DA: Interior and Cultural #1

The serenity prayer framed on the Dupont Circle Club’s wall.

This picture frame found on the wall of a meeting room in the Dupont Circle Club (DCC) is one of the ways that it creates a positive and encouraging environment for their members. Just like this picture frame, they have other frames with encouraging quotes and prayers hung all over the meeting spaces. This specific picture frame contains the Serenity Prayer; similarly, the other picture frames also include words of religious encouragement. The Dupont Circle club uses these messages to create encouraging reminders and to solidify the religious ambience they want their members to adopt (their readings are of a religious base).

 

 

 

 

Annotated Bibliography 3 & 4

“Understanding the Principles of Feng Shui.” N.p., n.d. Web. 26 Mar. 2017.

In the article “Understanding the Principles of Feng Shui”, dummies.com highlights the importance of the relationship between the environment and human life. More specifically, it gives a description of the generally accepted concept of Feng Shui. For example, “Feng Shui (pronounced “fung shway”) examines how the placement of things and objects within it affect the energy flow in your living environment, and how these objects interact with and influence your personal energy flow. Your personal energy flow affects how you think and act, which in turn affects how well you perform and succeed in your personal and professional life”. In this passage, dummies.com suggests that Feng Shui affects us in our everyday life even if we don’t notice it. For dummies.com, then, they aim to open people’s minds to the influence and importance that Feng Shui has in their lives.

I plan to use this source about Feng Shui as background that will support my arguments about how the religious interiors of the Dupont Circle Club affect the progress of individuals in this recovery facility.

 

Segan, Sascha. “Dupont Circle: Where Art and Eccentricity Meet.” The Washington Post Company 1997. Web.

A Washington Post “Dupont Circle: Where Art and Eccentricity Meet”, Sascha Segan lists Dupont Circles diverse business to show how they attract a mixture of people that give Dupont Circle it’s iconic reputation. More specifically, it provides evidence that Dupont Circle offers a welcoming setting for all kinds of individuals. For example, Sascha writes, “The result today is a social goulash of yuppies, gay and straight; a few young families and long-term residents”. In this passage, Sascha shows that the ambience of Dupont Circle allows for the co-existence of all kinds of people. For Sascha, then, what makes Dupont Circle iconic in the people that it attracts is due to the shops, restaurants, clubs, and businesses that it houses.

A big part of the success of the Dupont Circle Club is whether its setting will allow for its members to feel comfortable enough to go to the club. Therefore, I will use this source as background for my essay because it provides foundational concepts of the culture of Dupont Circle that are relevant to the members of the Dupont Circle Club.

Space Generates Opportunity

Shops on Milwaukee Avenue in Wicker Park, an affluent neighborhood in the Chicago community of West Town.
Shops in the Chicago Lawn, the ‘guetto’ of Chicago.

In chapter 8 “Toward a New Socialspatial Dialectic” of City of Rhetoric, David Fleming rhetorically explains the idea that space matters because the organization of it can lead to an equal field of opportunities for all individuals to express their rhetorical voices. More specifically, he argues that there exists a link between individual’s environments and their opportunities. For example, Fleming exposes that one side of the conversation believes that all environments are different and as such provide the individuals whom inhabit them different resources that determine their success. Fleming sides with this view because it explains the unequal distribution of opportunities for individuals. For Fleming, then, designing spaces that provide equal opportunities for individuals increases their possibility for success.

Why should creating an even playing field for individuals matter? The reorganization of spaces that provide all socioeconomic individuals equal opportunities contributes to eradicating the greater thought that chronic poverty is causes by poor individuals themselves. Even though creating spaces that even the playing field doesn’t guarantee the eradication of poverty it increases the chances for its decrease.

Works Cited

Fleming, David. “Chapter 8 Toward a New Socialspatial Dialectic.” City of Rhetoric: Revitalizing the Public Sphere in Metropolitan America, SUNY Press, Albany, NY, 2009, pp. 179–194.

(Original Text with explanation of what was changed can be found below)

Continue reading Space Generates Opportunity

The Rhetoric of Mixed-Income Communities

Northtown Village mixed income housing development. Source here.

In chapter 6 “The New Urbanism” of City of Rhetoric, David Fleming explains the idea of the economically diverse urban village in Chicago. More specifically, Fleming argues that mixed-income urban communities (created to avoid conflict by walling out differences) are based on unrealistic dreams of social harmony. For example, he shows that reports on the success of mixed-income communities show that communities are biased toward high-income residents especially when the success of mixed-income development plans relies not only on the rich but on low income residents meeting the standards of higher-income residents. With this, Fleming then suggests that the mere foundation of mixed-income urban communities does not allow for social harmony. For Fleming, then, building communities amongst diverse people is not the answer for avoiding conflict because it creates inequality instead of harmony.

