Final Mapping Commonplace: UNCF and Teach For America

There are many businesses and establishments held within the Progression Place building. The Progression Place has created a new environment where many businesses come together in one building in order to have a breading ground for success. There have been many new and old businesses in this building that have been either just been established in the building or have had their business for some time. What the Progression Place is attempting to do is help those in this community and have more opportunities available for the people there. It is known that 7th and S street has been a place where there was a shooting that lead to the death of 3 people, but there is more to this community than that. The Progression Place was not always like this, there was a before.  That before was not always great or positive but that before is in the past. There is a new and bright future for this area and this building is contributing to that. There is a part of the building holds a UNCF sign outside. The UNCF on the sign outside of this part of the building is for the organization called United Negro College Fund. This organization has the motto that “A mind is a terrible thing to waste” (Our Mission). 

The main issue that the UNCF is trying to help with is giving every American an opportunity of receiving the same level education. Some might believe that there is equal opportunity for all but that is not the case and the UNCF is aware of that. Many people who are either African American or poor people, do not receive the same favorable circumstances as all other Americans are given. Poor people and some African Americans are located in built environments where there are not many successful people therefore causing them to not believe in themselves. For there to be a majority of folks around the community that are doing poorly financially, the children growing up in these areas might believe they are not capable of accomplishing much either. Not only are children growing up with this belief but they are also not aware of given options around them that could help them to be more successful in the future. There is a large amount of people that are unable to receive a higher education level than others because of their financial status. Not only are people unable to receive higher degrees, they are looked at as people who should not or cannot. Some people do not believe in themselves to be able to get a college degree because of how the people around them do not receive them. Normally, when the people around you are used to a structure the people growing up in this built environment tend to stick to the same course. There are always a few people who try to achieve bigger dreams than the people around them but the UNCF tries to help with making those dreams possible. UNCF also encouraged young people to reach for their dreams and supplies them with certain opportunities that they would not have without UNCF.

The UNCF wants to level the playing field and give everyone equal opportunity to achieve their goals in life. For the UNCF, they truly want the children in this area to do better and to escape the path that they are supposedly destined to follow. The UNCF wants to “ensure more students are college-ready, enroll in college and persist to graduation” (Our Mission). If there are more children growing up in this area and receiving their college degrees, there will be more help and hope for the generations that follow them. Having children finishing high school and going to good colleges after become a regular occurrence in this area would be a great change to what this built environment has created over the years. The UNCF wants to figure out a plan for there to be more college students and high school graduates. But in order for there to be more college students that are African American or poor, there needs to be more help for there to be an even amount of opportunity for all races to get into college and finish high school. This is where UNCF comes in to do their part in making opportunity equal for everyone in America. What the UNCF does to ensure this is by “creating a college-going culture in the African American community” (Our Mission). If there is this “college-going culture” then college will be looked at as less of a jump from high school and more as a next step in a successful future that everyone partakes in. The programs that they have established have a home base in Progression Place and help the surrounding community. Since the UNCF is located in the Progression Place there is a more direct way for the children in this community to gain that help and access to a better life and a more successful future.

Also in Progression Place, there is the organization, Teach For America. This company is similar to the UNCF because they have similar goals in helping the growing children within this built environment created for them. What Teach For America is based on is, “giving all students access to an excellent education” (Our Impact). For the past 26 years, there has been this organization. While it is not new to doing what they must it is new to this area because of the Progression Place. Since the Progression Place is located here, there has been a ton of organizations established closer to this area that what to help to make the community a better place. Teach For America has tried to help those in need receive a better education than expected from their built environment. For there to be 3,400 incoming corps members in 2016 the organization must be achieving great progress with these students (Graph Below). Graduating seniors, graduate students, and professionals have all been on the rise since this organization was created. The Progression Place is a breeding ground for these types of organizations. The Progression Place allows there to be all different kinds of organizations in this moderately poor neighborhood and all these organizations are trying to help the circumstances that are being faced by the people within this built environment.

