Friday, May 11, 2012

A Home for Kids

My idea that I had to help change the world was to start in orphanage. I would start all my ideas here and get all the money, supplies and anything else I would need then travel to where ever a home for children was needed. I would hold as many children as possible and teach them the skills they would need to better themselves for later in life. I would teach them to cook, clean, grow a garden, and I would also educate them. Teach them to care and love for others and respect others.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Education Reform

In order to help America further better itself in education, I have developed a plan that would help with unused old textbooks. Schools could return their old textbooks to book companies for a percentage off of new textbooks. This would encourage schools to purchase more up-to-date textbooks for the students and help keep the schools in budget. When the companies received the old textbooks, they would then send the books to schools in third world countries that would need them, such as South Sudan. I believe this would not only help Americans but also be helping out other countries.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Hopper to help

"Hopper to help" a foundation that would help the main problem in the world which is hunger and starvation.Hopper to help is a organization that farmers can donate a hopper or half of a combine full of whatever they are harvesting to a food bank, to help out people overseas and in america. Even a little can help more than anyone thinks, this give every farmer a true opportunity to not only solve one of the worlds greatest problems, but also potentially save a life.

"There will come a time when you believe everything is finished. That will be the beginning."

Poverty is a problem that affects every country in the world. We need to provide the 'generation of the future' with a future. The problem with wide-spread poverty is limited access to food, clean water, vaccines, and education. In order to solve this, there are many possibilities. Child sponsorship is the most direct way to provide aid, short of traveling to a country, that is. Other solutions include getting involved and volunteering for groups that provide sustainable resources to countries in need. Willow Creek's 'Celebration of Hope' is one of these programs that is providing over 1 million seed packs to villages who need food and jobs.

THE BIGGEST THING THAT NEEDS TO HAPPEN IS A GLOBAL PARADIGM SHIFT. We need to realize that we're not the only ones on this planet and that we have the capacity to help other people. This needs to start with the youth of the world. Raising them in an environment that promotes giving to those in need will only burgeon their desire to help in the future and use that to help other people get involved in giving support to those in need. We can change the world; LET'S DO IT!!

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Last Night in NYC!

Broadway was the one big thing for me while I was in New York that I had to go to. My dream was to go to see Phantom of the Opera. Thats what I did. Brandon and I both bought tickets and we were seeing the 8 o clock show on Friday. We were so thrilled and our adreninal was going. Our brains and minds were in some many different places at once. We walked into the theatre and our hearts were racing. When I was younger my sister had seen Phantom on Broadway and I knew I wanted to see it as well. From growing up on watching the movie and listening to the music, my expectations were very high and the performance was sooooo much better then the movie. I couldnt take my eyes it for one second. So much just like the movie but at the same time there were small things that made the movie and the play different. Small things but those were the things i noticed. Some of the things they did to show off the talents of each performer was perfect and I would definitely go see this performance again.
After Brandon and I return to the bus it was all loud and fun inside. Our bus driver was totally up for partying with us. We cranked up the music and messed with the lights. Like a party! Funny thing was there was a group of people out on the street and were looking at the van like "umm what is going on?" We didnt care about them, we were having a blast and enjoying our last night in New York.

A Memorial Never Forgotten

To me when this happened I was not old enough to really understand what went on that morning in September. I was in 3rd grade when the towers can down. Personally I did not lose anyone in the Trade Towers but I have seen friends of friends lose loved ones. One thing I loved was the what the city has done, is what they are doing to remember everything. Where the towers stood are now fountains and along the side of the fountain are engravings of each persons name that lost their lives in the attack. They have a whole memorial for the world to see. Something I personally liked was someone had brought flowers and stuck them into names their loved ones. I think that is very touching and shows that they will never be forgotten in the world. Everyone else might but those families will remember them forever.

Day 3 - End of the Road

It is our last day in New York and let me say it was a fun one. My favorite parts were going to the China Town, St. Patrick’s Cathedral, and top of the Rock. China town was great because we got to see all the small shops and vendors but what was the best was going with Amanda to the little bakery. The food was rockin’. Their food was so good and very affordable. Every food item was on $1. That is crazy! Everything else in New York is expensive but then we get to China Town and you surely can’t go wrong! We didn’t get much time there but I enjoyed it.

