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Shirin Sadeh majored in Math and Physics in her home country, Iran, and now she teaches multiple classes including Physics and Astronomy.

Shirin Sadeh

lution alienated many secular Iranians, including Sadeh and her family. “My mother never was a religious perContinued from p.1 “I majored in math and physics in high son," Sadeh said. "My dad was of Islamic school in Iran because they ask you to persuasions, but never a fanatic. He never choose a major in the 10th, 11th, 12th raised any of us to believe in anything that grade—the last three years. I picked math he necessarily believed in. He left it open and physics because that was what I liked,” and free for us to choose what we wanted Sadeh said. “I was on my way to doing to. I certainly was never a religious person something with these fields. And then, of of any kind. Not Islam or anything else. I was trained scicourse, I started “They shut down the universities entifically, so I college in Iran. and all other public places that the look for evidence During the first young people attended because they and that’s what’s year in college, were afraid of demonstrations and enough for me." Iran had a revo“None of my lution.” uprisings” siblings were reSHIRIN SADEH Disrupting a PROFESSOR ligious," Sadeh period of relasaid. "For them, tive prosperity, this new governthe revolution swept across Iran in 1979, transforming the secular, westernized na- ment was extremely fanatic. They didn’t like the way things were changing. But, tion into an Islamic Republic. Within a few tumultuous years, the pre- you’re a minority. What are you going to siding Iranian monarch, Mohammad Reza do in a situation where most of the people Pahlavi, was ousted by a popular move- want the change? They grinned and beared ment and replaced by the Grand Ayatol- it.” With the Iranian Revolution in full lah Ruhollah Khomeini, ushering in a new swing, Sadeh’s father sought to send her era of uncertainty and conflict. “They shut down the universities and all abroad to finish her studies in an environother public places that the young people ment less hostile to the scientific commuattended because they were afraid of dem- nity’s secular leanings. “I was sent to Syracuse, New York by onstrations and uprisings,” Sadeh said. my dad to continue my studies there,” “For about a year and a half, everybody was sent home from college, waiting to see Sadeh said. “I majored in physics at Syrawhat would happen with the revolution. cuse University, double majored math and What the new government would be like physics both. I got my bachelor’s degree and would they open the universities any and went to graduate school of physics in Connecticut. From there, back to Syracuse time soon.” The fundamentalist nature of the revo- for another graduate degree.”


Although Sadeh capitalized on the op- had to navigate many of the typical hardportunity to emigrate her troubled home- ships common to newly-arrived foreignland, her parents declined to follow. ers. “They’re traditional people who believe “You’re homesick, you’re a foreign stuin their own country and staying where dent in America, and you’re walking down they developed roots," Sadeh said. "I was the street missing your family,” Sadeh said. just a young kid without anything of my “I was used to having people around me. own other than my mom and dad and sib- That moral support, that connection that lings, so it was easier for me to take off.” is of the human kind was always surArriving in upstate rounding me. I came New York as a young here to the United States, Iranian immigrant, SaI was all alone, missing deh possessed more my family and this is in knowledge of Ameri1979. There were no cell can culture than most phones. Calling and condue to her upbringing necting with somebody in Rasht’s relatively coson the other side of the mopolitan milieu. world wasn’t as easy as it “We had a lot of foris today. Once a month, eigners in Iran," Sadeh maybe, I could afford to said. "And because our vienna santos/the campus call my parents and hear hometown was so close their voices.” This sense of isolation and estrangement to the beaches, we had a lot of our friends come and spend at least part of the sum- from her native culture was compounded mer in my parents home with an easy by the beginning of the bloody, eight yearcommute to the beaches. Among those long Iran–Iraq War of the 1980s. While people that spent a lot of time in my par- Sadeh was safely abroad working toward her academic goals in Syracuse, war was ents’ home were American friends.” raging back home. Language did not pose a significant ob“They [Iran] fought Iraq, a neighbor stacle for Sadeh upon her immigration. country,” Sadeh said. “It was very diffiAlthough Farsi is Sadeh’s native tongue, cult for everyone that lived there, espeshe gained an understanding of English cially if you lived anywhere near the borin her formative years through her com- der with Iraq. There were times when the prehensive education. Prior to the revolu- sirens would go off and they would have tion, English was taught as a second lan- to go hide under the staircase because the guage in Iranian schools, giving Sadeh a bombings were happening. The enemy was notable advantage over most immigrants there, bombing the city. Lucky for them, they’re far enough away from the capital, to America. Even with these advantages, Sadeh still SHIRIN SADEH on 5 »

Students built the tiny house from scratch since 2015 with the instruction of John Rector, who is a construction technology professor at College of the Sequoias.

