Category Archives: College Writing

Commonplace Book #6 Editing Rewrite

Fleming elaborates on different sized democracies working for various groups of people and governments. For example, local governments require unity. It is necessary for groups to quickly and efficiently communicate and make decisions. Local governments have no need to be extremely powerful because they are not in charge of larger groups. It is unrealistic for them to hear out people in the democracy; it would be ineffective. Smaller groups are incapable of handling conflicts that extend to the rest of the world, state, and country. They do not have the resources and people to deal with issues that concern everyone.

Influencing Students and Their Learning Based on Landscapes: An Analysis of Scholl and Gulwadi

In “Recognizing Campus Landscapes and Learning Spaces,” Kathleen G. Scholl and Gowri Gulwadi recognize that students learn in areas beyond the classroom and colleges need to provide different environments in order for students to create the skills they will need in college and in the workforce. The article emphasizes how while classrooms are necessities for professors to properly lecture and present their lessons, there is still a need for campuses to have areas besides the buildings filled with classrooms. Students are evolving with society. As new learning techniques and technology continue to be at the forefront of education, college students are eager to take advantage of these varying opportunities. However, in many cases, it is not possible for individuals to explore all of these desired opportunities in the classroom alone. Whether it is the library, or simply a campus quad, every location is crucial to improving a student’s knowledge and expanding their learning capabilities, as the article states, “the entire campus, including its open spaces, must be perceived as a holistic learning space.” In other words, every location on campus should be a safe spot for students to learn. Individuals should be able to leave the classroom and know they will have additional areas to improve on their studies and thoughts.

Additionally, the article goes in depth on direct and involuntary attention and how colleges should create and improve their campuses to provide areas to cater to these concepts. The article describes direct attention as the “ability to sustain focus” or to not get distracted and pay attention to your surroundings. Being able to completely focus and forget about any distractions is a crucial skill not only in college, but also in the workforce. Employers will hire individuals who can handle complicated tasks on time and without errors. In contrast to direct attention, it is necessary for environments to encourage involuntary attention. Involuntary attention “employs faculties of concentration not normally used.” It allows students to rest and relax while the parts of their brain that uses direct attention is put to the side. College is stressful and students need to be able to calm down and relax before the entire experience becomes too much for them. Involuntary attention does not occur in classrooms, and happens more often in landscape areas. As a result, if college campuses are established with no greenery or landscapes, it would be very difficult for students to be relaxed when they are surrounded by classrooms.

When colleges are establishing their campuses, they need to think beyond the classrooms, and focus on creating additional locations on campus where their students will be able to further their thinking from their classes and life. Therefore, colleges should create their campuses with involuntary and direct attention in mind. One of the main objectives of college is to assist students in being as prepared for future jobs as possible. Environments varying from classrooms, such as landscapes or greenery, require different types of attention. For this reason, colleges must consider how certain spaces will impact their students’ actions and thoughts.

Commonplace Book #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?”

In its root form, this sentence could be summed up as, “Should the property continue to be exempt from taxation?” By discovering the root, it makes it easier for the audience to understand the main point. With additional words such as utilized, providers, continue, and affordable, the encoder can add more meaning to the sentence. For example, although on its own the word “continue” is simple, in this context, it tells the audience that there is something that is habitually occurring in Georgia. Without the word “continue”, the entire sentence may have a different purpose. In this situation, the encoder would be the people who are running the referendum. The audience would be those who live in Georgia, specifically they might be the ones who are providers of college and university student housing. meaning of this sentence would be how people are wondering if property taxes should remain exempt for the University System of Georgia and other providers of college housing and facilities. The rhetorical situation is that some individuals may believe that property taxes should be paid. The rhetorical situation may also be that taxes should continue to be exempt because it is more important for costs to stay affordable. Since this statement is from a Georgia referendum which is government related, they may be leaning more towards more taxes being paid.

Hostess Bakery and The Wonder Bread Factory Alleyway

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Here is a picture of the alleyway next to the Hostess Bakery and Wonder Bread Factory. As you can see, it is pretty spotless for an alleyway in the city. Years ago, when S Street was not as modernized or rebuilt, this was a very popular spot for drug dealings. Now, it is completely clean and safe, another example of how much has changed in this location.