Next was St. Patrick’s Cathedral and it was stunning. The inside and outside was very beautiful. I was amazed when Amanda had told us that the church was being built about the time that Ellis Island had opened and that the Irish immigrants had used every penny they had to build the church which showed that there was a lot of meaning behind it and I from what I saw, you could tell that they had put great work into building it. After going to the church I realized that I really had a thing for older churches. I just love how they look, the architect of them, and there just tends to be a lot of meaning behind the building itself and that is what I love most. St. Patrick’s Cathedral was just a great site to see.

Lastly we went to top of the rock and let me tell you that I was a little frightened. I am not a fan of heights so I was a little scared when we were flying up to the top on the elevator but once we got up there it was truly an amazing site. The scenery was absolutely gorgeous!

The day was a good last one even though I think that Day two was my favorite day. I loved everything that we visited. I am going to miss New York and all the places it has to offer. If I were ever to get a good job there I would take it in a heartbeat! It was a fun trip and I hope to visit sometime soon.

Friday, May 4, 2012

Day 3

The CFR today was more interesting than I imagined it being. I can't pay attention when I just sit there and listen to people talk, but at the CFR it was more of a conversation between us and Mr. Husain. It was a very interesting conversation and I learned a lot about foreign relations.

The CFR was more interesting than I thought it was going to be, however the Intrepid was more boring than I thought it would be. It was cool to look at the stuff that was there, but I would have rather had a tour guide show us around to learn more about the exhibits and the ship. I still thought it was awesome and a great sight to see, I just think that it could have been better.

After the Intrepid we headed into chinatown which I thought was perfect for the world geography class. We got to see a lot of foods, shops, and people from a different culture. Some people even did some shopping.

We had the chance to drive around a little bit before we ate and go see the rockefeller, which I thought was really cool. New York as all these skyscrappers and I was really glad I got to see the view from the top instead of breaking my neck to look up at them all. We even came up with the great idea of put ziplines from building to building. Although I dont think the idea would look as good in real life as it does on paper.

Tonights dinner was really good. Im still debating whether I liked ellen's stardust diner or Sabarros better. My favorite was probably the pizza. Its amazing how common foods like pizza and hot dogs taste so much better than back home. I was really surprised when I got my first hot dog from a street vendor.

After we ate we had one last chance to visit times square and do a little shopping. This was probably my favorite day in times square because we had a lot more time and got the chance to go more places. It was also Friday night so we got to see the square when it was really alive.

Todays driver was the best driver we have had on the trip. Not because the others were bad drivers, but because he interacted with us and had fun with the group. On the way back to the hotel tonight he turned up the music and was playing with the lights inside the bus. The whole group was singing along with the radio. I can say that is the most fun Ive had on a bus.

I really enjoyed this whole trip and Im disappointed that it is already to its end. Ive got the chance to bond with some people from Culver that honestly I probably would have never had more than a few conversations with if it wasnt for this trip. I also got the chance to explore one of America's greatest cities and learn a lot in a few short days.

I want to thank the school for giving us the opportunity to go on this trip, and the proffesors and tour guides for putting up with us students. I hope they had just as much fun as we did these past few days.

New York: Day Three

First off I would just like to say that we had an awesome driver today! He might have scared the living crap out of us by driving so fast but he was super nice and reminded of the New Yorkers you would see on TV. At one point he actually rolled down his window and yelled at people and he would also honk at people. When we were driving back to the hotel he turned the mix up really loud and started flashing the inside lights, it was like having our own little party! Cool!

