- My element was Gallium, and it's atomic number was 31.
- Gallium was discovered in 1875 in Paris, France by a french chemist named Paul E. Lecoq de Boisbaudran. Before it’s discovery, the father of the periodic table Dmitri Mendeleev predicted it’s place on the periodic table. He named it eka-aluminum as he predicted it would be placed below aluminum on the periodic table. Gallium’s main use is often combined with arsenic to create Gallium arsenide, which is dominantly used in electronics. Such electronics include the circuits of microwaves, infrared circuits, and high speed switching circuits. Also, Gallium is part of gallium nitride and indium gallium nitride, which is used in production of semiconductors mainly for solar panels, and laser and light emitting diodes. Gallium can also be used as a substitute for mercury in medical thermometers.
- My idea for the imagery was that since gallium is often used in electronic motherboards and such, I decided to place it inside of a computer screen, combined with a mouse, and electrical pathways coming out the side, representing the motherboard.
- I went through a strict process that I had in mind to create this print. I wanted to dish out as many ideas as possible for my print; some of the prototypes that I came up with was the Ga31 being microwaved in a microwave, lasers shooting at the atomic number and symbol, and the sun shining down on solar panels engraved with Gallium's atomic number and symbol. I ultimately chose the computer design due to it's connection to modern day society, and also it will be easily recognizable.
- If I did this print a second time, I would have probably tried to make the colors more full instead of making it look faded, because the fade does not play in with the theme of computers being old and what not. By making my color a bit more stand out, the computer will shine brightly on the print.
- I really enjoyed making the actual print, and using the ink alongside the brayer roller. It was really interactive, and it got me thinking that people do this as a profession, so they could make really cool designs with this kind of technique.
Planned, Spent, Wrapped and Sent
Welcome back! In my first post, I introduced the topic and the importance of poverty in Cambodia. I showed how some factors like education play a role in the issue, and the history of it. In my previous post, I interviewed my father, who himself grew up in poverty. He shared his experiences with me, and made some really key points on what he should believe happen in order for modern day Cambodia to make a change.
During my time between the last post and this, I’ve uncovered a couple of organizations that do work in Cambodia, primarily towards relief aid and poverty. One I have discovered in particular was Cambodia’s Children Fund, which is a charity directed towards children in poverty. They encourage impoverished children to hopefully turn into tomorrow’s leader. To do this, they take the children in, provide a home for them and enroll them in their “rich and challenging curriculum”, which will hopefully educate and inspire them. The organization has existed since 2004. One example of a major case was when they took in 45 children that was living on a garbage dump in 2009. Their programs focus on 6 core values similar to my own school’s values: Education, Leadership, Community Outreach, Healthcare, Childcare and Vocational Training.
Logo of the CCF
I believe that this organization is actually very ingenious in how they operate. They plan out their steps to create a better change, which is very organized, and they actually go through with their plans, which in the end results in an improved future for the children.
As explained in my previous post, I told about my plan to send a care package to Cambodia. I’ve decided to change a few aspects of the plan, since the plan itself is pretty tentative and supple. Originally, I wanted to send multiple care packages, each containing different items for different family members, but I concluded that it would cost way too much due to shipping and handling. In the end, I decided to send on big package, to one family of 4 that contained items that they would certainly prove useful. I included various amenities that you would not find normally in Cambodia or find at a relatively low price; some of these items included various hygiene products, clothing items, educational literature, and toys.
Examples of Items Included in the Care Package
Depicted From Left To Right: Men's Body Wash, Fragrant Shampoo, Mouthwash
My reasoning for including these items in the package was that hygiene products are hard to come by in bulk, and they are usually marked up higher than their original retail price than you would find in say the United States for example. Next, I included clothing because most Cambodians usually sew and stitch their own clothing, which while it is cost-friendly, it is not as durable as something you would buy from a big department store, so these clothes would give them a fresh change. Then, the addition of educational literature was party based that they are learning English in their schools, because most of the education system in Cambodia focuses on English more than Khmer, the national language, in order for them to travel out the country and go study in English speaking countries. With my books, which range from simple coloring books, to books like The Hunger Games and Maze Runner, this gives them a free and cheap source of education and leisure in their free time, which hopefully provides a boost to their English fluency. Lastly, the last example of toys is that most toys that are sold in Cambodia are cheap and break very easily, due to them being manufactured in China at a very low cost, so quality toys that I purchase from a store like Target will last longer, and hopefully the children would have a fun time playing with it!
