Reading Analysis 6 – Scholl & Gulwadi Recognizing Campus Landscapes

 

 

In their “Recognizing Campus Landscapes as Learning Spaces” authors, Kathleen G Scholl and Gulwadi Betrabet argue that the actual/physical is an important component of the education of the students that attend the university. Scholl and Gulwadi further explain that the overall health of the spaces on campus is an important part of learning.

Scholl and Gulwadi understand that a mixture of indoor and outdoor spaces should be used as a “catalyst” that will “promote a sense of belonging to the learning community.” By presenting such argument, Scholl and Gulwadi bring up the idea that the environment and overall culture a college campus will impact greatly the learning outcomes and overall student experience.  Though that idea is known, not many have explored the influence of open spaces on learning. Scholl and Gulwadi continue their argument by stating that both indoor and outdoor spaces presence is even more important with the rise of such things like climate, ecology, global warming and “green infrastructure.”

Using the works of such authors as Hartig and Kaplan, Scholl and Gulwadi declare that “interaction with nature, in particular, can help to maintain or restore cognitive function such as direct attention, problem solving, focus and concentration, impulse inhibition, and memory, which can become depleted from fatigue or with overuse.” To help visualize their argument, Scholl and Gulwadi presenting the different categories of university campuses that are currently available and the types of forms they either offer or not

Table 1. Student-nature interactions in campus landscapes.

Scholl and Gulwadi’s main point seems to argue the fact that there needs to be a change in perspective on how college campuses are viewed and the true importance of it. In other words, there should not be in anyway limits to the access to the spaces on a college campus. For them, “the entire campus landscape as a learning space and advertising its educational value – that is emphasizes something deeper than what meets the eye.” There should be more research and exploration to such an idea that the campus as a whole is a learning space that is responsible for the performance of the academic experience of the students.

Works Cited

SCHOLL, Kathleen G; GULWADI, Gowri Betrabet. Recognizing Campus Landscapes as Learning Spaces. Journal of Learning Spaces, [S.l.], v. 4, n. 1, july 2015. ISSN 21586195. Available at: <http://libjournal.uncg.edu/jls/article/view/972/777>. Date accessed: 08 may 2017.

 

Hartig, T., Mitchell, R., de Vries, S., & Frumkin, H. (2014). Nature and Health. Annual Review of Public Health, 7(44) doi: 10.1146/annurev-publhealth-032013-182443.

 

 

 

 

Reading Analysis 5 – David Fleming Afterword

Picture of Cabrini Gardens, area Fleming discusses a lot in City of Rhetoric

In his last section of City of Rhetoric “Afterword” David Fleming continues his discussion on affordable housing and urban renewal explaining how the efforts that were once being made have been slowing down. He explains how our society seems to be “increasingly unable” (211) to properly talk about such conversations when it comes to “cohabitation” and the importance of presenting that as an “important topic of public talk” (211). Fleming calls out the fact that post 9/11 the last on the list of the government is renewal methods in “public space” in cities such as Chicago. When it comes to minimizing the separation between the groups that are usually divided by race and socioeconomic class it is not being done as frequent as it should be. Fleming’s main point is to advise his audience that separating our society through race, gender and socioeconomic class is dangerous. What is better to do is to inform the youth of our society to do better than we have been doing.

Cover of David Fleming’s Book. Innovative way to talk about gentrification, social spatial places and the role of the youth

Using the argument of the 9/11 attack Fleming brings up the fact that both American and politicians felt no need to do such things as spend money or help the group of individuals who were being discriminated against. He states that people are “afraid of our diversity” (213) which is the reason why their interest have declines for urban renewal and fighting against discrimination and racism. To say blatantly there is this “fear of mixing” with the disadvantaged society. Though Fleming brings up all these facts, during the final pages of his Afterword he states that unbiased/proper urban renewal is something that can occur but it is currently just a hope. Fleming seems to be hopeful for the future stating, “…be always mindful of the power of intervention, creation, and change in human life, the opportunity always before us for a better tomorrow”(214). He concludes his work of City of Rhetoric on a mindful and encouraging note, stating that it is important to be optimistic and proactive in the line of change in order to make the change we want to see. Fleming brings up the fact that “young people” need to experience what it means to be a “strong member of the public” and once they become such members demand the change.   

Works Cited

Fleming, David. City of Rhetoric: Revitalizing the Public Sphere in Metropolitan America. Albany: SUNY Press, 2008.

Mapping Commonplaces – Intro to A Story About Shaw

Greetings!

My name is Cory Myrtil and as part of my freshman year at American University I took my College Writing Seminar on “Mapping Complexity: Embodied Subjectivity, Multi-positionality, and the Becoming of the Citizen-Rhetor.” Through this class I was given the opportunity to talk about the rhetoric of Washington DC using the knowledge of books such as David Fleming’s City of Rhetoric the experience of writing Digital Archives and reading analyses to expand my understanding why Washington is going through the change, what it means to the people that live there and where this once “Chocolate City” is headed.