Tiny House Continued from p.1

The college’s finished product will be judged on three structure-related categories: architecture, energy and home life. Students will also be judged on how well they communicate the process of building the house and document their work. Architecture and Home Life 300 points of the final 1,000 point score will be dedicated to the house’s architecture: its structure, its drawings, and how livable the final product is for up to two people. Another 200 revolve around “Home Life”: providing a safe and functional home, sustainably managing water and waste, and meeting the needs of the target client of the house. In the Architecture portion, judges will evaluate the use of materials -- the target construction cost, according to SMUD, should be $25,000, excluding the cost of labor and the trailer. If construction is more expensive, judges will deduct points on a sliding scale, where the $25,000 figure is awarded 35 points, and a $60,000 construction cost is awarded

zero points. Judges will also look at how easily reproduced the design and construction of the house is, the quality of the components used, and how easily the house can be transported. In the Home Life category, judges will look at how well entrants’ houses fit their target client, their interior and exterior “appeal,” and their strategic use of water. The house is fitted with two 65-gallon water tanks, one for clean water, and one for “grey water.” It also has a fully functioning “grey water” system, Rector said, that is used to provide water for toilet flushes and for watering plants. “Our filter is clean enough, you could really use it to take a shower again with,” Rector said. “The major filtration media is stand, and there’s a little polishing filter that maybe lasts about a year.” The students’ finished product will also be judged on comfort and climate. Important to both comfort and energy savings, the house does have a heating system, but it doesn’t have an air conditioning system since it’s destined for a coastal climate. “Just the efficiency of the house helps -- how it’s insulated, and how we move

air through it,” Rector said. “It has thermal heating in the floor. It’s a water heater that sits behind the unit, independently, that’s pellet fired.” “It’ll go through three days of testing when it gets there and gets set up. They close it up and they monitor temperature inside -- it has to stay within a 15 degree temperature range. You get outside of that, it’ll cost you points.” Energy and Sustainability A key part of the contest is centered around energy efficiency: another 300 points of the score is in Energy and Sustainability. SMUD is using the contest to promote “net-zero energy” building: producing at least as much energy as the home consumes. The home has eight solar panels, Schneider said, that produce 180 watts each, for a total of 1440 watts. The solar system hooks into a lead-acid battery backup system that can supplement power from the panels when there is limited sunlight. The house can also hook up to the traditional power grid. The energy portion of the competition puts the home’s energy and climate systems through their paces.

all photos by viry magana/The campus

“They run the shower twice a day. They want a 100 degree hot shower twice a day, so many gallons of water each time. They’ll flush the toilet two or three times a day. It has to boil water three times a day, like a half a gallon of water up to boil. It all takes energy to do that,” Rector said. “So, then, we have to calculate the energy that it’s gonna take to run this thing, and then run the system according to that.” Rector said that the house’s system is “probably twice as big as it needed to be,” since there are many cloudy days that would affect how much sunlight the panels receive. The panels might be about 45% efficient in Washington, but here and in Sacramento, it’ll be about 65%, he said. The house also must fully charge a cell phone and tablet from dead each day, provide a minimum of 800 lumens of light each day at the work space/kitchen, and handle a freezer load that can hold the temperature between -20 and -5 degrees Fahrenheit. For those that can make the drive out to support the college in Sacramento, the organizers will have music, prizes, food trucks, and a vendor fair. The event is located at Cosumnes River College’s Parking Lot D.

The Campus - Fall 2016, Issue 3  
The Campus - Fall 2016, Issue 3