Commonplace Book Entry 10: Ta-Nehisi Coates

“I strongly believe that writing is an act of courage.”

Ta-Nehisi Coates

I think that this quote accurately sums up my relationship with writing. I have always enjoyed writing; which makes sense considering I am majoring in journalism. However, it was never something that came naturally to me. It always required a large amount of effort, but more than that courage. Coates believes this too which is so relatable. As a writer, he understands what it takes the believe that what you have written deserves to be shared with others. It is incredibly gut wrenching to finish your work and then have to go back and read it. This semester I was reminded of the courage and security needed in order to be confident in my writing. I’m not sure that there will ever come a day that I love what I have done but I can now recognize that it took a great amount of courage to get it on the page.  

Commonplace Book Entry 9: Hamilton Cast to Pence

This is the video from the performance of Hamilton that VP-elect Mike Pence attended. At the end of the show the cast shared their fears with the man that plays a big role in our future. The musical was cast with people of all races and ethnicities in an attempt to bring diversity to Broadway. I think that this was the perfect opportunity for people to directly express their concerns. Some may disagree, however this platform allows people all over to hear the message. They took a stand on many issues in their speech and hopefully Pence was receptive. Trump later put out a Tweet demanding an apology, however he was wrong. The cast does not owe Pence a single thing as they were only expressing genuinely feelings in a polite and respectful manner.

Commonplace Book Entry 8: The 13th

I watched this documentary about the criminal justice system and it reminded of our discussion of rhetoric and the impact it has. Our country’s history led to the commercialization of imprisonment. The politicians that that passed laws to keep people, specifically black men, in jail have caused the problems that we are facing today. It was impossible to watch this film and not want to take action. Change needs to be made and as a student it feels as though it is my job to make it.

Commonplace Book Entry 7: Leonard Cohen Quote

We are all living with defeat and with failure and with disappointment and with bewilderment. We all are living with these dark forces that modify our lives. I think the manual for living with defeat is to first of all acknowledge the fact that everyone suffers, that everyone is engaged in a mighty struggle for self-respect, for meaning, for significance. I think the first step would be to recognize that your struggle is the same as everyone else’s struggle and that your suffering is the same as everyone else’s suffering. I think that’s the beginning of a responsible life otherwise we are in a continual battle, a savage battle, with each other. Unless we recognize that each of us suffers in the same way, there is no possible solution…political or social or spiritual. So that would be the beginning—the recognition that we all suffer.

This was a quote that Professor Hoskins posted on Slack. When I read it, the words resonated with my current thoughts and feelings. I come from a very homogenous place. For the most part everyone looks, thinks and acts the same. Since coming to college I have been immersed in an environment where every individual is unique and lives a life distinct to themselves. As people we have a tendency to focus on ourselves and believe we are the only people suffering or fighting some kind of battle. Making news friends and meeting new people makes us realize that we are all in the same fight together and that sharing it with others is what helps us get through.

Commonplace Book Entry 6: Bathroom Sign


commonplace_book_assignment_1024This sign was placed on a bathroom door that the Housing and Dining Programs deemed gender neutral. This was done in an attempt to create a more inclusive space for its students. They must take into account all of the people that live in their facilities. This also provides an option for anyone who does not feel comfortable sharing the bathroom. All of this is done in to satisfy the needs of everyone living in the housing community.

Commonplace Book Entry 5: Georgia Referendum

Georgia Referendum to Amend State Constitution:

“Shall Property owned by the University System of Georgia and utilized by providers of college and university student housing and other facilities continue to be exempt from taxation to keep costs affordable?”

1) Break this down to the “Jane likes cake” format. In other words, get to the sentence’s root.

Property be exempt.

2) List 3 or 4  words that most jump out at you.





3) What’s the rhetorical situation? You might think about the following stuff:

Who’s the “encoder”? Who’s the intended “Audience”? Why does the “encoder” create the sentence is in such a way? What’s the “context”? What’s the sentence’s “purpose”? Is it easy to understand? By design?

The encoder in the state legislature of Georgia. The audience is the citizens of Georgia voting on the referendum. They structure it this way in order to have them vote in their favor. This creates a complex situation in which people are either too confused and vote one way or they think they understand what it is saying and vote in favor. It is too difficult to read and understand while in the voting booth. This is something that needs time to be comprehended and thought through. This is all done to strategically manipulate the people of Georgia.

Commonplace Book Entry 4: Fleming Quote

[A]n education [. . .] that was designed to support a truly direct, deliberative democracy [. . .] would be an education oriented to the ‘strong publics’ of decision-making rather than the ‘weak publics’ of opinion formation. (205)

The intention of democracy is to allow the people it governs to have a voice. Such people need to be informed which should be the intention of an education system. With this information, people can decide what they want and take action accordingly. When the focus of education is to form opinion and taint the ideas of others that is when the system fails and as a result a democracy cannot exist.

Commonplace Book Entry 3: Quote substitution

And in that moment, I swear we were infinite.

-Stephen Chbosky Perks of Being a Wallflower

“We were”: Root sentence

“And in that moment”: Intro element

“Infinite”: adjective

In this sentence there are many components. The dependent clause is the introduction element; it is explaining when the idea took place. It is then followed by a sense of affirmation. The “I swear” gives insight into the author’s next claim. “We were” is the very basis of the sentence and is what the rest of the words are focused around. Finally, “infinite” is describing what everything else was leading up to. It is the exact feeling the writer had in the moment he was so certain of.

My sentence:

And when the sun rose, I remember it was on fire.


Commonplace Book Entry 2: The conversation

“Architectural Exclusion: Discrimination and Segregation Through Physical Design of the Built Environment”
The built environment is characterized by man made physical features that make it difficult for certain individuals, often poor people and people, of color, to access certain places. Bridges were designed to be so low that buses could not pass under them in order to prevent people of color from accessing a public beach. Walls, fences, and highways separate historically white neighborhoods from historically black ones. Wealthy communities have declined to be served by public transit so as to make it difficult for individuals from poorer areas to access their neighborhoods. Although the law has addressed the exclusionary impacts of racially restrictive covenants and zoning ordinances, most legal scholars, courts, and legislatures have given little attention to the use of these less obvious exclusionary urban design tactics. Street grid layouts, one way
streets, the absence of sidewalks and crosswalks, and other design elements can shape the demographics of a city and isolate a neighborhood from those surrounding it. In this way, the exclusionary built environment the architecture of a place functions as a form of regulation; it constrains the behavior of those who interact with it, often without their even realizing it. This Article suggests that there are two primary reasons that we fail to consider discriminatory exclusion through architecture in the same way that we consider functionally similar exclusion through law. First, potential challengers, courts, and lawmakers often fail to recognize architecture as a form of regulation at all, viewing it instead as functional, innocuous, and pre political. Second, even if decision makers and those who are excluded recognize architecture’s regulatory power, existing jurisprudence is insufficient to address its harms.

Schindler uses the “They say, I say” form a little less explicitly than explained in the text. She talks about the building of architecture as the “they”; It is the actions of others that she is reflecting on. Schindler doesn’t take any specific text rather she develops her own. Her work talks about the discrimination through the building of certain structures within a society such as a bridge. She mentions people in power, like judges, but just acknowledges their role in the discrimination. Schindler doesn’t exactly contribute the “I say” component following.

Commonplace Entry 1: IC patterns

The girls layed out by the pool; they wore the new swim suits they bought earlier that day.


My mom made coffee before starting her day; she knew it was going to be a long one.


I lost my phone before I left for class. It was incredibly frustrating because I needed it that day.


My roommate fell asleep before me last night. It was the first time in weeks I had some time to myself.