Something that I have seen all over campus, and all throughout my high school career, are stickers found on student’s laptops or on their cases. At American University, many of the stickers seen are political statements, but others seem reference TV shows, music, hometowns or states, Greek Life, or any extra-curricular or club that a student may be involved in.
The stickers work to create identity for the laptop user. Placing stickers on your laptop, not only decorates it, but shows to other people what you are interested in, where you are from, or what you like to do. From this, others can make connections from what they see, as they may relate to one or find one particularly interesting. I, personally, have gotten many comments from my political stickers decorating my laptop.
When you see another with stickers from your favorite show or another mutual interest, it creates a connection. In a society that many argue is being divided and altered by technology, like being distracted by your smart phone, simple things like stickers bring us back to mutual interests in the present (which are ironically found on pieces of technology).
I am from a fairly large city in Massachusetts called Worcester, located an hour outside of Boston in central Mass. A common rhetoric found, not only in Massachusetts but in Worcester, is the emphasis on language, pronunciation, and accent. What’s known as the Boston accent is found in my city as well. Many people from Worcester called the city “the Woo” or “the Dirty Woo,” depending on where you are from or what the context of the conversation is.
Below are two photos of a sticker and a wall decal that I have from home that emphasize the accent. My friends and I don’t carry the accent like our parents do or others of the older generations but we adopt it because it means home, even when we are only making jokes of it, like when I reassure my friend that she is “wicked smaht.” With the nicknames, the reputation, and the accent comes great pride for “the Woo” and for Massachusetts.
Suzanne Tick, the author of “His and Hers? Designing for a Post-Gender Society,” proposes that “Identity is no longer clearly defined as female or male, but by increasingly visible manifestations of sexuality or lack thereof.” Therefore, society, designers and all, must work to become more flexible with terms of gender identity and expression because gender is becoming less defined. As this is happening, there needs to be a growing commonplace, a place of respect and acceptance, for the genderless in society from fashion to bathrooms to the workplace. Tick reiterates this need by explaining that, “Making people feel accommodated—whether it’s in a public space or office—parallels the bigger conversation about universal design.” Thus, this universal design becomes a commonplace for greater discourse and “inclusivity” for all genders or lack thereof as time progresses.
David Fleming discusses the end of the redevelopment era due to a shift in politics during the end of the 1990s and the continuation of polarization in society based on identity. But Fleming reiterates:
“As I have tried to suggest here, considering more carefully our metropolitan lives together and thinking more creatively about our civic responsibilities to one another is not about is not about simply shifting our shifting our political allegiance from one public to another, from the globe or nation-state to the city or urban district; it is rather about developing and protecting the full and multilayered set of publics in which we are always already embedded” (212).
Fleming’s intentions are to explain that personal politics should not take away from interpersonal relationships or from divisions between certain areas within a city, state, or town, because their are responsibilities to each citizen as a human. Therefore, maintaining the common set of discourses and ability to understand the layers of identities of which people are, and to create commonplaces from what people have already have based on identity, equates to bridging the gap between all people.
With the continuing inability to diversify neighborhoods or improve upon the urban developments, the diversity continues to struggle and commonplaces do not exist. This results in lack of representation and lack of power and lack of voice for many minorities.
Within Chicago, many of the housing programs have ended, as the results have not been garnered. Fleming called it “free movement” of societies as the resulting communities but also elaborated on how the neighborhoods ended up polarized (214). He proposed that the initial unnatural environments cause these issues of polarization rather than a commonplace. But, even after all the trouble of creating a built commonplace, he remains hopeful of a future where people will continue to resist the shift by which political motives attempt to remove them from specific locations and continue to learn about the issues affecting their community.
Washburn, like any real estate agent, states that location is the most important aspect of Foggy Bottom because of the access that the area has. He states that “The convenient centrally located neighborhood is made up of federal offices like the U.S. State Department and George Washington University’s campus. Its own Metro Station, Foggy Bottom-GWU Metro Station, serves Foggy Bottom” (Washburn 2014). From here, the prices of various condos are listed below the brief article, prices falling between $300,000- $1.3 million. As a result, the area is for reasonably well off folks who plan to live in central DC.
I plan to use this information to give some background to those who live within Foggy Bottom. In relation to the GW Hospital, I plan to accentuate the upper class feel of the neighborhood and the tense relationship with the hospital due to noise complaints. I also plan to locate some of these condos on a map and put them into relation with the hospital and with the airport/landing ground that they use currently right now for the helicopter, outside of Foggy Bottom (“Video: FBA Meeting” 2017).
In the video, Dr. Babak Sarani, Director of Trauma and Acute Care Surgery at the Hospital discussed the benefits of having a helipad at the GW University Hospital because of the importance of patient life over noise complaints. He stated that the helicopter is more quiet than an ambulance and that the noise is already caused by the airport would be louder than the GW helicopter pad (“Video: FBA Meeting” 2017). This was reiterated by Lt. Col. (Ret.) Mike Conklin, a helicopter pilot and aviation consultant, previously for President Clinton (2017). Dr. Sarani discussed the need for more quick urgent care abilities and how that would be possible with a helipad. He also added how the hospital already does use helicopter patient movement but then they transfer patients to an ambulance, which ends up taking too long in most cases because of traffic and transition time.
I would use this information to examine more greatly the discourse between the hospital community and the Foggy Bottom community and find the common thread of discourse of the neighborhood for the final project; Dr Sarani emphasized, “Love thy neighbor,” which seems to struggle in this discourse.
This is a photograph of the metro stop at Foggy Bottom at GW Hospital and Medical school that shows the ability to connect with many other places within in DC, which then leads to the popularity of the area- in regards to living space, attending school, or spending free time for the attractions like restaurants . Also seen in the photograph are people handing out pamphlets that introduce things from attractions within the area to information about the hospital or other community programs.
This is a photograph of the GW seal in the court yard between the Medical school and the University Hospital. This is of significance because of the fact that the hospital only owns about 20% interest in the Hospital while an outside source owns the remaining 80%. The University’s name is all over the Hospital, so they will remain the face of the hospital through the various discussions with expansion relations and the neighbors in Foggy Bottom, who tend to disagree with the hospital in these discussions.
UHS is the group that runs the hospital, rather than the actual university, which is what most people may imagine. According to the GW website under management, Universal Health Services Inc. holds 80% interest in the hospital while the university only holds about 20% interest. Together, the management works to pursue the highest care and services to all patients.
The Ronald Reagan Institute of Emergency Medicine was named in honor of Ronald Reagan when the hospital treated Ronald Reagan after the attempted assassination. This is the Emergency Medicine department of GW that has caused conflict between the hospital and neighbors (of the residential area in Foggy Bottom) due to the fact that they have a trauma center that requires much traffic through their neighborhood. In addition to ambulances, the hospitals plans to use helicopters in the neighborhood to transfer patients