.

Last Day of Class

Last night, I had agreed to working on our power point presentation with Bella and Madi (over Skype) at 7:30 in the morning. It was a late night last night trying to figure out the logistics of the presentation, so getting up early was hard. I kept in mind that today was the last day of class, which kept my energy up. We rehearsed it completely through, and it was about sixteen minutes, but we remembered that Cassie had said that we could include clips of the recordings used in the study in our power point presentation.  We chose to include these video clips in the result slide. The clips we chose to include were of the first participant suggesting there was a “spy thing”. We also showed when the first participant told on the confederate, Meg. She said to the administrators, “She took more than one toy… She taked six!” After we put in the video clips, our presentation was long enough. Bella needed to print out her notes, so I went to the printer with her. Then I met up with Oyin, and grabbed some coffee and an apple with peanut butter, before heading to class.

When I got to class, I saw that Cassie had bought snacks for us which we could eat while watching the presentations of other groups. Cassie also brought a friend to watch these presentations. My group was the fourth group to present, and only one group was going after us. I was pretty nervous, but when the time came to actually present, I feel as though I did pretty well. For part of our participation grade, Cassie strongly recommended that we ask the other groups thoughtful questions after their presentation. All of the different groups had very diverse research topics. One group studied if socioeconomic status has a correlation with when children begin to use two word utterances. Another group studied how boys of different ages could identify and categorize emotions shown to them in pictures. The presentations were all very interesting and it was fun to learn about what other people in my class were studying the whole time.

After everybody was done presenting their research project, we all sat down and reflected on our time in the class. A lot of people were very grateful to have had the opportunity to do an actual study and work with kids in the course. It was a very active and hands on way of learning. I personally really enjoyed when we were assigned readings and then the next day there would be time for discussions and opinions on the reading. The class was structured very well in my opinion, so every day I knew what was going to be expected of me. We took some group pictures and said our goodbyes, and then we all left. I was really tired, so after grabbing something to drink at a café, I went back to the dorms to take a nap.

Before long, it was time to head into the city for our last day in Chicago. Unfortunately, Victoria had more work for her class, so she could not go to the city with the rest of us. We were going to take a boat tour originally, but it was pouring rain before we left, so we had a change of plan. We decided that we would go to Millennium Park, then the Navy Pier, we would eat dinner at a restaurant called 25 degrees. At Millennium Park, we visited a garden, and then of course Cloud Gate. We took pictures and walked around a little before walking to the Navy Peer, which took about fifteen minutes.

Millennium Park

At the Navy Peer, we rode the Ferris wheel and saw the Chicago skyline. We went to dinner after a short time at the pier. Dinner was pretty good. The others tried a Chicago-style hot dog, but I decided to get something a little lighter. After dinner we headed back to campus. We were back on campus by about 8:15. I packed for the flight back home tomorrow. Tomorrow I will go back home after a month away, and it is hard to anticipate how I will feel upon arrival, but I will find out soon enough.

Last Day in Getting to Green: the Business Case for Sustainability

I woke up this morning very excited because today was the last day of class and I was happy that I wouldn't have to worry about any assignments that I would need to turn in but then the sadness hit me because this would be the last time that I would see all the new friends that I made and today would be my last day in Chicago. After I was done processing all of this, I dragged myself out of bed and I got ready for my day.
Sustainability Women
I had breakfast for the last time in the dining commons today with Alexa. She was on edge for the most part of the meal because she had a 20 minute presentation to give in class today. I don't think that my energetic mood made her feel any better. I finished eating and I started my walk to my class for the last time. When I got to class, one of the students from China, Rong, was writing some of our names in Chinese on the board. She was close to getting all of our names done but class started so she had to stop.