So besides having a really awesome driver, we visited the Council Foreign Relations or CFR. In the meeting with CFR with spoke with Ed Husain. Mr. Husain specializes in the Islam foreign relations and I learned a great deal about the events that have occurred over the last year in the major Islam areas. It was great to learn the Tunisia actually started the power of over throwing the government. The surrounding countries felt that if Tunisia, a little man, could do it then why couldn't they? While there we were allowed to take books and I actually took three. One is about the education reform in America. Another one is about the drug wars occurring in Mexico. Finally the last book is about the violence in Central America. I look forward to reading all of these books, especially the education one because I believe it will help me with Elementary Education major.

The second place we saw today was the Intrepid. I thought this place would have been interesting then it was. It was interesting only because of the military background I have.  Also my uncle is retired Navy so it was cool to take pictures and send them to him. I sent him on of an old missile and he said he actually had the chance to see a real one be blown up. Also, I saw the airplane that Will Smith hit golf balls off during the movie I Am Legend. We started to get hungry and decided to walk across the street and get some food from a street vender. Let me just say this, this is the worst experience I had New York while here. I don't have much to complain because if this is the worst it was for me, then I think I made off pretty well. Anyway the street vendor ended up charging four dollars for a tiny hotdog and five dollars for a bottle of water. It was beyond ridiculous  considering I had previously paid four dollars for TWO hotdogs. Needless to say I will never eat at this street vendor again and told all my friends not to eat there as well.

After that angry experience we went to pick up our tour guide and headed over to China Town. If you ever get the chance to come to New York you have to go China Town. It is whole another experience. It smells extremely weird and you feel like you're in foreign country rather than the other way around. I bought a pair of pants for ten dollars in China Town that would have costed 20 dollars in Times Square. DEAL!!!

Before dinner we went and walked around Saint Patricks Church. This is the second biggest church in New York and where Jackie Kennedy attended church when she was younger. Her family even donated a alter to the church which is prohibited from being photographed. : ( We didn't spend much time in here because we were on our way to the Rockefeller Center to go to the top of the rock! I for one did not like the elevator up or down! We had to ride the elevator all the way up to the 67 floor! It was crazy! Once we reached the top it was beyond amazing! It was seeing New York from a whole new persecutive. We could see all the places we had been in the past three days and all the places we hadn't been. We could even see New Jersey. Being at the top of the rock is probably one of my favorite experiences of the trip. Today was defiantly my favorite day of the trip though. Although my the end of the day I was ready to just sit down and stop walking on my feet. I never knew my feet could hurt so bad from this much walking. I have no idea how people do it here.

After the top of the rock we and ate at Mama Sabarro's. It was an Italian buffet, which was delicious! It also provided us with plenty of food to last us the next day also but we weren't able to save any of it. When dinner was done we went and walked around Times Square and had a blast on our last night! I can't wait to return sometime again! New York truly is an awesome place to visit.


The first thing we did in NYC today was went to the council of foreign affairs this was a great experience because i really didn't know about this at all and i felt like it was a very important thing that is very under looked by the government. I never knew how big of a problem things affected even us overseas and how even little things change their views about us and our views about them.

The second thing we went to was Saint pa tricks  cathedral like all of these it was built in a cross shaped form had many very pretty windows and a huge amount of seating it was also very nice that there was a quite chapel for people to pray behind it all where your not allowed to talk or take pictures.It was a very very nice place.

The last place we went today was Rockefeller it was the best site i have ever seen of the city at the top you could see everything all over the city you could also see new jersey and other things it was very very nice it also gave me a big idea of just how big grand central park was and i really didn't know it was that big it was a great place to take pictures of almost everything in the city.We then wrapped up the day with a few last hours in time square.

Thursday, May 3, 2012


Saint Johns cathedral  was a awesome place it was built off the number 7 this sounds strange but it is true there is 7 windows, lights, chapels, pillars and many more things. This was truly a welcoming place and a amazing place i never expected it to be that big. The best thing i liked about the cathedral was the biblical garden.This had all the plants mentioned in the bible and it was really really cool.

The second thing we did was went to the Apollo theater this was a very interesting thing i never knew so many people  had preformed there and signed the wall. Billy was a great guy with a great story to tell us about his life.

The last thing we did was went on a bike tour through central park i also never knew there were so many things in new York there is so much history that goes with new York seems like every building has a story behind it i never knew that so many people had been there i guess i never really though about it.Everyday New York tends to impress me more and more.

