Reading Summary #4

Tick, Suzanne. “His & Hers: Designing for a Post-Gender Society.” Metropolis Magazine. N.p., Mar. 2015. Web. 25 Feb. 2016.

“His & Hers: Designing for a Post-Gender Society” explores the issues created in the post-gender society that is currently developing. The two main theaters Tick discusses this in are workplace design (primarily with regards to restrooms) and in fashion. For workplace design, she cites the current trend of modernism which presents a primarily male-centric design as well as companies like google that are challenging this standard by implementing gender-neutral bathrooms as well as the preexisting gender segregated bathrooms so that employees don’t have to specify a gender at work. For the deterioration of traditional gender roles in fashion, she gives the example of a women’s jacket with masculine tailoring and military style and a set of makeup that is designed to be appealing to the male buyer. This piece would be helpful to anyone seeking to explore how gender norms are being challenged in the modern day in fashion and architecture.

Reading Summary #3

Bazelon, Emily. “Making Bathrooms More ‘Accommodating.’” The New York Times 17 Nov. 2015. Web. 23 Feb. 2016.

This article, written by Emily Bazelon for The New York Times, covers the issue of integrating gendered bathrooms and cites several examples where people are trying to make that push. One example is in Texas, where a law that would prevent discrimination in the workplace on the basis of age, race, sexual orientation and gender identity was rejected with a campaign that used fear to influence voters to vote against it. It also goes through two different examples of high school transgender students and their efforts to push for accommodation in the schools’ locker rooms. Bazelon helps to clarify what she means by accommodation: “‘Accommodate’ can have a compulsory aspect — it’s a word that involves moving over to make room for other people, whether you want to or not.” This article would be useful to anyone seeking to analyze the gendered built environment and how it affects where people are allowed to go and where they are able to feel comfortable.

Annotated Bibliography #6

Kopas, Matthew Bryon David. “The Illogic of Separation: Examining Arguments About Gender-Neutral Public Bathrooms.” Thesis. N.p., 2012. Web. 23 Feb. 2016.

This study examines how people who are generally unfamiliar with the debate surrounding gender equality with regards to bathrooms and the idea of a gender neutral restroom. It analyzed the different counter-arguments people presenting in their resistance to this new built environment, with the only argument left unaddressed being the argument that cited religious beliefs for the attachment to gender binary bathrooms. This study is relevant to the content of this class discussed in the session during which we analyzed the assigned reading about ending gender segregation in bathrooms. It relates to the built environment of Atlanta because while Atlanta is a relatively progressive community, it is still within the Bible Belt and religious beliefs still play a large part in how policy and law makers go about doing their jobs (as evidenced by the recent House Bill 575 and the rhetoric of Lieutenant Governor Casey Cagle, including phrases like “God’s country”). This article is likely intended for the proponents of policy that would require gender neutral bathrooms so that they can better understand the arguments of those who seek to oppose these measures.

Annotated Bibliography #5

Earthman, Glen, and Linda Lemasters. “Review of Research on the Relationship between School Buildings, Student Achievement, and Student Behavior.” (1996): n. pag. Web. 23 Feb. 2016.
“Review of Research on the Relationship between School Buildings, Student Achievement, and Student Behavior” is about how the design of school facilities affect two variables: student performance and student behavior. The variable most relevant to our class is student performance, in reference to the assigned reading we talked about in class that discussed how open spaces might influence student performance. Factors covered include “open-education programs and open-space schools, school building age, thermal factors, visual factors, color and interior painting, hearing factors, open space, windowless facilities, underground facilities, site size, building maintenance, and numerous other factors.” (Earthman and Lemasters, Abstract). The intended audience for this article seems to be architectural and construction firms as well as planning committees for new educational developments since this article was authored by the Council of Educational Facility Planners. One thing that was not discussed in the article we were assigned for class was a correlation between age of the study the strength of the relationship between the factors and the results. Older studies found a very weak relationship to the outcome of these factors while newer surveys found a much stronger relationship.

Annotated Bibliography #4

Cherry, Gordon E. “The Town Planning Movement and the Late Victorian City.” Transactions of the Institute of British Geographers 4.2 (1979): 306–319. JSTOR. Web.