Depicted From Left to Right: Toothpaste, Various Books
I did not have much trouble in purchasing these items, nor did I have much trouble packaging and sending it to the desired location. The only challenge I had during this Agent of Change was the items that I had to buy. I had to consider the people I was sending them to, so once I did, it made it for a relatively easy process. The package is still currently on it’s way to Cambodia at the time of this writing, so I cannot say for sure if it has made an impact yet on the family I sent it to, but I will provide you all with an update when the time comes. One thing I can say for sure though, is that I hope this will make an immediate impact on how they live for the next few weeks or years, and that I will feel elated knowing they can live in a environment that is a drastic improvement over their previous one.
The Agent of Change is the final part of the trilogy of You and the World and I can’t believe how much I’ve come so far. This has been a wonderful ride, and this is one of the few projects over my 11 years in the school system where it really got me thinking about my world. Multiple parts of the project widened my eyes on the issue in Cambodia, and really educated me about a deep and serious issue that many people do not pay attention to. I knew that there was poverty in Cambodia for a while now, but with the addition of the research conducted during the project, I never realized how serious and problematic the entire situation was. I saw my father in a new light after that interview and reading the transcript. He sacrificed everything he had to come to America, looking for the American Dream, and I am honestly speechless. Cambodia is in a bit of a predicament right now, and it’s up to us to see it. Sending a care package to a family, fixes a minute part of the problem, which is a huge step toward the actual solution of the problem. I wished I would have found a documentary to screen to an audience, but I felt the care packages felt more in theme with the entire problem of poverty in Cambodia. To be completely honest, it is going to take more than me, or you as the reader to put even a dent in the poverty situation in Cambodia. There is always hope, but the light will be at the end of of a long dark tunnel for Cambodia. We must spread awareness for this problem, and my Agent of Change will hopefully inspire you to do something similar. Remember, there are millions living without food or water. It is up to us to help them. Save Kampuchea! (កម្ពុជា)
A Unique Point of View of Poverty
A young child carrying grass for cattle. These are usually odd jobs any child can do for miniscule amounts of currency.
In my previous post, I introduced you to the topic of poverty in Cambodia. I provided immense research and information of why it's such a prevalent problem in the country today. One such factor was the effects of wartime, and another one is because of the deteriorating quality of education present in the country. After conducting a bit more research, I found out that the rate of poverty fell by almost 30% in recent years. In 2004, it was a high as 50% in the nation, before dropping to an astonishing but still troubling 24% in 2014. If the data was conducted in 2018, I would predict that the poverty rate would be around 13% if the poverty rate fell by 3% each year. As stated in my other post, Cambodia is backed by money from foreign aid. In my new research, I found out that such countries include the United States, and China. It is said though that China only looks at the potential resources and business that the country can offer, rather than pouring money in for the sake of human rights and living conditions. Over 70% of the country with a population of 15 million is under the age of 30, which is staggering for a country infested with poverty.
Houses on stilts that are deployed along the river are common sights to see in these kinds of areas.
Also related to the new information I found while conducting new research, is that while poverty is mostly in the rural areas of Cambodia (such as the countrysides and so), it is also beginning to appear in urban areas as well. Cities like Phnom Penh (the capital of the country), or Siem Riep (home to Angkor Wat), are slowly starting to see poverty rates rise. In my opinion, this is especially alarming because these are big cities and you should see people going to work and having conversations about the weather, not people begging for spare change on the cobbled and musty streets of Phnom Penh. The last piece of information that I found is that more than 25% of all households are led by a single mother, due to the wars and strifes that have occured during the nation’s bloody history. Combined with the existence of poverty, and an high rate of uneducated unemployed women, they often have to turn to the sex industry, which is another yet unofficial source of income for the economy. Due to this, there are a lot of question marks to whether or not the government should do something about this.
This graph shows the comparison between people in poverty and people who’s on borderline poverty. As you can see, the rate of poor people decreased, but the rate of people who are endangered to becoming poor is astonishingly high in 2011.