NYC Day #2- BAM

Although today was not as close to home as yesterday, today was still a very interesting day.

We started off the day by visiting St. John's Cathedral. This was the favorite part of my day, by far, and a lot of that can be contributed to the fact that our tour guide in the cathedral was phenomenal. I really enjoyed the inviting nature that was emulated by the entire chapel, be it inviting to different religions, or people who focus their lives on different things. The incorporation of important religious symbols and numbers into the physical architecture also caught my attention. Being that I am a huge architecture nerd, I couldn't stop admiring the building, with all of its stone and impressive construction. Seeing the juxtaposition between Gothic and Romanesque styles in the cathedral was symbolic of the fight between good and evil in the world.

Next, we went to the Apollo theatre. This is such an important cultural icon in Harlem, and I am glad that I got to be a part of it for part of a day. Seeing people be passionate about something like that is very inspiring to me.

After the Apollo theatre, we went to the Metropolitan museum. I've never been a very big museum person, but this is the most I've been interested. I really enjoyed seeing all the different styles of art from around the world, and from different time periods. My favorite piece of art was the sounding post used as an alert system in the jungle. In addition to this specific art piece, I was also very intrigued by colors used by many of the artists. I plan to do my senior thesis on color theory and it was very interesting to gather information from a place that I don't know if i'll be abel to visit again before that project comes to a close. Noticing that brown was the most prominently displayed color was a huge help to me in gaining information about color theory from other areas about the world.

We followed that with a Pedi-Cab ride around Central Park, then by dinner at Ellen's Stardust Diner. Finally, we returned to the hotel for another night's rest.

Until next time!


New York: Second Day

Today we visited a couple different places but my favorite places was the first place we visited, which was Saint John's Cathedral. This cathedral was HUGE!!! The door way alone stood 18 ft by 12 feet and there were two of them! Our tour guide had tons of knowledge on the cathedral which made it even more interesting. Did you know the cathedral is built in two different styles one is Roman and the other was Gothic. The cathedral is unfinished unfortunately : ( Even though people can tour the cathedral they still hold services there. It was also really interested because almost everything in the cathedral can be traced back to the number 7.

The picture above is the gothic part of the cathedral. It probably only represents about 1/4 of the length of the cathedral. Imagine something this HUGE!

Next we went to the Apollo Theatre. I'm not gonna lie this was only sort of interesting. I think it would have been more interesting to see an actual show. It was nice to hear Mr. Billy tell how about he started in the Apollo and has been there off and on for the past 48 years. It was also neat to hear all the stories of all the people he has met. On one of the walls in the theatre every person who has performed there has signed a wall. Seeing the signatures of famous people was pretty cool. I saw Taylor Swifts, 50 cents, and even Barack and Michelle Obama signatures. I'm sure not many people could say that.

After that we went to the metropolitan museum. There are 19 different divisions in the museum but we only had the chance to visit about 4 of them. I think my favorite piece had to be in the Roman era. It had tons of detail and was just overall fascinating. It was tomb stone that had a detailed carving of man and little girl with a sphinx on top. The sphinx was suppose to protect the dead from anything. The detail of the man was suppose to describe the lifestyle he lead. It was my favorite because of the detail and it was spectacular. It seemed as if everything else lacked a little detail, but I still liked visiting the museum. When we left the museum our tour guide, Gene Curran, had a surprise for us and it was a bike ride through Central Park.

Central Park and the tour was great! Our tour guide had great knowledge of the park and he was Russian so it may hard and interesting trying to understand the things he was saying. While in the park we visited Strawberry Field which Yoko Ono Lennon built after John Lennon was shot. It is a dedication to him. A list of countries is on a plaque when you first walk in and all those countries helped contribute to the park. That was pretty cool because its amazing to know this one man had a huge impact and still does on trying to accomplish world peace. It makes you wonder if these people were still around today would we be in all these conflict we are in today or would they have thought of solutions to them?