As part of this class, all students were asked to pick a location in the D.C area, I chose 5th & O Intersection of the Shaw area and through my research learned about so many different stories and people that view the same place so differently.

Area Scale of Shaw

With all that I had acquired through my CLS research for the project, I created three multimodal, a Tumblr page , an Instagram Page and a Youtube video titled, “Shaw Confessionals” which I have explained further explain in my project reflection. I hope whoever reads this is able to understand and add to this conversation about the story of Shaw and as the years go on create a community where we can add to this story and see the evolution take place.

Thank you,

Cory M.

 

Mapping Commonplaces: A Story About Shaw – The Project

 

Throughout this semester I researched 5th & O Street intersection in the Howard/Shaw area. The reason why I had chosen Shaw was because in his book S Street Rising Ruben Castaneda had described this street intersection as a “combat zone” (105) one that was filled off strawberries, cocaine, and gang affiliated murders. I thought I would be living on the edge investigating and exploring a different side of Washington D.C. that I had not yet seen before since I was sheltered in the bubble of 4400 Massachusetts Avenue. It had been said that the district was known for being “Chocolate City” but instead, all I saw was million dollar mansions, white families walking their dog through my university’s campus. So, the second I heard that my semester long College Writing Seminar Assignment would involving the rhetoric or the Shaw Area I was excited.

However, my assumptions were quickly proven as false the second I stepped out the Shaw-Howard University Metro Station. As I have written in my Digital Archives instead of an area full of black, latino people I saw million dollar homes, overpriced mom and pop shops and isolated way at the end of 5th Street, the Second Northwest Cooperative housing complex the very few black families remained. To state that I was appalled and dare I say a bit of culture shock is an understatement. The community that was once there had been completed whitewashed over. After my first visit to Shaw, I couldn’t help but write about the complete disconnect between the two groups that now occupied the space. In my Essay 1 BED DigiDoc Textual Analysis, I brought up the fact that what can be explained as gentrification is seen as either a positive or negative based on the group of people you are speaking to. The individuals of the caucasian group might see it as “preserving historical land” improving the overall metropolitan era while the black group who were the natives of such areas as Shaw might see it as another instance where their history is being overlooked and not deemed important.

With the knowledge that I had acquired throughout the class discussion on the book “City of Rhetoric” I was able to expand my rhetorical understanding to understand better understand all sides of the conversation when exploring my CLS. My main goal throughout this project was to get all the perspective that I could gather concerning what Shaw meant to its residents, from the newcomers to the natives, the blacks, white and in between. I will admit that I am a bit bias when it comes to the “truth” that I had sided with more. Being that I identified with the black community, I understood their frustration when it came to the fact that they were essentially being forced to leave their community and the neighborhood that they had lived in for years. However, in the same token, I understood the oblivion that came from many of the new white young families and professionals that currently resided in Shaw being that they were seeing such “change” through a privileged lens.

After the practice that I had acquired with the assigned reading analyses throughout the semester I felt prepared with the Mapping Commonplace Project that was assigned. Though at first, I had difficulty figuring out what exactly to do when it came to what my multimodal components for this assignment I knew that I wanted it to be something that I could add on even after this class was over. Something that had definitely inspired me from our class discussions with Professor Hoskins was his colleague’s website mapping the different places in the Washington DC area; almost like an interactive art gallery.

I wanted my multimodal components to be like art museums where the audience can form the stories themselves with the pictures, videos, and music presented. I created a Tumblr page with a playlist including D.C. native artists like Marvin Gaye, Wale, Oddisee, Tarnica Junes among other artists such as  Kendrick Lamar, Otis Redding. I named the Tumblr Page “A Story About Shaw” (ASBS)  which presented videos and pictures and quotes that framed the evolution of Shaw from drug war zone in the 20th to early 21st century to this newly renovated, multimillion-dollar, white, quiet suburb-esque area. The Tumblr page was a compilation of both photos and videos that I had taken myself during my trips to Shaw as well as Real Estate listing screenshotted to how the prices of homes had gone up. I recorded a part of the ASBS Tumblr I attached a recording that I posted on YouTube and titled “ Shaw Confessionals.” The 2-minute voice memo is part of a conversation that I had with a Shaw native and Howard University rising sophomore who recounts how the change has impacted her community “for the worse”  I felt that hearing from a person who has experienced the change that Shaw has gone through. Since all my multimodal components connect I decided to put the recording as part of the Tumblr playlist.

To add onto the ASBS Tumblr page I created an Instagram Page  using the captions of each video and picture to tell a story of what was going on through my perspective. I used all the conversations that I had both published on social media or not to create a conversation through pictures on the Instagram time and my place is as stated before is to go back as years go by to add on to these components and truly show the evolution and for everyone as a group to comment and decide for themselves whether this renovation is better or worse and why.