RA6 Campus Landscaped and Learning Spaces

In Kathleen Scholl and Gowri Gulwadi’s article Recognizing Campus Landscapes as Learning Spaces, they discuss the importance of both a structured and unstructured learning spaces. They mention how important the structure of classrooms are and how historically this has been the true and tested method for the average student to retain the most information. However, as this article discusses, students are better off if they have a multitude of learning environments with traditional classrooms and untraditional places often lead to the best outcome to learn and retain information.

These untraditional places are crucial for not only the outlier students that would do better learning in a different environment but also the average typical student. Some of these different learning environments include “nature trails and public outdoor areas”. This concept does not seem to difficult to grasp in that students that take advance of as many different learning as they can will often have a better chance of succeeding than those that are confined to classrooms. However, this brings us to another issue. Typically those that can take advantage of different learning environments are those of middle or upper class areas where they have access to things like nature trails. Where as, those in the inner cities would often be confined to only being able to learn in the traditional classrooms. This puts these students at an either further disadvantage.

RA5 City of Rhetoric Three Final Points

In the final chapter of David Fleming’s, City of Rhetoric, he talks about three final reasons why he is hopeful that are societies future can be heading in the right direction. They are first that the nature of human society is that one of betterment. Meaning that we are always trying to improve not only ourselves but neighborhood, city, state, nation, and world around us. We have thousands of years of human innovation and progress to look back on that we as a species generally have our best interests at heart. Even though that peoples ideas of what a better future looks like thats all everyone wants in the most part, the only difference is how we get there.

The second point that Fleming makes is that even though some people may disagree with some or all of Fleming’s ideas on society, because they believe these dense cities to be unnatural, often times these unnatural cities provide the best hope for Earth’s future sustainability. This again is similar to the first point where although the ideas are different on how to better the planet, all sides have a common goal, a better future. The only difference is how we get there.

The third and final point Fleming makes is that himself as a teacher has seen hundreds of students and that having seen and heard the ideas of these students he believes that society as a whole will continue to improve. He mentions how it is impossible to not be optimistic of the future when you have so many young people filled with their own creative ways of solving problems how can one not be optimistic for the future.

RA4 a New Sociospatial Dialect

In David Fleming’s City of Rhetoric, chapter eight titled Toward a New Sociospatial Dialect, Fleming addresses the issue about creating the best possible society. What I believe this chapter basically comes down to is that even if it were possible to create a world where everyone was given the exact same chance with the same benefits and the same upbringing and the same biases “we cannot guarantee that people will act or think the way that we want them too”. Meaning that even in this hypothetical utopian society their will still be many people that fail, many people that commit crime, and a many people that simply do not contribute to that society.

However, in spite of all that it is our duty to try and make the wold better and to not give up. Because even if many people will still fail in our utopian society we will definitely cut down on the umber of people that do as well as give everyone a fair chance to succeed, and as far as legislation goes you can never get everyone to act the way that would be best for them. Legislation can only go so far, but it definitely a step in the right direction of leveling the playing field and giving and equal opportunity to all that want it.

RA3 The New Urbanism

In David Fleming’s City of Rhetoric Chapter 6 discusses his idea of a new urbanism. The main point that Fleming is trying to address is that what “new urbanism” basically boils down too is the fact that many cities across the country are being gentrified. Now whether gentrification is a good thing, a bad thing, or somewhere in the middle is up to debate. Fleming, however argues that it is often a bad thing that leads to the displacement of poor and heavily favors and tailors to wealthier individuals.

Flemings offers us the example of Cabrini Green, a historically low income area in Chicago that is currently going through the process of gentrification. Although this idea of gentrification seems like a good idea on the surface, getting rid of the poorer areas and brining wealth and everything that comes with it to historically poor areas, that does not come without consequences. Flemings believes that as the process of gentrification continues through Cabrini green “thousands of residents” will lose their homes and be forced out due to the rising cost of living. Fleming believes that this idea of a “new urbanism” should never be looked at as inherently good and that with is comes a lot of consequences that us as a society as a whole need to address. We cannot continue to pretend that these problems to not exist and that thousands of people every year are losing their homes do to the ever encroaching wealthier areas pushing them out.

American University Website Analysis

American University’s website goal is to show that American University prides itself on it’s academics, it’s location, and the success of their graduates and current students. The targeted websites audience is prospective students, although a portion of the website is intended for Alumni, current students, and professors. The website was most likely created by website developers and designers with instruction from American University administration. The Purpose of the site is to give the reader an idea about what attending American University could be like as well as what one can expect.

Reading Analysis 2: Architectural Exclusion


Architectural Exclusion Reading Analysis

In Susan Schindler’s Architectural Exclusion, she argues that there has been a lot of work and research already done on discrimination through laws and social norms. However, she believes that not enough people are talking about how people are discriminated against through architecture. She provides multiple examples to where and how different people were discriminated against. One such example is that in Long Island, to get to this one beach cars need to pass under a very low bridge. Most cars can pass under with no issue, however, it is impossible for buses to pass under these bridges. A result of this is that no buses can get to that beach. So, the people that would typically use the bus — i.e poor minorities — cannot get to the beach keeping it whiter and richer.

There are many examples just like this one that the author uses to make her main point that this idea of  architectural exclusion exists and is rampant across the country. Personally, I had never even considered this to be a possible way of discrimination. But after reading some of the examples the author mentions it impossible not to believe that discrimination is occurring this way and that it needs to be stopped. This lesser known form of discrimination needs to be brought to light and remedied.

Reading Analysis 1: City of Rhetoric Commonplaces

City of Rhetoric Reading Analysis

In David Fleming’s “City of Rhetoric”, he touches on many different ideas about why and how our society has come to its current form. As well as ideas about how to make society better. One of these ideas is that our society needs these things called “commonplaces”. Fleming describes commonplaces as a public space where people can connect with each other and everyone’s voice be equally heard. But at the same time, keeping everyone’s individuality intact.

This idea of a commonplace is not a new idea, but rather an idea adopted from the Ancient Greek society. The reason for commonplaces needing to exist is so that people can come together to help make a livable world for ourselves. So, if these spaces were to exist they would need to be real and reliable, somewhere we all feel like we can belong to, and a place where we all feel we are bound to.

I believe that Fleming’s idea of creating commonplaces in our society is a good idea. It allows for more voices to be heard, as well as giving people a sense of belonging to both each other and their society. This will in turn get more people involved with politics and bring light to new problems that many of us did not know even existed. Commonplaces will make our society more democratic, and in turn better in the long run since there will be more people getting involved, giving voice to the voiceless, and making changes that better society.


Works Cited

Fleming, David. City of Rhetoric. Ithaca, US: SUNY Press, 2008. ProQuest ebrary. Web. 9

February 2017.