The University of Texas at Austin
Longhorn Confidential

Longhorn Confidential

Viva Honduras!!!!

I am part of an organization on campus called Global Architecture Brigades which is a volunteer organization that approaches architecture students with a design competition to design a school, or heath care facility in rural Honduras and then takes it to the community members who choose the winning design. Then the volunteers from each school then raise money to go down to Honduras and help build the school or health care facility. This January, 19 of us from UT joined 18 students from The University of Virginia to help build a school in Santa Rosa, Honduras that both schools helped design. We spent 3 days on the site building, 1 day at an orphanage teaching kids about architecture, and 1 day at a previous site to help paint. It was really hard work but I learned a lot about construction, what it means to be on a construction site, and most importantly it was the most life changing experience that I will never forget. If you want to learn more about Global Architecture Brigades you can click here.

What starts here

I don't know if the statement What Starts Here Changes the World could be any more accurate than it is here. Hook 'Em!!!

I was mainly part of the concrete crew where we mixed concrete by hand with shovels

I was mainly part of the concrete crew where we mixed concrete by hand with shovels

Building a wall.

Building a wall.

This is from the day we spend at the orphanage, we were teaching young girls about bridge building :)

This is from the day we spend at the orphanage, we were teaching young girls about bridge building :)

The is the UT crew at Santa Rosa on the the last day, it was so bitter sweet

The is the UT crew at Santa Rosa on the the last day, it was so bitter sweet

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January 27, 2012 | | By Vikki | 1 Comment

Another one down…

Well, it has been another great week on the 40 Acres!

This week I turned in my first report, had to walk to class in my first rain storm (though I am pretty sure it could be qualified as a monsoon), and am now gearing up for a ton of organizational stuff! All in all, a pretty successful week.

So my first report really shouldn’t be considered a report. It was for my Maps Class that I am taking for Geography. Basically we just had to go to the Map Room in the PCL (that enormous concrete building on Speedway and 21st across from Jester) and choose three maps that cover the same geographic area but are different (physical, political, land use, highways, etc.). We were then asked to cite them and then write a three page paper comparing and contrasting the different features.

First of all, I had no idea where the Map Room was, however, after getting there… IT IS AMAZING!!!! You can pretty much find any map you could ever imagine and then get this… You can check them out. Call me a Geography Nerd, but I just wanted to sit there and go through all of them.

Second, once my nerdy excitement had calmed down, I had to figure out how to cite a map. I had never cited a map… I thought a map was a map and you just said, “Map of Boogloler” but no, there are reference codes, authors, and dates. Luckily, the lady, I don’t remember her name (but shout out if you are reading this, also you had some awesome tattoos) she was great in helping me figure it all out.

Finally, I had to actually do the paper. I had no idea that three maps that covered the exact same area could be so different. I mean, I knew the basic stuff like scale and colors depending on what they were mapping but I had no idea all of the technical terms to look for (aggregation, amalgamation, collapse, refinement, displacement, just to name a few). Needless to say, I will never look at a map the same again. Just another way U.T. has taken something simple and changed it (let me add, for the better!). Anyways, I loved the assignment. Anything that involves me studying a map and I am there!!!

Okay, how about that rain storm! I know we are in a drought and all but that thing was ridiculous. However, U.T. does not stop for some rain (you have to get a tenth an inch of snow for that to happen… which this year, I’m not holding my breath). I am not really one for fashion, but the rain boots that people wear are great! Coming from a small town, I thought rain boots were just black and bulky, but oh no… Rain boots are a way of expression… from polk-a-dot to whale print… It’s hilarious.

We all made it though… Some wet socks (the worst thing ever by the way) and some damp backpacks but I didn’t hear of any slips or falls and no books were harmed. However, as long as you can protect that Chemistry book… You are safe.

As for organizations. This is “joining” season for the spring semester. I hope to have a full blog about it later so I will just talk about what I am doing in my orgs for now.

With Liberal Arts Council we are recruiting for new members. So if you are a major in the College of Liberal Arts and would like to be the official voice of students within the college, I encourage you to apply. We are getting ready to order our shirts, so after I got one of our talented designers within council (Cheyenne, thanks again! You are pretty much amazing) to come up with this amazing tribute design to Jurassic Park (by far one of the greatest movies ever made) I got quotes and we are now in the process of making the order.

With Senate, last night was possibly one of my favorite meetings ever. We were voting and discussing the Election Code and it was crazy. It seemed that all of the Councils were very passionate about how it went and we discussed, amended, cut, and made it into something amazing. People were discussing with others, talking among another councils, looking for compromises and overall, we weren’t too rowdy. (Carisa, you did a great job keeping everything under control!) In my Council, we ended up voting it down on the fact that we wanted it to be tabled until the next meeting so that we could discuss it further with our members. We thought that there were many changes that our members would feel passionately one way or another, so since we were not allowed to discuss the new version with them, we voted nay.

However, when it came to the second piece of legislation, dealing with textbooks and prices, we did table the bill because many Councils felt that they needed more time to read and understand what all was being said. By the end of the night, I felt bad for Kendra, the administrative director, she took all of the minutes by hand.

In conclusion, this weekend is my Orientation Advisor Retreat. It is the time when we will be divided into our committees for summer and we have a chance to finally meet everybody in a huge group setting. We will have a bunch of activities (I’m not sure what all we are doing) but I am sure it is going to be great!

Well, I have to catch up on my readings for the week…

Ciao and Hook’em!

Landon

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January 27, 2012 | | By Landon | Comments Off

your photo here