When we finished with the tours we went to Ellen's Stardust Diner and I will definitely be visiting that restaurant again when I return to New York. It was dinner and show. Wonderful! Be sure to go there if you visit!

Day 2

Today I thought was a lot more exciting than yesterday. Not because yesterday was boring, but because yesterday was more of a day of sadness and a day that really hit home emotionally. Today had more happiness in the sight seeing.

Our first stop was the St. John. Cathedral which was huge. I was surprised with how massive it was. It was an amazing site and the tour guide helped a lot with how much information she knew. My favorite part about that stop was probably the peacock.

Our second stop was the apollo theater. I think that the theater would have been better to see when a show was going on, but it was still cool to see where some very famous have performed. I think that Billy made the tour exciting, with out him the tour would have been very boring.

Central park and the bicycles were my favorite part today. Getting to see the park and get some history at the same time is what made it my favorite part. It was information you can't get by just walking around by yourself. Not only was the park cool, but the buildings around the park were amazing too.

Today was a very fun and exciting. I look forward to tomorrows events.

Day 2 - Beauty of NYC

Day two of New York City was better than day one. I really enjoyed going to all the places and getting to explore the town a little more. The scenary and all the buildings were beautiful. If I were to choose my favorites places of the day, they would be St. John's the Divine and also going through Central Park. They caught my attention and just that they both had amazing details about them that made them stunning.

Starting the day off with St. John's the Divine was a great way to start. The architect was superb and there was so much that I learned more about the building then I did when I was researching the information for my presentation. I really liked the golden doors. They were 18x12 and one door had pictures from the old testament while the other one was about the new testament. Also the seven tongues was really cool and that every one was made different. The themes made it really interesting! But overall the cathedral was great! I would visit again any day.

The next best thing of the day was getting to ride on the bikes through central park. Our biker driver was really funny and gave us a great tour! Also getting to go see the fountain, and strawberry fields was a good time. But the best part was getting to know our driver and talking to him while he was showing us all the places that movies had taken place, where stars live, and also different things about people in the town. A good guide leads to a good tour!

Another great day in New York City and yet another day to experience so much more! It will be the last full day so I hope its a good one!

When we first pulled up to St. John's The Divine today, I really didn't think much of it. After I took a good look at the artwork around the church I couldn't take my eyes off the building for one moment. So much detail when into creating the cathedral from the doors, to the windows and even to the floor. One thing that really caught my eye was the The Great Rose Window. It sits at the top of the cathedral on the far west end. From where we were standing it didnt look all that big. The very center of the window is 5'7" and has a small ledge that a person could sit on if we could get up there and is also it is 40 feet across. To me the detail that went into designing this window was beautiful and very time consuming work. A lot of thought was put into this. The 16 petals that fan out all contain angels that are facing toward the center which is where Jesus sits. Seeing this glass window it tells me that you really cant judge a book by its cover. Always have an open mind to whatever the world may throw at you.
4-3-12 blog
my favorite part of the Metropolitan Museum was the knowa celling.  I enjoyed seeing how the people of a village would paint their family crest on a piece of metal or wood and hang it on the celling to make the celling for where they held ceremonys for the building.  I also enjoyed the apollo theater and seeing where some big starts got their start and i loved standing in the spot that they did.

New York City

Today in New York I had a great time at Central Park, I enjoyed the bike rides through the park.  My favorite piece of art work in the Met was the mirror that looked like a golf ball.  I really enjoyed shopping around times square.  The security has change so much since 2001, now they search all your bags, and you have to take off your shoes, jacket, and belts.  You can also only bring certain items on the plane with you.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012


New York city  has been a amazing trip so far. Ellis island was a amazing part of the trip for me i learned a lot about the immigrants that came there. One of the main facts that i remember is that Ellis island took in around 12 million immigrants so a lot of family's started there and is one of the most important places in america.

The next place we went to is united nations this is where everyone meets to try to solver world issues were everyone's country counts as one vote no matter how many people from china to a really small populated country.This is a huge! place that helps the country out in many many ways.