Why does this matter in a broader context? If we define that a healthy public life is the goal in a broader context then the building of communities that absorb the diversity among its individuals (that intend to stabilize conflict but instead have the opposite effect) place us farther away from achieving this goal. Promoting mixture instead of difference increases inequality and conflict and in turn decreases the number of interactions between people that leads to a healthy public life.

Works Cited

Fleming, David. “Chapter 6 The New Urbanism.” City of Rhetoric: Revitalizing the Public Sphere in Metropolitan America, SUNY Press, Albany, NY, 2009, pp. 121–148.

 

Rhetorical Analysis of the Office of Planning Website

Logo for the District Government Website, taken from their website.

In the District Government Website (DC.gov), the Office of Planning (OP) uses a series of sources to give its audience a picture of different complex local systems. More specifically, according to OP’s “About the DC Office of Planning” page they use historic resources research, community visioning, and the mapping and analysis of US Census data to guide the development of the District of Colombia (DC). In other words, they use outside sources to detect strengths and weaknesses to then create strategic plans and goals to not only revitalize spaces but preserve them. For example, every fiscal year OP releases a performance plan that emphasizes initiatives for improvement and highlights faults that hinder progress against goals for specific regions. For the Office of Planning, then, their mission is to preserve and revitalize neighborhoods, specifically distinctive neighborhoods like Dupont Circle because it leads to positive development of the complex local systems of the District of Colombia.

Logo for the District of Colombia Office of Planning, taken from their website.

In the District Government Website about us page, DC.gov explains that their website is a portal for District government services and information. More precisely, the portal has become a commonplace for over one hundred sub-websites of District government agencies to communicate their information about state, county and municipal functionality. For example, one of the sub-websites in DC.gov is the Office of Planning who as previously clarified provides a series of material that when put together communicates information about the District of Colombia’s different regions. What this means then is that DC.gov uses a variety of different agencies to weave together a complete and extensive data base of all things District of Colombia. For DC.gov, then, providing information and services on their website is important because it facilitates District business and residents to deal with their government. The successful relationship between the website and its audience is what contributes to the success of sub-websites like OP.

A picture of the director of the Office of Planning, Eric D. Shaw.

Who writes these websites? In the DC.gov portal, DC.gov, as suggested before, uses a multitude of authors to create their information database. More specifically, the sub-website (which from now on will be the main focus) for the Office of Planning is managed by a director and senior staff. For instance, OP writes in their ‘Directors Biography’ page, “Eric D. Shaw was appointed by Mayor Muriel Bowser to serve as Director of the DC Office of Planning January 2015.  As director, he manages a staff of 75 who are responsible for neighborhood and systems planning, urban design strategies, data and mapping, historic preservation and development review… He is a strong proponent of equitable development, innovative community engagement and community led implementation of plans”. For OP, this means that finding a leader who shares its common values of equitable growth, original community engagement and community led implementation of plans is essential for its success.

The Office of Planning achieves its goal of positive community development by gathering specific content for specific people equally. Source here.

It was just established who writes for OP, but who is the office writing for? The District Government Website writes in their ‘About Us’ page that their overall audience is visitors from the US and abroad, state and Federal agencies, and District residents and businesses. More specifically, (although not implicitly stated) from their list of divisions it can be inferred that OP targets neighborhood planners, city wide planners, zoning agencies, historic preservation organizations, geographers, and District residents and business. Why target this audience? OP provides very accurate and comprehensive material for not only District business but even for Federal agencies to use and therefore must target an audience that has use for their information. Providing information to the wrong audience would not leads to positive development of the complex local systems of the District of Colombia.

DC Office of Planning Functional Organization Chart September 2016

Now that we know the writer and audience of the Office of Planning let’s expose what information they provide and its sources. As previously mentioned the director of the Office of Planning appointed three senior staff or deputy directors who manage the three major divisions in OP that deal with place, policy, and project. More specifically, according to OP’s ‘DC Office of Planning Functional Organization Chart’ the three major divisions are: Citywide Strategy and Analysis (policy); Planning, Engagement, and Design (place); and Development Review and Historic Preservation (project). According to their website these divisions gather information by, “OP performs planning for neighborhoods, corridors, districts, historic preservation, public facilities, parks and open spaces, and individual sites. In addition, OP engages in urban design, land use, and historic preservation review. OP also conducts historic resources research and community visioning, and manages, analyzes, maps, and disseminates spatial and US Census data”. What this means is that OP uses a combination of internal and external sources to build their information data base. For the Office of Planning, then, using outside sources to make their database more complete is not a problem because it leads to the better development of DC.

