Kiwanis Luncheon

“When you come to be my age, survival is number one,” Richard said laughingly.

Richard was one of several elderly people that I had the pleasure on meeting Wednesday, November 20.

Lane Tech, once again, hosted a Kiwanis Luncheon. Kiwanis is an international coeducational service organization that fund Key Club as well as Builder’s club and Kiwanis Kids for the youth and Circle K and Aktion club for adults.

Key Club officers, as like myself, were signed out of class periods for the day and were able to talk to just some of the great people that give us the opportunity to serve the community.

As a small group, our Key Club members went around introducing ourselves before we served lunch. By doing this, I had the pleasure of meeting Richard. This man was well along his years and happy as any man could be. He had so much humor within him and was constantly promoting the advantages of being a part of Key Club.

Having been in the Civics Room, waiting for the food to heat up, I also met Bob, a man that was also in love with service and very dedicated to his work.

Every Wednesday, Bob would buy meat on the North side of Chicago and drive all the way down to the South side to give the meat to a homeless shelter. This was something that he had already been doing for several years and seemed to never get tired of it. Throughout our whole conversation, Bob kept a warm smile on his face.

That day was not only the day that I met some very great people, but it was also the day that I learned about the Chicagoland Toys for Tots Motorcycle Parade. This year the Parade will take place on the 1st of December. The overall event usually takes up to five hours and they travel over 20 miles on Western Avenue riding on a motorcycle with a stuff toy on the front of the bike. This year will be the 31st year of the Toys for Tots Motorcycle Parade.

Seeing these men and women  that were in their older years already and learning several new projects that Kiwanis takes part of, gave me the inspiration to continue on with my community service. This is not something that we do for ourselves, but it is to help out the community in any humanly way possible. 

I see myself in their shoes several years from now, talking to teenagers and encouraging them to someday join the organization that dedicates its time to “changing the world, one child and one community at a time”; Kiwanis.

Typhoon Haiyan

Typhoon Haiyan hit the Philippines Friday, November 8th. With some preparation, President Benigno Aquino and his people made all possible preparations. Flights were canceled, schools were closed and many citizens evacuated the city in hopes to escape the typhoon. 

According to an article published toward the beginning of the typhoon called, Evacuations widespread as Typhoon Haiyan speeds across Philippines in the United Press International website, around 18,000 people evacuated to the Popog cave. Several others evacuated to different cities.

Another article published in the Reuters website named Super typhoon Haiyan slams into Philippines, at least three dead, stated that on average, the Philippines receive around 20 typhoons a year. But none like Typhoon Haiyan. Typhoon Haiyan had gusts of wind ranging from 147 mph to 190 mph.

In a video from USA Today giving another update on the state of the Philippines, International Relief Efforts have been working in a slow pace. During the video, Valerie Amos, United Nations Relief Coordinator stated that even the food and water that they have to distribute will not be enough to fulfill the Philippines’ needs. $25 million have already gone out to the relief funds to the Philippines.

The American Red Cross , along with Facebook, Unicef and lots more organizations, have been raising money for the people in need in the Philippines. Even America’s own President, Barack Obama has been asking Americans to donate money to the cause.  

Although there is much help to come from all over the world, people living in the Philippines cannot wait. Some of the Philippines have resorted to stealing anything that could be found in hopes of survival for themselves and their families. In a crisis like this, who is to judge the actions of the people? In the city of Tacloban, Philippines, there are about 293 local police stations but only 33 have continued their job. At this point, everyone has gathered with their families or strangers in hopes to survive this “hell”

In an articled in The New York Times named, Traumatized Philippines City Begins to Bury Its Dead, it stated the Typhoon Haiyan is responsible for around 2,500 deaths and several injuries.

In this crisis that the Philippines have been going through, the world must seize the opportunity to come and work together as one. Today there is a typhoon in the Philippines, but tomorrow there is no guess to what other country the typhoon would hit.  Right now, all the world can hope and pray for is the safety of those surviving the treacherous life in the Philippines.  