The next place we visited with the many other little things we saw was ground zero and this was really crazy because you literally will never know until you go there just how big the buildings were and how many things changed i was in grade school when this happened and i remember seeing it on t.v. but i never ever thought i would get to see it, this was a very good time but also a really life changing time because of all the relisation of how much this really affected people.

Fun Facts i learned about New York

1.21,000 places to eat in the city
2.It is the smallest county in america
3. 178 McDonald's in the city
4.1 million come in to the city every day to go to work.
5.Freedom tower is going to be 1776 feet tall in honor of the declaration of independence.

New York: First Day

Today started off as adventure to say the least. When were scheduled to leave the hotel at 7:45, but probably didn't leave until probably 8:15. We were already behind schedule and then our driver didn't even know where to go! He was going to take us to New York then to New Jersey in order to get on the ferry to go to Ellis Island and the Statue of Liberty. Eventually we arrived at the ferry around 9:45 and started our day! The ferry was in Battery Park. Battery Park was built during the War of 1812 with cannons and such, but not a single round was ever shot because the war never made its way this far North. I was really excited to go visit the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island. Unfortunately we didn't get off and see the statue because it is under construction, but we did get some great pictures! Seeing the Statue of Liberty was pretty breath taking. There it was, this huge monument that represents our freedom. I learned in one of the rooms on Ellis Island that the Statue of Liberty was actually shipped here in crates and stored for about a year until we figured out where to put the Statue. On Ellis Island I saw this room it was called the Dormitory Room. The room was models to look like the old rooms that immigrants had to stay when they arrived on Ellis Island. It was really sad to look at. It was stacks of stacks of really thin beds and three sinks. I can't imagine the hardships people had to endure just to arrive to America. The ships could take anywhere from a week to a month with very little food and hard conditions. After we visited the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island we went to the United Nations. I was kind of disappointed in this tour. The building was huge and it was cool to see all the 129 nations flags standing outside of it. Did you know the United Nations building technically isn't in New York? It technically is on international soil since it represents all nations, it does not follow any of the US laws and has their own police department and fire department. Another interesting thing was outside of check in is a broken sculpture from Italy. The sculpture is purposely broken and won't be filled in and fixed until word peace is achieved. Once we arrived inside and started a disappointment because of the tour. It was an audio which isn't a bad but there was some things I wish we could have learned about. There was this huge rug that took up a whole wall and everybody was taking a pictures of it, but we never learned what it was. I eventually did because I went through the audio tapes just to learn what it was because it sparked my interest and it actually turned out to be pretty cool. Other than that I wish the tour could have been more interactive or that we could have seen a one of our diplomats. The last huge monument we visited for the day was the 9/11 memorial sites. We started off with Saint Paul Chapel. I got extremely choked up in here and do just thinking about it. I have always been interested in the history of 9/11 and the remembrance of it and to actually be where it occurred was just shocking to say the least. At Saint Paul Chapel that is where the volunteers took breaks during the 8 months they worked non-stop to clear the debris where the towers were. Inside the chapel there was still memorable of letters, jackets, pictures, and anything from 9/11. At some points I had to walk away because if I didn't I probably would have cried. I read a letter from a little kid it said something like "I drew this for you. I hope it makes you feel better". It is sad to think that little kids were here and had to face this tragedy. I didn't know anybody who was in the towers or near the area on 9/11, but it just is amazing how this one event has changed America forever. The memorial is a nice remembrance of the victims. It isn't as touching as the chapel, but it was nice. There was lots of names and it was sad to see all the names because there was a lot. I would like to return when it is all done the museum in the memorial and when the Freedom Tower will be done.  I would like to return just in generally and see things when I want to and not have to be rushed on a tour. After we finished the memorial we went to dinner and Times Square. Times Square was AWESOME! It truly is the city that never sleeps. I got two shirts for $10 all together! What a DEAL! We will be returning tomorrow and the next night, hopefully for more than hour because there is so much to do! I would like to see more street vendors and visit more stores. We only got to visit Toys R' Us and Disney. Toys R' Us had a Ferris wheel inside of it and this cereal box size of nerds. Tomorrow will be another adventure! YAY!