The reason why I chose these two as my commonplaces is because they show the true reason and purpose of the Progression Place. For the Progression Place to have at least two organizations created based on helping those around them, there is major benefit to the community where this building is located. These organizations and many others will end up breading more successful children and a brighter future for many of these children that they were not able to fathom before now. There is a special community bond that the Progression Place has created because of how the businesses inside the building are trying to help those that are in need in the nearby community. There has been a built environment where many of these people fail in being a success because of their circumstances but the Progression Place is trying to change that. The Progression Place was just recently created and is already making such headway within this community. This building truly has lived up to the expectations held for it and the name it has been titled as. There has been an immense amount of progress in the education system for the students in the nearby schools and that is because of the Progression Place’s location and the diligent people that work in the building. There has always been a need for better education in these areas but not many have stepped up to the plate to make that actually happen.

Work Cited

Unknown. Our Impact. Teach for America.

Unknown. Our Mission. United Negro College Fund.

A True Tortured Artist: Edvard Munch

“The Scream” painted by Edvard Munch

In my modern art class I have been researching Edvard Munch and learning details and facts on his life and how that influenced his artwork. I originally just assumed that he was a tortured artist solely based off his work but I did not know that there was such a depth to his trauma. One of his most famous pieces of art is probably The Scream it has been everywhere. Since there has been such clout created by this piece, there has been so many attempts on stealing this Norwegian gem. Later on, I learned that the picture was not just a random person with random circles and swirls on the page it was a real instance for Edvard Munch. People found out that the painting is actually in a real place in Norway. It was a specific bridge where apparently Edvard Munch once heard a loud screech during a nature walk with friends. Some critics believe that he was just hearing voices because that is one of the main things that he is known for having.

Edvard Munch in a photograph

Also Edvard Munch expressed his tortured inside emotions through this piece but after I dug into his upbringing I was able to understand more of what he went through. When Edvard was just 5 years old, his mother died from tuberculosis. Especially since his father was a physician, he was distraught that his father could not assist his mother in her time of need. Also his sister died from tuberculosis later on and she was well known for being Edvard’s favorite sibling. His only brother also died but from pneumonia which impacted his emotional stability yet again. His father convinced him that the family was cursed and it seemed to make sense of why his paintings were as deranged as they were.

Recycling at American University

Each bin that is offered at American University and all over campus

Whether or not people are aware of the influence recycling has on the environment, there is definitely a portion of American University that is all about recycling. For there to be so many different bins within the entire campus grounds, there is absolutely an amount of importance put on organizing the waste products of American University. Before in high school I also just put every thing into one waste bin and then just plastic water bottles within the another bin. I was not aware of so many other options that were available for organizing the waste materials of everyday people. For there to be so many options it also makes it seem a little confusing on what to put in each bins and how to separate our waste. The pictures on the bins help but not everyone can be bothered with doing so much organizing when they are probably already in a rush. Regardless of how people react, American University is making a statement in trying to help recycling become more common.

Does It Dry Up Like A Raisin in The Sun?

Cover of the play, A Raisin in the Sun by Lorraine Hansberry

Recently I went to see a performance of a play called A Raisin in The Sun written by Lorraine Hansberry. I have read the script in high school before so I knew the synopsis of what the play is generally about. I have also read the poem, A Dream Deferred by Langston Hughes, in high school which is what the play’s title is based off of. It is safe to say that I have a lot of well versed history and background on the play so I was excited to see the play be brought to life. The play took place at the Arena Stage and was about 3 hours long. I wanted to see whether or not the play would do the script justice and if there would be a good depiction of what the script highlighted. Since the play took place in an arena there were audience members on each side of the stage.

A depiction of an arena stage

There was just a room in the middle of the entire audience which really highlighted some of the key ideas that the play was supposed to represent. There was a creation established and it truly was amazing and great to see. I believe that people should definitely see the production but mainly after reading the script.