This source discusses the factors that influenced the planning of late Victorian cities such as the nature of capitalism of the period. While the one flaw for my purposes is that this article is specific to Britain, it relates to my chosen Interior Built Environment of the Rhodes Hall in that it was built in this same time period, and discusses some general topics that include the Rhodes Hall like the practice of model estate building by industrialists that were able to thrive at that time. This piece also covers the influence of many German “town-expansion” plans which is is relevant since Amos Giles Rhodes was inspired by Rhineland architecture and castles to build the Rhodes Hall in the manner that he did. All of this is important to keep in mind since much of Atlanta was rebuilt after being burnt in the Civil War (i.e. the Late Victorian Era) and the Rhodes Hall is one of the primary surviving examples of this architecture in the form of an “Garden City” style estate.

Mid-Term Reflection

Mid-Term Reflection

How has your understanding of the writing process evolved?

This course is much different from previous English or writing classes I’ve attended in that requires you to consider all modes of communication and really forces you to use them to make your writing more effective. Even last semester in English 1101, while we were taught the different modes of communication, the only thing we were required to do really was write. The absence of full-length essays so far in this class has also allowed me much more freedom with my assignments to do them in different ways to see what is most effective. Primary and secondary research are both very important in composing a persuasive piece but I feel like secondary research requires more work for it to be as taken as seriously as primary research. With secondary research, you have to be very diligent with citing your sources and making sure the audience knows what you’re saying isn’t just assumption but actually rooted in research. I think the way I need to improve in this area is with my secondary research; I believe there have been a couple of times where Mrs. Arrington has pointed out that I used a certain fact without saying where it came from so I definitely need to be better about in-text citations. The main two audiences I’ve been catering my writing to have been Mrs. Arrington and my classmates. While it is something that has been an aspect of this class, I hadn’t very much considered that someone outside of this class would be looking on my blog for information. Despite this, I sill believe that the content on my wordpress site would still be useful in some degree to any researcher not affiliated with this or GSU at all. Another unique thing about this class is that we still have yet to write an essay. This format of using blog posts allows me to be more succinct and focus on individual modes of communication in more detail than essays with minimum word or page counts.

What are the strengths and weaknesses of your work so far?

I feel that one of the main strengths of my writing style is that I am able to go into very minute detail about my surroundings (built environments) and pieces of literature and while that can be very useful in some contexts (mainly the Built environment descriptions) that require absolute objectivity, I find that one of my major shortcomings is being able to apply that observation to a specific rhetorical goal within a given writing assignment. The only extra assignments I have done for this class have been office hour visits which were very helpful because I felt that I really needed someone to show me the ins and outs of the website platform in order for me to use it correctly. The main reason I’ve been neglecting the extra assignments is that I’ve been a bit overwhelmed with other classes, especially since this semester I have a lot of classes outside of English that have out-of-class reading due nearly every class meeting so getting around to all of them has become a bit of a daunting task recently. The primary way I intend to improve my performance is to take quizzes on D2L and post my own independent blog entries on different built environments I experience daily while living on campus.

How are you going to apply what you have learned to future projects and your work in this course?

I plan to change my method of approach in this class to give myself more time to prepare for assignments and read the associated literature so that I give more educated response and bibliographies. I also think that the central problem with my blog posts is the spatial mode. My text gets switched around in an inconvenient way in conjunction with my pictures and the one time I tried to put a video in a post it didn’t embed correctly so it just came up as a link and not a window with a play button. I believe I just need to lay around with the features on wordpress in order to perfect that aspect of my rhetoric

External Built Environment Description: Clay Family Cemetery


For my Built Environment Description, I chose the Clay Family Cemetery located at 31 Clifton Street NE in the neighborhood of Kirkwood, Atlanta. This burial ground was created when Jesse Clay emigrated here from Virginia in 1826, with headstone dates ranging from 1860 to 1936, with unmarked burials continuing into the early 1970’s. The Clay property made up one third of the current neighborhood of Kirkwood, with the other two plots being from the properties of the Kirkpatrick’s and the Dunwoody’s (hence the name “Kirkwood”).