Engineering being brought to the classroom

   Living in the twenty-first century has become competitive in the work field. Education seems to have gotten at its highest in hopes to gain knowledge of the never ending advancements of today’s technology.
   With technology growing every day, engineering has become a daily routine in some of the physics classrooms of Lane.
   “A lot of the jobs now a days are highly technical and in high technical fields. Without skills involved in engineering, you are not competitive in those markets,” said Ms Finchum, Honors and Alpha Physics teacher at Lane.
   According to an article on chron.com, named Engineering futures are always  bright,  it stated that “Seven of the top ten highest paid college degrees are in engineering.”
   According to another article on usnews.com, named Seven occupations with the highest hiring demand, engineer was brought up twice and technology was in more than half the occupations listed.
   With the results from both articles mentioned and several other articles online,  it is safe to say that education amongst these topics are most needed to become successful.
   Along with the want of student’s success in a fast paced, technological world of today, Finchum also believes that by incorporating the engineering sciences, a student will show his or her way of thinking.
   “Engineering builds critical and divergent thinking skills which is, above all, a skill that [the students] need to have by the time they leave high school,”  Finchum said.
   Thus far in her physics class, she has had the students create a mouse trap catapult out of the materials that she, herself, has provided to teach the students about projectile motion.
   In the future she plans to continue enforcing engineering by building mini hydro electro generators to study magnetism and build photo voltaic cells. Finchum also plans on having her physics students design and make a sports shoe that will minimize or maximize friction depending on a specific sport.
   One of the things that Finchum most looks for in students is the need to stay active in a classroom so that the students will not become disinterested.
   “[Engineering] keeps the students engaged,” Finchum said. “A lot of the students, especially now, have a lot of trouble just sitting and taking notes.”
   Finchum’s ultimate goal for the students is to not only gain knowledge and understanding of the subject on physics, but to also enjoy the moments of learning.
   “If we have fun in class and we have a good day together then it is worth it, ” Finchum said.

Day of the Dead

“No es tiempo de llorar. Es tiempo para celebrar,” translated Ms. Zuniga said, “It is not a time for sadness but a time to celebrate.” Ms Zuniga, an AP Spanish Language Teacher started out her class in reference to the Day of the Dead celebration, Nov 1.

While many American children, as well as other countries that have now adopted the Halloween festivities, were knocking from house to house in search of the richest candies, several other families were in preparation of the Day of the Dead.

“No coopera para mi calavera?” roughly translated to “Will you donate to my skull?”

Zuniga reminisced back to when she was a young child living in Mexico. During the Day of the Dead, she walked around the streets of Mexico with her sister asking for some money with a picture of a skull in a box in hopes to collect donations from her neighbors.

Along with her adventures in collecting money instead of candy, she spoke of her experience with her aunt as she prepared the altar for the dead. The altar was essentially a place to highlight the deceased. Cempasuchitl, or flor de la muerte, (flower of the dead, named after its smell of dead flesh) is one of the most common flower decorations used in the altar. It was believed that these flowers helped guide the souls of the dead into the home and seek their proper altar. Along with the flowers, el pan de muerto (bread of the dead) is also an essential detail included in the altar. Differing between the creativity and religion of others, some families could buy the candy skulls, candles of different saints, or even host Rosemarie’s prayers.

Through the people’s beliefs they were to present the deceased’s favorite food and leave it out nice and prepared for the night. It was believed that the soul of the deceased would come during the time that everyone was all asleep when they would arrive at the house and enjoy their prepared altar.

The next day, when the soul of the deceased had had its chance to enjoy another meal on Earth, the food was then eaten by its family. The bread, especially made for the occasion, could also then be shared to neighbors and family members because the bread is too big for a single household to eat.

Being able to emphasize the traditions of an individual gives a chance to the person to highlight their culture in a new and creative way. Ms Zuniga, spoke of her heritage without difficulties and embraced the background in which she had for a long time grown up in. Whether it was a chance to collect money or a chance to see the altar of the deceased come into effect, Ms Zuniga witnessed it all for the Day of the Dead and continues to honor her family members that are no longer full of life.

Just as Zuniga said walking into her seventh period classroom, “It is not a time of sadness, it is a time of complete celebration.”