Reading Summary 6 Color Walking

In RadioLab’s article called “Color Walking” by Phia Bennin and Brendan McMullan, they encourage people to observe a specific color each day and see where it takes them. Going day by day, we tend to ignore the vibrant colors around us and do not notice how these colors can be connected to form the beautiful masterpiece that the world is. When people make a conscious effort to notice these colors and their connections, the world becomes a more interesting place and one’s perspective of their environment is subject to change.

Sumner, Thomas. "Why Some Rainbows Are All Red." Science News. N.p., 18 Dec. 2015. Web. 09 Mar. 2016. .

Sumner, Thomas. “Why Some Rainbows Are All Red.” Science News. N.p., 18 Dec. 2015. Web. 09 Mar. 2016. <>.

In the podcast called “Color” by RadioLab, they discuss how the ability of sight is different in various species and even in different people. The majority of humans are trichromatic, meaning that they have three cones in order to see color: blue, green, and red. These three cones and the combination of them allow us to see millions of shades of colors. However, there are some women that are tetra chromatic, meaning that they have a yellow cone in addition to the other three cones.This is possible because women have an XX chromosome, so all women are born with the potential ability to have four active cones; although, in most women the fourth cone is not active. The interesting thing about this discovery of the active fourth cone is that these that tetra chromatic women can be found by doing a DNA test. However, when these women are found, few of them actually see the slight differences in colors that look the same to most people. Living in the artificial trichromatic world that humans have made for themselves, most tetra chromatic women are surrounded by an environment where they cannot express this unusual trait. For example, T.V.s, the ink in printers, and artificial food colorings are all trichromatic to name a few. Her brain has not been conditioned to see these unfamiliar colors because she is only surrounded by a trichromatic world. It was found that the women in an environment where they are more exposed to the natural colors of the world are more likely to be able to see these slight differences in color. For example, a florist or interior designer may have conditioned their brains to see these different colors whereas a secretary is not as likely to have done so.


This discovery puts a new spin on the first article that was mentioned because when looking to notice the colors surrounding you, there is even more depth if you are a tetra chromatic woman. It is a fun exercise to practice what the article suggests which is to pick a specific color at the beginning of the day and notice as many things as you can that are that color and the various shades of that color. A tetra chromatic woman may be able to challenge herself and pick out how two colors may vary and how many different colors they see at sunset. This exercise attempts to make a greater connection with people and their surroundings and it may spring a more powerful interest in careful observation.

Reading Summary 5 Better Online Living

Melissa King’s article called “Better Online Living through Content Moderation” argues that internet users should always have the choice to filter what they expose themselves to online. Online harassment has become an increasing problem in the last years, but there are ways to limit this abuse. One common way to avoid stressors on the Internet is to block the user that is doing the harassing. Blocking someone would create a situation where the stalker or abuser cannot see the information of the blocker, and the blocker no longer sees what the abuser posts. This can be very helpful in the process to separate oneself from a perpetrator; however, the American culture tends to look down upon those who exercise that resource.

People are constantly pressured to face their problems and to be in a hurry to get over painful experiences. This type of cultural influence can be confusing to those that have conditions like depression or PTSD. Conditions like these cannot be overcome overnight, and they cannot be solved by having to face an unwanted stressor all the time. These conditions have to be treated carefully and cannot be suppressed while coming into contact with triggers. The uneducated public may think that exposure to triggers can aid in recovery; however, being thrown into exposure can cause panic attacks and can heighten the anxiety for that trigger.


Not only people with these conditions, but everyone should have the right to censor their internet exposure without being ridiculed as being too sensitive. In addition to the insensitivity about people blocking triggers on the internet, PTSD can be a result of the bullying online. Caleb Lack, who is a licensed clinical psychologist, argues, “Yes, you can ‘get’ PTSD from Twitter” (King). He goes on to explain, however, that it is the harassment from the users of Twitter that cause this complication, not Twitter itself. It is a common thought that the posts on the internet are empty words that cannot do real damage, but there have been many cases where someone’s life is threatened or someone is bullied for so long that they commit suicide. If something as simple as blocking someone can prevent this from happening, this should be encouraged instead of looked down upon.


In addition to this, people argue that if a user is blocked, they are being silenced. Everyone has the freedom of speech and the right to say what they chose as long as it complies to the law. However, blocking a user does not silence them. They can be heard in every other part of the world, and it is someone’s personal opinion whether they want to listen to it or not.


Although King makes a strong argument that everyone should have the right to filter their internet exposure, she assumes that this cannot be done in private. Even if a user is forced to go through the process of installing an app in order to block someone, this can easily be done without allowing others to see. People may chose to not block someone because they feel the need to stay updated on the situation; however, if this is not the case, the victim may block the abuser in peace.

Reading Summary 4

“Recognizing Campus Landscapes as Learning Spaces” by Kathleen G. Scholl and Gowri Betrabet Gulwadi analyzes how the architecture of certain college campuses can work to relieve its students of the mental agitation that they face in the classroom. Nature, which can be defined in many ways, creates an environment for students that allows them to relax and put their mind at ease while also stimulating it. It is mentioned that being in touch with nature can come in many forms including having a house plant, a pet, walking in an open park, or a forest crowded with trees. Nature can be an agent to cleanse the mind which can be further explained by the Attention Restoration Theory. The theory suggests that nature has the ability to have a recovering effect on those who are cognitively exhausted.

