ALTSHULER, REBECCA CLARE's blog

Final Project Proposal

For my final paper, I would like to cover the content that we went over in class about bread. I chose this topic because I have always loved baking, so the process of making bread is very interesting to me. Additionally, bread in my family has very significant cultural and religious meaning, and I would love to further explore the significance of different types of bread across various cultural and spiritual traditions.

Genetic Modification - Progress or Peril?

This week I decided to research some of the animals in the Chinese zodiac that were not included in our class roster. The animals that I chose to focus on were the sheep, the rooster, and the pig. I chose these animals not only because they were a minority within our class but also because I felt that they were very prevalent in the food industry in America. I wanted to do more research into how these animals relate to the topic of genetic engineering and food.

Tiger and Spice and Everything Nice

This week I was able to learn more about my Chinese zodiac sign, which is the tiger. I was born in 1999, but because my birthday is January 13th and falls before Chinese new year, I am still in the year of the tiger. Through the Hox gene website, I was able to learn more about different symbols and character traits that are associated with the tiger.

The Energy Around Us

This week we learned about different sounds and the wavelengths and frequencies that account for the way that we perceive them. The first exercise in lecture was particularly interesting to me because we were able to hear the upper and lower limits of human hearing. It made me realize that even though there is sound all around us, there is an infinitely greater number of sounds that we are unable to hear.

My Mental Map - Making Connections

This is the map that I drew to represent what we have learned this quarter. I started in the center with the word “pencil”, since that was the first topic we covered in class. Around “pencil”, I drew some of the first things I remembered from the lesson such as the picture of the graphite pencil, a tree, and the structure of graphite. From there I added words that I remembered from lectures such as deforestation, carbon, hexagons, etc.

Unlikely Connections

For my mushroom hunting project, I decided to go on a short walk to a park near my house. I honestly wasn’t expecting to find much as I’ve been to this park many times. I left my house and turned on the audio. As I was listening, I noticed on the ground some small yellow flowers that were growing near the sidewalk. Although they weren’t mushrooms, the fact that they were so small and clustered together reminded me a little bit of the mushroom images that we had seen during the workshop.

Кулѝч (Kulich)

In our discussion of bread this week, I was particularly struck by its centrality in so many cultures. Essentially every culture in the world has some type of "bread" or starch based recipe that incorporates a grain such as wheat, corn, or rice. However, there are so many differences across cultures, and the taste, texture, shape, and ingredients that go into bread can vary widely. A pita is very different from a French baguette, but both are bread and have great significance to their respective cultures.

The Serendipity of Closing

 

For my location, I chose to walk to the beach near my house about an hour before sunset. It was still light out, but I noticed as I was walking that some of the flowers in the yard of one of the houses were already closing for the night. It's always interested me how plants, which we often think of as stationary, can actually move and adapt to changes in light throughout the day. It seemed like these flowers were starting to close for the night, so I took a picture of them.

From Graphite to Graphics

This drawing was inspired by the molecular structure of graphite and its relationship to pencils. I was interested to learn that graphite itself has a molecular structure with a repeating hexagonal shape, which is reminiscent of pencils stacked together. I depicted the molecular structure of graphite slowly fading into pencils to show how we as humans often take inspiration from nature when designing our own tools. We also tend to overuse our earth's resources, and I learned the environmental toll that pencils can have on the environment.

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