The Washington DC Flag More Famous Than I Thought

My friend Skylar, wearing the t shirt that was given to her by the school during welcome week

American University was handing out plenty of different t shirts during welcome week for freshmen and also just throughout the year. For this time period I did not necessarily look at all of these shirts in depth but after learning about how the Washington DC flag is everywhere and in everything I began to see it all over the place. One of the first times I saw the flag was on my friend’s shirt.  Seeing the shirt made me think back to when we discussed the flag in class and I had to capture it. I was so excited to see where else the flag was. Also I never questioned or knew the symbol before class, probably why I never noticed it around. Another time I saw the flag was at the bus stop. I was waiting for the bus and then I saw it right there at the stop. I never really realized how important and prevalent the Washington DC flag was but I will never forget it now.


During the semester, my friend Isabella has been organizing this event called EagleTHON. It is a 12 hour dance marathon and she needed everyone’s support. We were trying to raise as much money as we could and it ended up working out. Our team raised the most money out of all of the other teams.

My friends and floormates, from left to right starting at the top Mackenzie, myself, Grace, Skylar, Sydney, Rachel, Lucy, Maggie, Isabella, and Kim

Every dollar counts because in the end it all adds up. FTK is the sign that we are holding which stands for “For The Kids” which is exactly what the event was created for. All of the money that was raised went to help the children’s hospital and all the children that need help and cannot afford it.  We even had two children come from the hospital to talk about their experiences. It was a powerful event and inspired me to help others more. I will definitely be taking part in the event next year!

Icy Codes

Smores thai rolled icecream with Icy Codes Taken by Jade Paul

Over the past weekend I went on an adventure with my friends to Icy Codes, an icecream place that has famous rolled icecream. In this icecream place the type of icecream is originally from Thailand. The line was extremely long, meaning super popular. It was interesting to see that so many Americans and other nationalities were into such a popular Thai trend. It was nice to see all the people that were there supporting something that is not their own culture. The picture shown is my icecream that I got when I went. The flavor was smores and it tasted amazing. I would definitely recommend this place just make sure you have nothing better to do because

Failure Is Progress

Beckett believes that there is no correct way to accomplish anything in life. He tries to tell his audience that will success comes failure and it is inevitable to endure it. There is no specific route that someone must take to be successful but no matter what they do by achieving progress they will have to go through failures first.

The simplistic form that is given by “Ever tried. Ever failed. No matter. Try again. Fail again. Fail better.” is a way to show in a basic way that there is no special trick, format or fashion that life has to follow. There is just simply a straight short explanation for the reason for failure and the benefits of it. Using the “.” instead of a “?” or “!” shows again the simplicity of the situation and how there is no question or doubt. It simply is what it is. And there is no “!” because there is nothing outrageous occurring it is just life.

The Era of Spring Breakers

The typical spring break for college students is to go to some hot climate, like Miami or Cancun, with all of their other college friends and just get totally wasted. This is the mentality that many movies have depicted to most high school students and other younger crowds but that simply is just not the case.

As I have gotten older I have reached my first year of college and am now approaching spring break. I do not understand how people could possibly go on such trips when I will still be immensely stressed throughout break. For one the break is only for a week and that cannot be enough time for much. Also in my school you cannot stay on campus which is what I originally thought about doing because I did not see a point in going home only for a short week. I rather just hang out and chill with my friends from college but everyone is just focused on their parents and other family. Also I want to see my family that I have not seen in forever because I miss them everyday and want to see them whenever I get the chance.

The hyped up spring break is not a reality at all and truly the has turned spring break into an unrealistic expectation for younger teenagers to have for when they will be having their turn for spring break. There should definitely be a movie created that will show that spring break is not all that. All I will be doing is getting ahead for my second half of the semester and hanging with family and friends.


Choosing housing for next year was this week and I got into East Campus. I was ecstatic about making the cut but it was not easy. I had the first day of choosing but my time was slightly after midday. I was in class during the time so it was difficult for me to be the leader so I had to switch it to my future roomie, Skylar. She was the one who would not be in class at the time making her be the most available out of the two of us. We were both stressed about the whole situation because it was going to determine a lot for us next year. Skylar managed to get us the perfect room view a great view and everything. I’m glad that she was able to help and do what she needed to do. My professor for my specific time actually gave the 3 hour class I was in a break and I was grateful for that. It permitted me to be able to call Skylar and decipher which room we get the best vibes from. I am just ready and excited for sophomore year!