Our final assignment was to create a blog and to post on it a few times writing about anything that we learned in class over the last three weeks. In class, we presented all of our blogs and walked everyone through it. We each then looked through the blogs and commented and shared some of the content. This particular assignment was my favorite because I really enjoyed thinking back to what we learned in the class and then we got to express that into our own words and publish it for pretty much the world to see. I decided that I wanted to blog about the definition of sustainability, The Climate Reality Project, businesses going green, and Interface.
Collaging It Up
After all of the blogs were presented we started to work on our collages. We had a bunch of magazines that we could choose from and large pieces of construction paper. The objective was to put anything that reminded us of sustainability or anything that we have learned in the class. As inartistic as I am, I enjoyed this activity very much and I got into it as I kept on going on. It got quiet when everyone was looking through the magazines to figure out which pictures they would use. I felt that everyone was digging deep and reflecting on everything that they learned and were trying to find the perfect picture to represent that. When everybody was all done, we laid the collages on the ground and we walked around them like in an art exhibit. We each took turns explaining what our collages meant for the rest of the class.

Impromptu Art Show
Everybody shared their collages and before we knew it, it was time to leave and go back to the dorms. Before we did this, we all stayed back to take lots and lots of pictures together and to give Aleen a thank you gift. We had all signed a thank you card for her, made from recycled paper I might add, and we also got her a seed for a forget me not that she could grow on her own. Most of the time after we were done making our collages was spent taking pictures together and saying good bye. This was the saddest part of my day for me. When you spend six to seven hours a day, five days a week for three weeks with people, you get very attached. Everybody there has made my experience in that class an amazing and unforgettable one. I'm thankful that I got to meet a wonderful and diverse group of intelligent people.

Me and Aleen
I made plans with my cohort to go into the city after our classes were over on Friday. I got back to my dorm room to change and then I went down to the lobby to wait for our car to come. Vicky said she had to finish some assignments for her class so she wasn't able to join us on our trip. Alexa and Dani never got a chance to go to Millennium Park so we decided to go there. We walked around before we found Alie and when we did, we walked through Chicago to get to the Navy Pier. This was our first time at the pier. I thought it was very unique because if you look from one side, you would see the open blue sea and if you looked at it from another side, you would see the skyscrapers. We had enough time to go on the ferris wheel before dinner. I'm not a big fan of heights so throughout the ride, I was paranoid that something horrible would go wrong but I think I did a good job of not letting my fear show.

At Navy Pier

We ended our night at dinner and then we took a car back to campus. When I got to my dorm room, I started to pack my things. This was when the sadness hit me again and I sort of didn't want to leave. I've learned so much in the past three weeks and I surprised myself at what I had achieved. I managed to retain concepts like sustainability, materiality, net positive, supply chains, and direct and indirect impacts. I was able to look at various sustainability reports published by some top companies and I understood what was they were talking about. I now know what to look for when assessing a company on their sustainability efforts. Looking back on my three weeks here, I don't think that I was expecting to take so much from this class and I am happy that I went above and beyond my expectations for myself.

Reading Presentation

Today in class we workshop our personal stories. Achy gave us a great advice to not use straight forward words. Such as, rape, murder, fight etc… Instead of using those words we should describe it, so the reader can put the puzzle it together. When we finished on the workshops, we needed to read our obituary out loud. I like how all my classmates have big goals for when they grow up. All of them want to become great writers. I hope that they do reach their dreams because all of them are great writers in my perspective. We finished reading our obituary around in the afternoon. Achy then told us what we needed to turn in today. First, in an index card we needed to write how we wanted to get introduce when we go do our reading presentation in Seminar Co-op Bookstore. Second, we needed to send her emails about what are we going to read. Last, was to email her our arguments about our grade.

I came to my room and took an hour nap, so I would get lunch. I woke up from my nap. I went down to the Dining Hall where I saw Oyin with three of her classmates. I sat down with Oyin and asked her what she was doing. She interrupted me by asking where I was doing my reading presentation. I was in shocked and asked her how she found out about it. Then, she told me that Alexa has texted Alie last night, so Alie could come to help her on her homework. Oyin told me that all four of them were going to my presentation. It made me feel appreciated that they wanted to go watch me. Before she left back to class, I told her where my reading presentation was going to be.

I went to up to my room, someone knock on my door minutes later and it was Vicky. She wanted to know if I was in my room, what I was doing, and if I wanted to come downstairs to play Foosball with her. We went downstairs to play Foosball for an hour. Then, we went to my room because she wanted to do her homework in my class.