S Street Apartments

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Here you can see multiple angles of the neighboring apartments. Not pictured are also purple and light green apartments further down. Together, all of these buildings are a nice contrast to the brick structure of the Hostess Bakery/Wonder Bread Factory and the New Community Church. The apartments are also modernized, and I can imagine that they are quite expensive now in 2016.

“we works” and The Sunset

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This was my favorite picture of my site. On the side of the picture, you can see the “we works” building that holds more office space and I believe is attached to Hostess Bakery/Wonder Bread Factory. They have similar infrastructures. However, you can also see the beautiful sunset that is arriving on my site. Additionally, you can see several cars parked, which shows how populated this area is now.

New Community Church

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As I was exploring Hostess Bakery/Wonder Bread Factory, I also saw the New Community Church across the street. The brick on the church contains a lot of character, and although it seems a little rundown, it is a beautiful addition to the site. However, my favorite part of the church was hearing and seeing all of the children playing behind of it.

External Environmental Description: Changes Overtime in DC and S Street

The longer I have lived in and researched Washington, DC, the more I have realized how quickly environments and locations change. Nothing seems to last forever, and while this may be portrayed like a bad thing, the Hostess Cake building is showing me how change can be a great thing. The Hostess Cake/Wonder Bread Factory building is on 641 S St. NW. It is also located directly across the street from the New Community Church, and right next to the Shaw-Howard metro stop. The metro stop allows easy access for essentially anyone to discover and interact with my site. Additionally, there are several apartment buildings surrounding the store. The apartments were very modern, but some of them had a more historic character or tone with their brick structure. Similarly, the Hostess Cake building, which was established in 1913, originally as the Dorsch’s White Cross Bakery, also kept the original brick when the building was reconstructed. In addition, there is a small white cross located on the top of the building in between the Hostess Cake and Wonder Bread signs. All three of these symbols and signs are representative of the site’s complex ownership history. Although the format and interior is completely redone and new, there is still evidence of the building’s past.

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The site is used by completely different individuals than its original purpose years ago. If it were not for the three signs, people would not know what the building’s purpose is. In fact, I struggled to understand what the building was used for until I watched individuals with business attire enter. The location is home to the Wonder Bread Factory office space, and the upper level of the factory is also leased to the company ISL. There is additional office space for the company “wework”, that is connected to Hostess Cake/Wonder Bread, and has an identical brick infrastructure. After the Wonder Bread section closes at six, individuals need an electronic key in order to access the interior. People who were entering and exiting seemed to be easily navigating the space, and had no difficulty getting inside.

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Overall, the site was not very colorful, and only contained blue in the “Wonder Bread” sign, red in the “Hostess Cake” sign, and white in the cross. However, the surrounding apartments were vibrant. There was not a single apartment I could see that had two of the same colors. There were reds, purples, grays, and blues. The modern and colorful apartments, in combination with the historic brick of the Hostess Cake/Wonder Bread building, created a beautiful area. Although some sections of the location had similar styles, none of them were identical and they all created their own unique, but complementary, sector.

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Combined with its surroundings, my site made me feel nostalgic. After speaking with a man named Keith, who lives next to the New Community Church, and has lived in the same home for several years, I got a good sense of how much has changed overtime in the area. With me, Keith reflected on how he and S Street have changed and adapted together. He commented on the nearly non-existent drug problem, which previously was rampant on the street and in the Hostess Cake/Wonder Bread alleyway. Even though this was my first time observing my location, Keith painted a picture in my mind on what the area used to look like years ago. His descriptions were what established the nostalgic feeling I had. I began to contemplate the changes in my own life, and wondered what physical changes I would observe when I returned to my hometown of Watertown, CT. Although my town would not be nearly as revised as S Street, I still wondered how even the smallest alterations would possibly impact my life for the better. All of these thoughts were brought up by observing the exterior of my site, and by reflecting not only on the its simple infrastructure of 2016, but also by imagining what may have been in my building’s place years ago.

Commonplace Book #4: Gender Inclusive Bathrooms

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The sign states that it is a gender inclusive bathroom with two stalls. A gender inclusive bathroom means that any person can use it, regardless of what gender they identify as, or if they do not identify with a gender at all. This sign is located at American University, which is crucial for a school that prides themselves on establishing an inclusive environment.  American University, or specifically the Housing and Dining Program, authored this sign. Most likely, their purpose was to ensure that all students on campus feel safe and comfortable. In my opinion, American University is taking a step in the right direction in providing gender inclusive bathrooms on campus.