English 1102 Midterm Reflection

Growing up in a regular English class setting, I was taught to regurgitate information based on a reading or an experience and put it out in the form of a paper no longer than 1.5 pages with and introduction, body paragraphs, and conclusion.

I say the word “taught” very loosely because there was no choice in the matter, so it was more drilled into me throughout my academic experience. With this background, the environment that is my English 1102 class is completely different from what I am used to, and I find myself having to adapt frequently to the changes and what is actually required of me. I went from having to constantly write a paper without actually having to process or sit down with the information to having to be aware of every detail as it relates to my work as a whole.

The class is primarily set up of reading summaries, annotated bibliographies, and built environment descriptions per unit we cover so it is already distinct from traditional English classes. The setup is the same where I am given informati0n to do whatever is required of me to do, but it’s different because I have the option to do more. Key word being option. The work that is required of me in this course in not the only work I can do. Furthermore the work that is required of me in this course only grants me a passing grade of a C. This has caused me to rethink what it means to gone you’d what is simply required of me and I believe I have not disappointed myself.

The straightforward assignments are easy enough, with my audience being my peers and the showcase of my work being a blog rather than a notebook full of paper which allows me a different approach of how to convey my work. I spend the majority of my time on my Tumblr blog anyway so writing assignments on a blog post wasn’t as foreign to me as I thought it would. I actually prefer it over writing on a piece of paper. I also feel more comfortable writing to my peers than I did in high school and growing up being of the environment I’m allowed to write in.

Looking back on how much I’ve accomplished so far versus all that I had the opportunity to accomplish, I would say I haven’t let myself down, but I haven’t put myself in a position to be as comfortable as I wanted at this point in the semester. Outside of doing the regular reading summaries I enjoy writing an extra blog post about how I felt about the reading. I also take advantage of the quizzes as I have completed most of them. However, what’s difficult for me is what do I turn in and is what I turn in even important. It has taken me sometime to realize that everything matters simply because it truly does. No detail is too small and unimportant in the larger scheme of things and I need to continue with that knowledge. I also have to be more accepting of the fact that Im not in this alone. I have peers that are going through it right along with me and instead of working alone to accomplish our goals, we can work together. Peer-review, study groups, these are things I can take advantage of to better myself as a writer. Not to say that my writing is weak, but it has the possibility to go farther.

English 1102 has taught me that there is so much more that I as a student can accomplish when the choice is mine to make. I have done well enough with the choices that I have made throughout the semester but I know there is more I can do to get the A I so desperately want.

Schindlers “Architectural Exclusion” Reading Summary

Sarah Schindlers work “Architectural Exclusion” discusses the forms of regulation performed through architectural work to either discriminate, eliminate, or control one group or another. The reading is broken up into two major parts: Architectural Exclusion as a theory, and Architectural Exclusion as a practice. The theory of architectural exclusion revolves around defining the term architectural exclusion and how its practices are so abundant in the U.S. Architectural Exclusion is a means of regulation or control of one or groups, to either benefit or harm said groups. Many do not see this kind of blatant discrimination because we assume it is just a part of daily life. Due to this it has become very difficult to reprimand many practices of architectural exclusion as it is harder to pinpoint or not taken as serious as laws made to control or discriminate. Part 1 goes into detail about the vast how overwhelming the art of regulation is in the built environment around us, but how few have considered its role in our daily lives. Much of our built environment controls our way of transport and access to certain areas, which has made architectural exclusion more political than lawful. Take for example the abundance of neighborhoods with houses to own in a given city, rather than making apartment homes. Low-income citizens are more likely to rent an apartment than buy a home and are less likely to vote than middle to upper-class citizens, causing government officials to cater to homeowners than renters. This also ties to racial discrimination because more people of color find themselves in lower income situations. Practices like this are found all throughout the United States but are not easy to overcome because many see the built environment not as a means of control, but as just apart of daily life. Part 2 goes into great detail about the different types of architectural exclusion as a practice. It begins with an example of New York architect Robert Moses building bridges that hung very low in order to inhibit public transportation into his newly built park. He did this because at the time the majority of those riding public transit were people of color. One of the largest practices of architectural regulation is by the placement of public transit spots, as those who primarily use public transit are low-income individuals or people of color. It is not only architects that take part in this regulation but neighborhood and government officials as well. Many middle and upper class homeowners will vote against the placement of public transit sites near their residence as a way to deter crime. Government officials will do the same but also go a step above that with the building of highways and walls that create a physical barrier between two groups of people. In example highway exits may be placed leading away from upper-class homes and into more impoverished areas to deter traffic from entering richer neighborhoods.  Again these are all blatant acts of discrimination against one or more groups of people, but as long as it is a form of regulation that can be wielded by people in power and brushed over as nothing more than landscape, then nothing will change.



Schindlers “Architectural Exclusion” Passage Meaning

7) “…there is no such thing as a neutral design” What this excerpt means is that any design is meant to be either beneficial or detrimental to one or more groups of people. The meaning behind is this is that every creation has a reason behind it. For example a building may be constructed to protect one or more persons from the outside world, hence benefitting them. Also, a gate can be constructed, to keep people out and protect people on the other side of the gate. Where one group is being benefitted and the other is being harmed.

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