Why should any of this matter? Websites like DC.gov provide agencies like the Office of Planning a platform to not only compile their information but to publicize it for other agencies to use for their initiatives. OP uses its platform to communicate information that contributes to initiatives that work towards redeveloping and preserving complex local systems. The importance of the information that OP provides is that it is not exclusive to any one party. Promoting transparency and inclusivity the Office of Planning becomes a common place that engages all communities of DC to participate in the positive development of their district.

A chart of the steps of community engagement. First, the Office of Planning informs; second, its audience consults the sources; third, its audience gains the desire of involvement; fourth, a collaboration is made; and finally, the community is empowered. Source here.

Continue reading Rhetorical Analysis of the Office of Planning Website

Buffalo

 

“Buffalo buffalo Buffalo buffalo buffalo [buffalo] Buffalo buffalo”

buffalo = doer, noun

[buffalo] = doing, verb

This heavily parsed but grammatically correct sentence, created in 1972 by William J. Rapaport, employs the various meanings and parts of speech for the word “buffalo”. It uses the word buffalo as the city, the animal, and the verb to bully. The sentence reads that buffalos who are bullied by buffalo are themselves bullying bison.

The [buffalo] from Buffalo who are buffaloed by buffalo from Buffalo, buffalo (verb) other buffalo from Buffalo.

Buffalo buffalo (subject and main clause) [that] Buffalo buffalo (subordinate clause) buffalo (verb and subordinate clause) buffalo (verb and main clause) Buffalo buffalo (main clause).

David Fleming concludes his City of Rhetoric by arguing that “education [should be] oriented to the ‘strong publics’ of decision making rather than the ‘weak publics’ of opinion formation” (205). For Fleming, then, composition courses, which traditionally have asked students to write as spectators, should instead have students problem solve.  In other words, education should teach students to use language to effectively present their opinions so they can then responsibly resolve conflicts that arise from their opinions instead of choosing people to resolve conflicts for them. By supplying students with what Fleming calls the procedural knowledge they can evaluate evidence and make coherent claims supported with reasons. For instance, students who posses these skills can effectively take William J. Rapaport’s heavily parsed sentence and evaluate how its form and what it means.  

I believe that Samuel R. Delany employs the use of Pathos in his documentary to explain why he has every student raise her hand when he asks a question. He tries to convince his audience of his method by creating an emotional response to the importance of recognizing self worth in the classroom. Watching the video rather than reading the prompt definitely gives the reader a clearer indication of this because in the video Professor Delany gets emotional when delivering his argument.

Code of Salutations

 

A poem by the poet and author, Christopher Morley.

In his poem Tit for Tat, Christopher Morley describes what I find to be a classic relationship in present day social interactions. Socially, we tend to routinely pass by and visit the same places over and over again coming in contact with the same individuals. This can be seen at all ages, both students and adults create routines wether it be to get to work/school or at school/work. As a being that participates in this activity I’m sure that you have continuously cross paths with individuals whose routines are similar to yours.  For instance, every morning on my way to high school I used to pass by the same stoplight with the same officer controlling traffic.  At first, we weren’t familiar to each other but as a routine was established not a morning went by where we didn’t exchange a friendly smile and acknowledging nod. We both know each other as the officer who controls traffic and the girl in a white Honda-Fit.

A meme of the act of saluting people who we have recently met or come in contact with.

David Lepoutre, a professor in sociology, in his book Uncivil Engagement and Unruly Politics: Disruptive Interventions of Urban Youth describes this occurrence as a code of salutations. He explains that individuals base their social relations on a shared environment in which they physically meet. These individuals maintain a level of acquaintance within their shared environments by regularly greetings each other on the streets, even if individuals do not know each other’s names or origination.  I find extraordinarily curious how life puts us in this shared environment where when we come into physical contact with others we unconsciously follow a “code” that society has created. Morley’s poem Tit for Tat exemplifies Lepoutre’s code of salutations perfectly: the poem tells a story of an individual who often passes by a tree and as a society has taught us to do politely salutes the tree and the tree salutes him in return. In the second stanza of the poem the individual feels shame for not knowing the name of the tree that he so often salutes however, he then realizes that said tree probably doesn’t know his name either and he should feel no shame. I feel like I can relate this to my previous example, I have no idea what the name of the police officer that I saw five out seven days a week is but we still saluted each other every morning. Most people do not question this relationship in their shared environments, should we? Should I know the name of the crossing guard or the individual in Morley’s poem the name of the tree? I think that we should, this code of salutations merely creates bases for relationships in our shared environments that we should further pursue and explore. Without pursuing these relationships we create a web of very loose social interactions that contribute to the sense of impersonality in todays society. 

Works Cited

Morley, Christopher. Hide and Seek. George H. Doran Company, 1920.

Kaulingfreks, Femke. Uncivil Engagement and Unruly Politics: Disruptive Interventions of Urban Youth. Springer, 2016.