For my original research, I conducted an interview with my father. I produced a total of 8 questions, all relating to my topic. There was a lot of reasons for interviewing him such as time, accessibility, language barrier, and etc. But the main reason was that he is a person familiar to the country, with him growing up there himself. He to me is considered someone who lived through poverty. From my interview, I learned many things about him that I did not know or I knew but very vaguely. For example, my first question asked about how it was like growing up for him, and he responded by describing the hardships he had to deal with growing up. One such example included him saying that he would have liked to go to school, but instead he had to focus on working in order to provide for his family. A similar pattern I saw in his responses is that he believes no jobs and the government not caring are the main reasons to why poverty is so prevalent in modern day Cambodia. This leads me to believe that in order to extricate the root of the problem, the government must listen to their people more and there needs to be more jobs with higher paying salaries. These are huge additions to the understanding of my issue and I believe that learning from a person who’s gone through the same things as people I’m researching is invaluable to my knowledge. My personal opinion on poverty has not changed due to the interview, but rather it has strengthened. My opinion is that poverty is a major issue, and if it's not fixed soon, then the future of Cambodia as a nation looks grim and bleak. With this interview, this just confirmed my opinion and there is nothing that can even remotely change it.
Here is the person I interviewed, which is my father who is pictured alongside my mother.
This brings my Original Research post to a close. I hope you find the interview interesting as it takes you to a point of view that is told by a person who experienced poverty first hand. Now for my Agent of Change, I plan to send at least 10-15 care packages filled with various amenities and cash. Said various amenities could include, travel sized bottles of toothpaste, shampoo, or instant foods such as ramen noodles or other various instant foods. Monetary values could range from $10-15 dollars which may not seem like a lot, but one U.S dollar is worth 4000 Cambodian riel and most items in Cambodia such as clothing and food can be worth from around 2000-300 riel, which is a huge bargain. These will be delivered to my lesser relatives in Cambodia who I hope will appreciate it. This plan is tentative for now, but this is just a general idea of what I am planning to achieve for my Agent of Change. Thanks and remember, you can make a big difference to save Kampuchea ( កម្ពុជា)!
Run down buildings in a once what was popular shopping district is now almost destitute-like.
For a country (or kingdom as it was previously called), that was once flourished with royalty and riches has now fallen to one of the most poorest countries in the world. Coming from a family who almost entirely immigrated from Cambodia, the country holds a special place in my heart and it was painful for me to see millions of people living under harsh conditions. This past summer, I myself visited the country for the 4th time in my life, and it was like day and night between America and Cambodia. My family members who live in Cambodia mostly classifies as middle class and I lived with them during my sojourn there. We often traveled and visited family members who were living in poverty in order to support them and give them some basic necessities. One day you’re in the middle of a rich and wealthy neighborhood, and the next you’re struggling to find a running faucet or toilet. It was an experience that I cannot describe having to witness firsthand of people without the normal amenities such as water or food. Some signs were scattered alongside an unmarked path which roughly translates to “DANGER: Landmines ahead. Use extreme caution.” I’ve read about thousands of landmines that are still armed from decades ago, so this did not surprise me at all. As a child before, I didn’t really understand that much and paid no attention to what people’s social status because you know, children only see vacations as having fun! Now as a 15 year old, (14 at the time of the visit), it breaks my heart to see people live like this. My parents also told me that they had to live like this when they were little and lived in Cambodia. It just all felt surreal and hit a little too close to home.
Daily, people wait alongside on the road in order to busses or pickup trucks to pick them up for work in a factory. Dozens of these trucks can be on the road at one time, and up to 50 people can be squeezed in on each one, often crowded.
Poverty in America is nothing compared to what poverty in Cambodia is like. Over 70% of the population is classified as “poor” or “near poor”. The situation is so dire that in fact if those people who are classified as “poor” or “near poor” just lost 30 cents from their daily income, then they would fall into extreme poverty. Education quality is one of the biggest reasons to why poverty exists in Cambodia. Even though private schools become more and more affordable, public schools just cannot keep up. In 2014 75% of Cambodia’s high schoolers failed their graduation exam due to inadequate teaching and funding. Another major factor was history of the country itself. It experienced a bloody massacre which killed most highly educated scholars and farmers. Once it ended, the country was left to rebuild but the only people remaining were either children or small-scale farmers. Today, the country relies on textile manufacturing and tourism as its main source of income,but even so, this is not enough to revive the economy on its own as these are two very weak compared to things such as fishing, technology manufacturing and the car industries that are present in big countries such as Australia, Japan and the United States.. There is also a source of income from foreign relief as in 2015, the country received a total of $677 million dollars from foreign aid. Compared to other Asian countries such as Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, and Singapore, Cambodia does not farewell in terms of employment and the economy itself. Let’s take a look at a poverty map for Cambodia.
Here we can see two maps, one being from 2009 and the other being from 2012. In 2009, almost 70 percent of the country was in the red area which means over 40 percent of households were identified as “poor”. In 2012, the situation improved, with over 45% of the country dropping from red to green, but a large portion of the country still remains in the red.
Now let’s take a look at a comparison bar graph.