The graveyard is bordered on 3 sides by yards and houses and on the fourth side by Clifton Street. The dilapidated front fence had a gate with the family name “Clay” on it in white block letters. The ground is mostly red Georgia clay with piles of leaves and some patches of yellow wildflowers. When I arrived at around 1:00PM there were birds chirping and a woodpecker softly pecking. The air smelled like any other partially wooded Georgia neighborhood with a slightly smoky tint that I assume was coming from someone’s fireplace.


The cemetery was obviously quite old as a good many of the graves were crumbling and beginning to tip while others were already toppled over completely. Another indicator of its age was the presence of many short graves occupied by children who likely died of diseases that are now easily preventable. I also found a seemingly morbid amount of gravestones whose inhabitants were only 18 to 21 years old when they died.



The graves were somewhat datable by their type. The oldest graves had headstones which were elaborately decorated with granite Victorian-style statues (and obviously, these were in the worst shape). The newer headstones were plain white stone blocks that were placed fairly recently based on the lack of wear and patina and some, which must have been rediscovered extremely recently, were marked only with neon orange plastic stakes as they must be awaiting placement of a new white stone marker.





Some of the graves had personal effects placed in front of them: a seashell, an old jar and even a black women’s handbag. There was also some trash strewn around, mostly old pint liquor bottles, soda bottles and plastic bags. I even found a shard of a vinyl 45 record and an old Buick hubcap! I was surprised that I didn’t find any cigarette butts or cigarillo wrappers, as that is by far the most common form of litter that I’ve come across living in Atlanta.



Surprisingly, the burial ground was actually a very peaceful place to wander around and relax while reading the headstones. This is usually not the case in my experience with graveyards. Usually (and this is truer with graveyards that are still in use and have recent additions), cemeteries make me uneasy and give a very eerie and morbid atmosphere. Honestly, to me, the saddest or most morbid thing about this place is how poorly it is maintained as evidenced by the rundown fencing, the abundance of liquor bottles that have been there long enough to have their labels worn off, the poor condition of the grave markers and two large trees that have been cut down and then cut into sections and left on the property. Other than this, the Clay Family Cemetery fits very seamlessly into the surrounding framework of houses. The houses immediately around the site show the varying degrees of the gentrification of Kirkwood as a whole, with some homes being quite large and modern and others smaller antiques with bars still bolted onto the window frames.
While the majority of marked graves predate most of the research that I did in my Annotated Bibliographies of the built environment of Kirkwood, some of the later-era unmarked graves are relevant to that research. While the racial demographics of inner-city Atlanta neighborhoods (including Kirkwood) were changing from the end of WWII up until the 1970’s, Clay Family Cemetery eventually came to include the remains of the growing African-American population of Kirkwood, a practice that “preceded others in the south by roughly 20+ years (Williamson)”. This leap forward in tolerance of other races is a perfect example of how the built environment reacts to the racial makeup of it’s inhabitants.


While unrelated to the purpose of this post, I thought it was interesting and somewhat cliché that near the end of my visit to this site, this black cat popped up and started following me around, even letting me pet her for a while.