University campuses that incorporate rain gardens, green houses/roofs, and living laboratories create a space where students can not only study and take care of the plants themselves, but it also gives the rest of the students a place where they can go to restore their attention. In addition, campus buildings can be constructed in ways to encourage the students to relax their mind like having open window space, natural light, one story buildings, and having the aforementioned nature spaces near by.

The idea behind this theory has played a significant role in campus construction all the way back to the United State’s first university, Princeton. Princeton was constructed in a more rural area with its buildings formed in a way to secure its students from the outside world as if to create a special sanctuary of learning. The nature surrounding the campus may have had a positive impact on the students, and in many college campuses today, the architects strive to have nature present in their layout.

“Princeton University : Usa Best University Information.” Accessed February 16, 2016.

“Princeton University : Usa Best University Information.” Accessed February 16, 2016.

However, students in the twenty first century are attracted to universities that are in urban areas in hopes to make easy connections with future internships and careers. Georgia State University is a perfect example of an “amorphous and integrative” campus (Scholl and Gulwadi). It is difficult to tell where the university ends and the city begins, and there is not much of a nature presence on campus. Although the natural element is not particularly present, students are drawn to Georgia State and perhaps have their nature fix by owning a pet or house plant.

In addition to present day campuses, Scholl and Gulwadi also discuss the history of university architecture. Due to the increase in students after World War II and the Great Depression, there underwent a massive reconstruction of campuses. The updates to buildings and equipment in the sciences and other subjects took the attention away from the importance of having a wall of security between the students and the outside world. It was then that campuses tended to construct separate areas of campus for different disciplines. The layout of campuses started to be more open and less secluded. This change contributed to increasing the sense of community, allowing students to more easily participate in recreational activities, and has an overall positive effect when working to recruit students and professors to chose their campus over others.

Reading Summary 3

“Space and consequences: The impact of different formal learning spaces on instructor and student behavior” by D. Christopher Brooks shines a light on how different learning environments can positively or negatively affect the learning process and overall student success. He expresses to the reader that there is a great lack of research done on the topic of how new technologies in the classroom affect learning. EDUCAUSE is the main organization that has been responsible for working to transforming the classroom environment, and it is important to know how this transformation is affecting the students. Education is the most important resource in a person’s life and the most important component to a country’s success by attaining more skilled workers. Without the most effective teaching styles and environments, the education system is doing a great disservice to their students. Brooks works to provide more information about different learning environments, so the system may be changed for the better.

Students at Massachusetts Institute of Technology who conducted their Technology Enabled Active Learning (TEAL) project found that in an active learning curriculum in technologically advanced spaces, students performed better than those in a lecture style classroom. The new environment reduced failure rates and increased understanding of the material. In addition, students from North Carolina State also found that the classrooms and curriculum associated with their Student-Centered Activities for Large Enrollment Undergraduate Programs (SCALE-UP) reduced failure rates and aided understanding while increasing class attendance, student attitudes, and problem-solving skills.

Brooks conducts a study comparing the traditional classroom to an Active Learning Classroom (ALC). The traditional classroom has all of the desks facing the front of the room where the professor’s podium is, there are few thin aisles for walking around, and there is one white board in the front of the room. In the Active Learning Classroom, the tables are circular, there are white boards on every wall, and there are many wide aisles to enable free movement around the room.
Examining these features, Brooks studied how much time the professor spent lecturing, the amount of group activities conducted, where the professor stood during class, if the professor consulted a student independently, how much time was spent using Q&A between the professor and students, how often the students were on or off task, and how the students’ test scores related to the students from the opposing environment.

Brooks, D. Christopher. "Space and consequences: The impact of different formal learning spaces on instructor and student behavior." Journal of Learning Spaces 1.2 (2012).

Brooks, D. Christopher. “Space and consequences: The impact of different formal learning spaces on instructor and student behavior.” Journal of Learning Spaces 1.2 (2012).

For the majority of the topics, Brooks rejected his null hypotheses. The students in the ALC scored higher on their exams, there was more individual and class consulting in the ALC, and the professor moved around the room more frequently in the ALC. One surprising result was that the students tended to be more on task in the traditional learning environment, but Brooks described why this may have occurred. Brooks writes, “there is a distinct possibility that the issue lies with the operationalization and measurement of on-task behavior” (Brooks). What he expected to be on task behavior was derived from what learning environment he was used to— traditional. Although students tended to be on their phones and laptops more instead of facing the professor and taking notes, it may not be true that those students were off task.

