For my College Writing Class with Professor Hoskins, I have had the unique opportunity to research a commonplace in the D.C. Metropolitan area and observe it through a rhetorical lens. I picked a coffee shop in the Shaw area called Compass Coffee. The cafe originated from an old laundromat and now has multiple locations throughout the city. I explored D.C. through newspaper articles, videos, and first-hand observations.
What makes this project even cooler is that my whole class participated. Here is a map of everyone’s commonplaces and research: Class Google Map
Looking back at my work over the semester, I never realized how exciting and impactful my work was until now. I hope you enjoy looking at my project!
Below are links to each part:
In his chapter “Toward a New Sociospatial Dialectic”, Fleming begins by rehashing his past scenes from earlier in the text. He discusses how his generation has, in a sense, “failed” in teaching the young people how to appreciate and deal with living together with people who are not like themselves. However, the only way to build a self-governing community focus on acceptance and equality is for our society to be built up of individuals with similar backgrounds and goals. Essentially it is impossible to live in complete harmony and equality.
Applying Flemings theories to college life, one can only concur with his findings. Everyone says there is no judgment in college, everyone is free to be themselves. However, there is an unbelievable amount of tension between individuals with vastly different points of view that differ from the mainstream. The community of American University consists of main liberals, making this the mainstream perspective. When a conservative individual is put into the community they are immediately attacked, hated, isolated for deviating from the norm. It becomes a topic of gossip. Intentional or not, this creates a mental barrier and a tainted view of the individual. Similarly, lower-income communities are isolated and seen as “different” from the mainstream.
Below is an article about American University. Hundred of students gather to voice their opinions. Of course, there is nothing from with exercising the First Amendment right of free speech. However, being there in person I was able to get a first-hand experience. Not only were they protesting, but also yelling and verbally attacking any conservative student. In addition, those who are conservative are very well known. For example, when students see republican individuals they point them out and say, “They voted for Trump. Can you believe that?”. Marking them as different than the rest of the students.