Reading Summary #1

Alexander Reid
Professor Arrington
English 1102
14 February, 2016
Summary of The Tunnel (on p.57)
The Tunnel by Margaret Morton is a part of “The Architecture of Despair” and ongoing photographic documentation by Morton of the lives of the homeless in New York City and how they survive and make their living. This entry in this project centers specifically on the homeless community that occupies the abandoned Amtrak tunnel that stretches from 72nd street to 123rd street from Riverside Park to the Hudson River. Morton starts off describing the history of this tunnel and the land it occupies, saying “The mud flats along the Hudson River were occupied by squatters when the Hudson River Railroad arrived in the mid-1800s. (Morton, ix)” Once the railroad was built, the area became a shanty town that fed on the garbage dumped there by the Sanitation Department. In 1934, in order to gentrify the mud flats into a stylish strip for residents of the nearby apartments, the garbage dumping was ceased and the railroad tracks were covered with a concrete tunnel to conceal “the dirt of the dense black smoke of the diesel engines and the odor of carloads of pigs and cattle en route to the slaughter house (Morton, ix)”. The tunnel was outfitted with concrete structures for use by railroad personnel. Once shipping methods had advanced to the point of making rail shipping no longer viable, the tunnel was largely abandoned and occupied once again by a community of homeless people who took shelter there.
The text is organized by chapters labeled with different areas of the tunnel,
which are then broken down into sections which recount the stories of the residents of those areas. In the first chapter “The north gate”, the reader is introduced to the most recurrent character, Bernard Monte Isaac. Nearly every subsequent interviewee is a friend or acquaintance of Bernard and most were invited to live in the tunnels by Bernard himself. In the acknowledgements, Morton thanks Bernard for acting as her guide throughout the length of the tunnel between 1991 and 1995 while she was compiling pictures and interviews for this book. Bernard and some of the other residents lived in the concrete structures built for railroad employees and have cleaned them out and intricately decorated their own personal spaces to make them more of a home. There is also plenty of graffiti, with some of the pieces being random and haphazard and others being full murals by recognized artists that are subsequently named and credited in the acknowledgements at the end of the book. There are many common themes among the stories, especially when discussing different ways of surviving in the tunnels. Nearly everyone talks about having to collect cans to return to stores, going to soup kitchens, churches and shelters for food and going up to the surface to scavenge wood out of dumpsters for fuel to keep warm during the winter months. This a very fascinating piece of literature chronicling a piece of New York culture that is literally and figuratively underground. This book would be useful to anyone looking to further research the built environment and how it creates little enclave communities like this one that almost exist in their own separate worlds from the rest of society.

Disabled by Design Annotated Bibliography by Alex Reid and Kittiya Chaiyachati

Miller, Clark, and Claire Gordon. “Disabled by Design.” Slate 26 Feb. 2015. Slate. Web. 9 Feb. 2016.

This article discusses social attitudes about the inclusion/exclusion of disabled people based on the characteristics of the built environment around them. It references the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) as instrumental in the shift of perceived blame from the disabled person to their environment for not accommodating them, saying “This cultural perspective pits people with disabilities … in a competitive race against those with greater abilities.” This article would be somewhat useful for someone attempting to discuss the effects of the built environment on people with disabilities and the changing attitudes to whether or not we should alter the built environment to include them and how deep these alterations should run. This article does have a few hang ups though. One of the main examples used in this articles is that the size of a Black Hawk attack helicopter excludes people of certain body shapes and sizes. This may be indicative of my own opinion, but it doesn’t seem defensible to claim that every person of every shape and size has a right to drive a multi-million dollar killing machine. The much more glaring objective error in the study about Black Hawks referenced in the article is that it did not include data of the shapes and sizes of men who would have been eligible to pilot these helicopters. These two holes in the primary example presented here greatly detract from the value of this article to be referenced or quoted without exposing these errors in the text that is using it as a source.

Annotated Bibliography #3

Ferguson, Karen. “Kruse, Kevin M. White Flight: Atlanta and the Making of Modern Conservatism. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2005.”Urban History Review 35.1 (2006): 61. Web.

This article covers the redistribution of blacks and whites in Atlanta throughout the 1950’s-1970’s caused by a shortage of housing in traditionally black neighborhoods after World War II, resulting a diaspora of these people into what was then considered “White Territory”. Resistance from the white community came in two forms: blatant support for segregationist policies and a more inconspicuous concern for the condition of property values in the areas that many black families were moving into. Many church and local community leaders would urge home owners to refuse to sell to black families, as once one house sold, the rest of the neighborhood would scramble to sell their property as well in preparation for the anticipated drop in housing values. Kirkwood was one of these neighborhoods significantly affected. Kirkwood was originally majority white and soon became majority black in a couple of years as a result of this phenomenon. The ultimate conclusion is that instead of integrating, most white citizens fled to the suburbs which greatly influenced the demographic makeup of the metropolitan community to this day. This article would be useful to anybody seeking to demonstrate how the built environment has changed where people are “allowed” to live based on racist and classist ideals and how those ideals have survived into modernity. I chose this article because it also ties in very nicely with Cities and Inequalities in a Global and Neoliberal World in discussing changes in Kirkwood’s racial demographics and this article uses Kirkwood as a specific example much more extensively than the other two articles I researched.