Cambodia has the highest poverty rate at 30% with Singapore and Laos coming in 2nd and 3rd respectively. The lowest is Malaysia with just 3.8% of the population being in poverty.
Finally, let’s take a look at where Cambodia stands in education ratings.
Like I said before, education plays a big part in why Cambodia has a lot of poverty. As we can see, Cambodia is ranked 116 out of 146, which is lower than average. Compared to other SE Asia countries such as Thailand and Vietnam, they just do not fare well with them.
Every day that passes by, that could be tens, hundreds, even thousands of people suffering from the effects of poverty. A staggering 37 percent of all children under the age of 5 suffer from some form of malnutrition. The main question we are looking for here is: Can we save Cambodia from poverty? The answer is yes and no. We can support from relief aids and taking down corruption, but we are only so limited in our power to end poverty in Cambodia. That is up to the government and its people to change themselves. No one deserves to live like this. The government has turned a blind eye to its people, and that is a dangerous place to live in. Extirpating the cause of the problem will help, but won’t solve it completely.
Even in their dark situations, Khmer children always finds a way to smile. One reason I can think of this is because maybe they were taught that everything will be fine or to just be happy. Either way, you can’t just help but smile looking at them.
Ever since I embarked on to that trip, it opened my eyes wider than before and burned the issue into my mind from then to now. It will always be a shadow in my vision until the day that it’s fixed. I plan to be a helping hand in the issue. For me, this IS my community. My international community of Cambodia. Educating others about this issue is something that I hope to accomplish by writing this, and I believe they will have a change in their way of thinking towards Cambodia after this. I am confident that the moment you finish reading this, you are going to do a Google search of Cambodia and learn about its history, photos, and the amazing landscape that it has to offer. Please, help save Kampuchea ( កម្ពុជា)!
I knew from the start that my slide was not going to be perfect, but I was prepare to handle any critique that was thrown at me. While I was presenting to my small group, the critique that everyone gave was constructive and resourceful. From their critique, I learned that everything could not be interpreted the way you want it to be. For example, in my slide I put a feather and ink as a symbol my for passion of writing, but Doug suggested that people may not what it means or what it is in the first place. I also received criticism for my placement of arrows, pointing out that I was taking away emphasis from one part and focusing it all on another and instead suggesting of balancing the ensemble of visuals correctly by connecting them. Finally, Jacob P. pointed out that my video game controller lacked depth and felt like it was “not up to par” and suggested I use a more modern representation of the video game controller. His final comment was that the color scheme threw off the balance of the slide and created discord.
In my reworked slide, I made those changes so the finished product will look more urbane and polished than the first time around. Instead of a feather and ink, I replaced it with a fountain pen writing some words so it could be interpreted as symbolism for writing. I also changed the arrows completely; instead of having a circle of arrows focus on the baseball I connected the “Choose Your Game” visual to the baseball just by using one arrow, which shows that they are connected in a way. The one arrow also makes it superior to the previous arrows, because that way there is less clutter on the slide to open up more room for empty space.
The research I did helped me create a better slide, by introducing me to terms I’ve never heard of before. Things of rule of third and empty space creates a visually appealing slide that reduces the amount of things that your eye has to see, allowing the information being processed to be quicker and faster. Previous elements such as texture, color, and lines that I had a basic understanding of before, I became more advanced in those specific areas. Not only this research allowed me to efficiently finish the project, it will also allow me to create future presentations that will be aesthetically pleasing. Finally, I’ve learned that I should keep it simple and not to overkill the design. In fact, while researching I found my new favorite quote that is a homage to what my design is like; “Simplicity is complexity resolved.” Various resources across the web were helpful in the creating of this slide. Some resources included Presentation Zen, pictures of IKEA advertisements, and various videos on Youtube.
My slide here today is part of me on a screen. This slide was designed using many techniques employed by Presentation Zen and various resources all across the world wide web. For example, if you see the contrasting colors inside the text, blue and orange go tremendously well together. I then made sure to include a lot of empty space so the visual aids and text would have a more profound effect on the viewer. Also, if you notice I used a drop shadow for the text and a reflection for the scroll behind it, making it appear like it’s reflecting from the ground. As for the actual visual, I used blue arrows around it signify that it’s pointing to the video game logo controller and the pen and feather, which stands for my love for writing. My goal for the text was 20 letters/numbers or less so you wouldn’t have to read that much.
I chose my way to design this slide because the baseball, video game, and pen and feather all represents 3 of my hobbies. I love to play baseball, play video games, and I am a passionate writer.