Commonplace Book Entries

Commonplace Entry 1: Introduction

My name is Brandon Ermer and I’m from Ogden Utah. I’m originally from Swampscott, which is about thirty minutes north of Boston, Massachusetts, but I moved to Utah because my stepfather had a better job out west. I love music, and I play a few instruments including bass, piano, and guitar. I’ve been involved musically for about 10 years, and I even taught guitar with a company for about a year. I decided that I wanted to go to a University on the New England/ Eastern part of the country. American University just felt right to me. I am currently studying Film and Media Arts here and hope to double-major in Audio Production.

Commonplace Entry 2: Passage Deconstruction Using “They Say/ I Say”

“In June, 1996, when Chicago Mayor Richard M. Daley announced the $1 billion Near North Redevelopment Initiative, the neighborhood he targeted for help–the northwest corner of the city’s Near North Side–was one of the most troubled in the city.  Just across the river from the downtown Loop… it was tantalizingly close to the booming Chicago of the 1990s. But proximity to wealth and power had not helped this place much”(Fleming 1).

  • This uses the G&B template by using the “They say” in the form of explaining the construction of the housing projects near the “booming” city. “I say” is represented by Fleming saying “But proximity to wealth and power had not helped this place much.” There was an implication to putting the projects near a powerful city would make them successful but Fleming argues they were grossly unsuccessful.

Commonplace Entry 3: Deconstructing One of My Favorite Quotes

“Impossible is nothing.”-Muhammad Ali


“Impossible” is an adjective and is also the subject of this sentence.

“Is” is a form of “to be” but in this context acts as a link to “Nothing.”

“Nothing” describes what “Impossible” is, and it serves as an adjective in the sentence, considering “Impossible” becomes personified, making it the subject.

Commonplace Entry 4: Gender-Inclusive Bathrooms

The purpose of this notice, created by the Housing and Dining Program at American University is to let people know that this specific restroom is gender inclusive. I have seen this message myself on the door to the bathrooms in the lobby of Anderson Hall, a residence hall at American. That being said, this is the only place I have seen this. I think the university may be doing this not to test the waters, but kind of to prove bathroomsthat they are in fact an inclusive and accepting university. Having this in the lobby of their residence halls demonstrates tolerance on their part. While this may be true, I haven’t seen any gender-inclusive bathrooms on any other floors. The fact that this can only be seen in a common public space may just mean that the university is trying to prove a point rather than implement it throughout campus.

Commonplace 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. “Shall Property utilized by providers of student housing and other facilities be exempt from taxation?”
  2. Words that jump out at me are “utilized,” “providers,”  “exempt,” and “taxation.”
  3. This was created by Georgia legislators to try and convince its constituents to allow for “providers of student housing and other facilities” to be exempt from taxes. At first glance, the original sentence seems uncontroversial, but at a second glance, the wording is troubling. The University and the “providers” mentioned could be different entities. If it isn’t clear who these separate entities are, why aren’t the constituents being made aware of who they are? Would constituents not like who the providers are? Why should the constituents feel obligated to allow them to continue to be exempt from taxation if they don’t even know who the providers are?

Commonplace Entry 6: DC and IC sentences

I don’t live in Utah anymore; I live in DC.

I wish I could go out this weekend; I have homework.

I have too much homework. I’ll do the rest in an hour.

My room is a mess. I have to clean it.

Commonplace Entry 7: Deconstructing Quote from Fleming

“The question is, what would an education look like that was designed to support a truly direct, deliberative democracy? In simplest terms, it would be, I believe, a fundamentally civic (that is, of literally city-based) education, adapted to the practical and ethical demands of living with others in an open, free, diverse, relatively sovereign, but always accessible community– large, dense, and heterogeneous, but also known, lived in, and loved. It would be an education well-suited for a public small enough to encourage and reward the active participation of ordinary people in its governance but large enough to possess the diversity–and power–to make that governance matter. It would be an education oriented to the ‘strong publics’ of decision-making rather than the ‘weak publics’ of opinion formation” (Fleming 205).

Fleming uses the x,y,z sentence structure in the second sentence. He uses a conjunction (but) in sentence three. He does soimething similar in the final sentence using the preposition “rather than.” The overall point of this is to demonstrate Fleming’s ideal education system. It doesn’t uses a conversation structure because there is only one side (They say, but no I Say).