Pamela and I usually routine
Later, I went to meet up with Pamela. Today was my last day with Pamela. We ate some snacks that she brought. Pamela took out the vocabulary assignment that she left me yesterday. She was surprised about the work I had done. She said if I keep working with this type of materials when I go back home I would truly improve on my vocabulary. We also practice on my rehearsal for my reading presentation. We practiced at least four to five times because I wanted to gained confidence and not get nervous when I present. Pamela and I walked together to the Seminary Co-op Bookstore. Before that we passed to see the Booth Hall. Booth is the business school in Chicago. We went inside the building because she wanted to show me the winter garden. This building is so beautiful. I was very lucky to go inside and see it because they don’t let other students go in if you don’t go there. We started to walk to the Bookstore and when we got there I introduced Pamela to Achy.
Winter Garden (Booth)

The presentation started Robert went first and he read one of his stories that he worked in class. Then, four of them went and present. The presentation that I really liked was Lisa about Mr. John Greenwood. She was really dramatic and the words she used for her poem are just incredible. I loved her poem. It was my time to present and I was ready because I had prepared myself. I did a good job because when I was presenting I felt confident and ready. When the presentation finished I introduced Pamela to Alie. After, Pamela gave me a card and a book to read on my flight back home. Then we said our goodbyes to each other.

Alie, Alexa, Vicky and I were walking back to South Campus. I was talking to Alexa about that I don’t have class tomorrow. Then, she showed me one of her poems that she wrote on her freshman year. The poem was really great she have skills too. Alexa and Alie were working on the Halperin lounge, so I brought my stuff to join them.

At 9 PM we had our last study breaks and today we had cupcakes. My RA made cupcakes because it was going to be three people birthday on Saturday. They were Dani, William, and Amodhya birthdays. I also took a picture with my RA. I forgot to take a picture with Pamela, so I could have kept it for memory.
Jill (RA) and I

The IRB and Power Points

Today in class because it was the last day before we had to turn in our final paper, we spent a good deal of the first half of class working on our final paper. She wrote on the board the key problems she found in our final papers and results and discussions. Some of these problems included citations that were not APA style, using the word "kid", instead of the words "children" or "participant", which is more professional. Another issue was that in our papers we were saying that we were proving or that our findings were concrete and applicable. We cannot say these things because although research may suggest or support a hypothesis, it cannot prove anything completely. 

So we spent about an hour and a half just revising our papers. Then after people felt like they made significant progress, we switched gears. The IRB (Institutional Review Board) visited and answered some of our questions. We learned about the process of having a research proposal approved, and how it can be judged. Usually, they said, they try not to completely reject a proposal, but instead work with the researchers so that the proposal improves to the point of being approved. We also learned that the board gets about fifty research proposals to review every month. They hold monthly or weekly meetings depending, and on the board there are doctors and researchers and many other people qualified to review the specific proposal. 

After the IRB people left, we went to lunch and I went to the cafe again. This time I got Indian food and rose lemonade. I looked over my paper some more and made slight adjustments. After lunch I went back to the classroom. It is always nice when I get back to the classroom early and other students are there and Cassie is also there. We can talk about whatever because it is technically not class time. Today, Cassie and the class were talking about the college admissions process and its flaws. She also told us how she chose her college and so on. It was a really interesting conversation, but we had to start class soon enough.

 Today we were told we have a twenty minute power point presentation for the last day of class. Making the slides was pretty easy since they are very simplified, but figuring out what to say was more complicated. We were in class until about three thirty, and then we were allowed to go back to the dorms. I studied in my dorm room for a while, before going down to get dinner with Oyin, Dani, Victoria, and Katelyn. 

After dinner, Alie met us outside of the dining hall so we could all walk together to Jimmy's class's reading at a bookstore and cafe. I really like the poem called, "Dear John Green", by a girl named Lisa. Some of the other stories were very interesting as well. After the presentation, we got something to drink at the cafe. Then we walked back, and Alie helped me revise my final paper one last time. After she left I still had to practice my presentation. I am meeting up with my group members tomorrow at 7:30 AM, to rehearse the entire presentation again. I hope everything goes smoothly on my last day of class.