NYC Day #1- BAM

Brandon Mundschenk
NYC Blog Entry #1

Today was our first full day in and around the city, and it was definitely a worthwhile experience. We did do a little bit of sightseeing yesterday on the way from the airport to the hotel, but today, we were well rested and ready for a great day.

We started off the day with a trip to Ellis Island and after seeing the Statue of Liberty for a bit, we took a short ferry ride to the museum and Immigration Center. The first thing we did there was watch a short film on the history of Ellis Island and the world's largest immigration period. Before the film started, however, there was a ranger talking to some of the kids in the room and asking questions about immigration statistics. This may seem insignificant to our own learning and development in the city, but I am passionate about children and have always admired the child-like curiosity found in youth. The children in the theatre were no exception. I'll touch more on this later, but I'd like to focus the main part of this entry on my reactions rather than spending too much time on a tangent.

The immigration film at Ellis Island was very eye-opening. Even though I have learned something about immigration, in different capacities, of course, throughout all my time in school, I was still able to learn from the film today and had a much stronger reaction than I ever had in the past. Seeing some of the pictures from Ellis Island when it was used as the gateway to America for immigrants was absolutely horrifying. The way people were packed into ships like cattle was shocking and reminded me most of slave trade in later american history. In addition, the stories were also very touching and informative. I especially related with the term "Island of Hope, Island of Fear," again, mostly because of my passion for children. Hearing stories of families getting separated because one member didn't pass a test tore my heart because no family should ever be forced to split up. It must have been gut-wrenching for a parent to have to leave his or her children at such a young age.

Another thing that stood out for me in regards to immigration was the sheer determination people had to stay in America. It is understandable that getting out of their homeland was a priority due to working conditions and the fact that America provided countless opportunities; some people took that idea too far when they would jump into the river after they had been detained and swim to freedom, effectively avoiding the law. Something is coincidentally interesting is while reading the book "Fast Food Nation," I have learned that many immigrants worked in the meatpacking industry, which is one of the single-most dangerous industries in the world. Because of this, they were not able to escape poor working conditions in America like they had hoped.

After the film, we had a little bit of time to explore on our own. There were many exhibits on the island going into further detail. Learning more about my personal family history and more about the conditions and tests they had to complete and fulfill before moving to into America proper was very interesting and appalling at the same time. Some of the questions during the mental test had to do with early American culture and standards, all things someone would not be used to back home.

Next, we went to the UN building and went on an audio tour of the exhibits on display. Although some of this information was rather repetitive in nature, much of it was new and pertinent information, even in spite of the fact that our tour guide was impersonal and didn't offer much additional information. We sat in the General Assembly, Securities Council, and then walked through the rest of the tour involving the Millennium goals and other UN policies. During the eradicate world hunger and slow the spread of diseases portions of the Millenium Goals, my passion for children got the best of me again, and I almost instantly thought about what else I could do to help. I sponsor 3 children in Uganda currently, providing them with food, safe shelter, and funds for education, and I am still learning new ways to help out and my passion re-ignites every time I learn something new.

Our final "big stop" for the day was at the Ground Zero memorial and surrounding exhibits. This was, by far, the most impactful part of the day for me on many levels. I lost an uncle on September 11th 2001. He was a fire-fighter from Philly who was called in a bit later in the day in order to provide aid for those in need at the site. My dad travelled when the memorial was first opened to memorialize my uncle and give the family some closure, but was unable to find his name on the memorial. Today, I found his name and took a picture to share with my family. Looking at the exhibits today gave me so much insight into my uncle's last day. My dad donated my uncle's charred helmet and badge remnants to the city for exhibits, so I was also on the look out for those. I wasn't able to find them, but that is not too surprising because of the sheer number of items they rotate throughout the city. This was a very emotional part of my day, and I am very happy that I was able to learn so much from exhibits and provide that closure for my family.

After a quick bit to eat, learning from a couple Culver-Stockton College Alumni, and an even quicker trip through Times Square, we made our way back to the hotel to do some writing and catch some much needed rest before another long day tomorrow.