In conclusion, the ALC resulted in variations of the professor’s behavior which affected the classroom activities which in turn, positively affected the students success in the course. He also mentions that the experiment will have more validated results if the experiment included many courses and professors instead of one. Ultimately, an active learning environment produces better results than a lecture style course

Architectural Exclusion Summary

In the “Architectural Exclusion: Discrimination and Segregation Through Physical Design of the Built Environment”, Sarah Schindler discusses the controversy between architectural structures and racism. She argues that structures such as bridges, fences, walls, etc. are made to separate poor/colored people from rich/white people. The architects of these designs argue that these structures are put there to divert traffic and minimize crime. However, Schindler argues that these are simply excuses they are giving in order to make their new residencies more attractive and to allow the property value to climb. The architects do this to maximize profits, but in the process, they are making the lives of poor/colored people much more difficult.

The majority of the time, these inequalities are being overlooked by judges because this barrier could potentially bring more money into the city where this new “privileged” community is able to thrive. Because the people making these decisions will be benefitting from this new community, they refuse to fight for the civil rights of those being negatively affected by these new barricading structures. For example, the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) and the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) not only supported but initiated the plan to build fences and walls in order to keep crime out of the area. The fence doubled the travel distance to the nearest grocery store for the non-gated community members, and it took approximately two hours for them to reach the store.

A large number of poor people rely on public transportation. These people depend on public transit like buses, subways, and light rails, but bridges were being built lower so that buses could not pass underneath. Because of this, they were restricted from going to the public parks and other public places in order to keep these areas predominantly white. These transportation systems are all regulated by the city. Therefore, the city controls where new tracks are built-or not built. Many times, these systems are not constructed in the most helpful way to its users because the city in intentionally keeping them out of certain areas. Due to this inconvenience, people may try to get to their destination on foot.  However, those that decide it may be easier to do so will find just as much trouble. Because of the lack of sidewalks, this walk to work becomes a dangerous trek. Honking cars that rush by throughout the day cannot swerve out of their lanes to make room for the pedestrian. These tragic accidents could have been prevented by providing a safe way for all citizens to travel.

The inequalities discussed in this article are unjust as Schindler proves. There is much to be improved within this system, but it may not ever be perfect because in the real world, every decision is centered around profit. Schindler makes valid arguments in her article, and does a great job fully educating the reader on this pressing and ongoing issue. This article could quite possibly spark a movement and changes may be made, but, until then, profit will trump equality.

"Rich vs Poor in the Third World". Wacky Archives. Web. Last accessed February 1, 2016.

“Rich vs Poor in the Third World”. Wacky Archives. Web. Last accessed February 1, 2016.

Tapestry of Space Summary

“Tapestry of Space: Domestic Architecture and Underground Communities in Margaret Morton’s Photography of a Forgo en New York” by Irina Nersessova is an article about the psychogeography of homeless people. She discusses the connection that New York’s homeless have with the abandoned tunnels that were once used for public transportation, and delves into the emotion of the subject instead of solely focusing on numbers.

The most striking point that Morton makes when talked about in Nersessova’s article is that homeless people do, indeed, have a home. They can have a place where they feel safe and protected. However, homeless people are without a home that they can fully rely on. The tunnels have provided a sanctuary for many homeless because they are less likely to be in danger than if they were sleeping above the tunnels. Above ground is like a whole other world. It is a place of danger, death, and pain. Although this is true, most people above ground would never go into the deep, dark, abandoned tunnels, but Nersessova writes, “The absolute darkness of the tunnel prevents danger from entering it, which explains how it is possible to have the highest feeling of safety in a place that is perceived as most dangerous” (31). The homeless have to ignore their fear when they are searching for a safe place to rest. Those that are brave enough to face going into the tunnels for the first time can find a Utopia there. They can sleep without fear of being mugged, and they have a safe place to hide their valuables, and a quiet place to find themselves.

Although many homeless people do find safety in the tunnels, that sense of protection can be taken away in an instant. The police have the power to kick the homeless out of their safehouse. This boot back onto the streets is one hardship that the homeless population unfortunately has to face over and over again in their lifetimes. It can only be imagined how they must feel to lose the only protection that they have. The homeless had transformed the tunnels into their own personal space by creating art on the walls and constructing beds out of materials that represent the “splintered identity’s attempt to conform to the notion of a unified and solid self” (26). For the first time in a long time, they created a place for themselves where they did not have to worry about making it through the night. It is unbearable to think that the homeless are so coasted out from society that they are kicked out of places that no one even wants anymore.

A photographer that document the homeless and their experiences is refered to as flâneur. This flâneur is simply there to observe and take in their surroundings. They are described as being attentive to detail and easily distracted as to follow only the most captivating stories. The flâneur is thought to see the world as more than most people do. He can see the beauty when most see dirt, and he can follow the slightest detail that most otherwise would not have noticed. They are without fear as they approach strangers for interviews and explore dark tunnels for the next great shot.

It is so important to not lose touch with this story. It is easy to think of homeless people as inferior, but, in fact, they deserve no less than everyone else. They are treated like criminals for being homeless, but the setbacks that come from them being thought of as criminals (like getting locked out of the tunnels) makes it even harder on them to get back on their feet.

"Abandoned Tunnel". Flickr. November 17, 2013. Web. Last accessed February 1, 2016.

“Abandoned Tunnel”. Flickr. November 17, 2013. Web. Last accessed February 1, 2016.