Overall, being that this is my first trip to New York, I thoroughly enjoyed my experiences from today and look forward to spending some time in this city on my own.

In Memory

Today our class had a great first day in New York City. Personally, I learned so much more about New York and all the things that makes it special. But there where many things that had caught my eye when site seeing and touring. Remembering all those astonishing places, my favorite was St. Paul's church. Not only the story about the church and how it maintained to stay and not have any cracks in any windows or have any tombstones moved is outstanding and very surprising, but the emotional attachment it has with others is amazing and really touching.

Looking back at 9/11, I remember the day and watching tv, but only being in 4th grade I didnt understand what the buildings had ment or how important it was until after having being explained. Today when I was learning about the buildings and then we go to the church it was a really good experience that I would recommend to everyone. First thing I see when i walked in was the pictures of the people that helped and all I could realize is that it had to of been really hard to have to go through what was left of the buildings and the people that had died. The next big thing I remember seeing is all the pictures of people. I stopped and had a thought..."What would I do if someone I loved was in this accident?" or "Why did these people have to go through this tragedy and suffer?". It was hard to look at the pictures knowing that these people had bigger and better things they could be doing with their life to this day. Also looking at all the patches that were stacked was touching because it just brought back all the people and departments that had to be there and help to try and make things better for this city.

Such a lovely and peaceful building that holds such a strong background and meanign to the people of New York is what makes St. Paul's Church. It's a beautiful church and to have all those memories surround it along with the stories, made it my favorites place and I hope that everyone felt the same.

Day 1

The first stop to our day was Ellis Island. It was cool to see how people first came to America. However, the living conditions when on the island looked terrible. I know that I would never be able to live that way, so what the immigrants went through was amazing. When we went to the UN I was a bit disappointed, what we got to see was truly an experience, but it would have been nice to see more. The best part of that UN to me was getting to see the general assembly. Seeing the 9/11 experience really hit home. You can hear about it all the time, but when you see it for yourself its a different experience. I can't imagine what people in New York were going through.

We ended the day by visiting Times Square which was an amazing sight. Walking around the street at 9pm and it looks like day light is just crazy. I look forward to going there again along with the rest of the sights on the trip.

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Did your family arrive in the United States through Ellis Island!

Students will be visiting with scholars at the Council for Foreign Relations, checking their family history on Ellis Island, visiting the Statue of Liberty, holding a discussion at the 9/11 Memorial and Museum, seeing the internationally recognized Islamic Exhibit at the Metropolitan Museum, St. John the Divine, the Intrepid, the Apollo Theatre and the Harlem Renaissance, Central Park and the John Lennon Memorial.

Research on each site has been done in advance, and students will be making short, informational presentations to the entire group at the site and a reflection on the visits as part of the "final exam."

Global Issues and Human Geography, with Professors Terry Sherer and Chad Dewaard, have joined forces in looking at the United Nations'  Millenium Goals as they take off for the United Nations in New York City! The U.N. Millenium Goals have an expansive but straightforward purpose: to improve the lives of extremely poor people around the world.

I can’t wait to travel to New York,” says Sara Allen, freshman elementary education major from Rock Island, Ill.  My father is working in Iraq, so I’m anxious to visit the 9/11 Memorial and Musuem and learn more about the impact it has had on current world affairs.”

Jordan Thompson, sophomore elementary education major from Clarence, Mo (population 800) says, “I’m really waking up to the world and New York City--I’ve never dreamed of visiting, much less studying there.”

Students will be reporting on the "news" each day, incorporating the five themes of geography, looking at the foreign policy ramifications, investigating the progress toward the Millenium Goals of each of the seven continents as we move toward 2015, and engaging in thought/discussion about how they, as citizens, "make a difference" locally while thinking globally.

Reading and research in these classes focus on the National Council of Social Studies Standards as they are integrated in the development of experiential class work. Standards focus on culture, people/places/environments/individuals/groups/institutions, global connections, and civic ideals and practices.