“Gentrification in America Report”

Maciag, Mike. “Gentrification in America Report.” Governing: The States and Localities. E.Republic, Feb. 2015. Web. 07 Mar. 2016. <http://www.governing.com/gov-data/gentrification-in-cities-governing-report.html>.

All across the United States, urban areas are experiencing an influx of well-off residents in areas which were previously underinvested. This influx is tagged with the name gentrification. Because of the affluent moving to the area, the housing process in the area begin to increase dramatically which displaces the residents. Statistics have shown that almost 20% of low income area in the the US have experienced gentrification. Cities that experienced gentrification in the most places were New York, NY, Philadelphia, PA, and Chicago, IL. The researches also found that neighborhoods that went through gentrification saw losses of the minority population and went through population increases while the opposite was seen in areas that failed to undergo it. Atlanta specifically has gentrified more than double of what it did from 1990-2000, going from 13 areas to 30. The city of Atlanta also noticed an increase of bachelor’s degrees held by adults in the areas increasing as gentrification. They also suffered a slight increase of poverty rates in the portions of the city that did not undergo gentrification. This article defines gentrification and gives specifics of where it has occurred around the nation.

“Georgia Senate Gives OK to Super Bowl Tax Breaks”

Salzer, James. “Key Georgia Senate Panel Gives OK to Super Bowl, Shopping Tax Breaks.” AJC. The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, 2 Mar. 2016. Web. 6 Mar. 2016. <http://www.ajc.com/news/news/state-regional-govt-politics/key-georgia-senate-panel-gives-ok-to-super-bowl-sh/nqcNQ/>.

Because the Atlanta Falcons invested in building the new Mercedes-Benz stadium which cost over $1.5 billion, they put in a bid to the NFL to be considered to host the Superbowl. In efforts to further persuade the NFL, Governor Nathan Deal, Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed and the Atlanta Sports Council proposed a bill to the Georgia Senate to have sales taxes on tickets to the big game waived. Tax breaks in the past have proven beneficial to our city as they have often created jobs and generated plenty of business for retail stores. The Georgia House and Senate assessed the pros and cons of offering tax breaks on super bowl tickets and found that it would cost the state and city $10 million but having the game in Atlanta would bring in over $400 million as estimated by economists. Because this bill is so broad it could also cover large sporting events such as Final Four games. This bill will possibly allow the city to have more economic growth and prowess through tax breaks on Superbowl tickets.

“Demolition of Georgia Dome Scheduled for 2017”

Tucker, Tim. “Demolition of Georgia Dome Scheduled for 2017.” AJC. The Atlanta Journal Constitution, 30 Jan. 2016. Web. 06 Mar. 2016. <http://www.myajc.com/news/sports/football/plans-in-works-to-decommission-the-dome/nqFFh/>.

Recently it was decided that the Mercedes-Benz Stadium will not be opened for business for an additional 3 months after the original date intended. Because it had been previously decided that the dome will close in March of 2017, local vendors and employees of the Dome are worried about not working for three months as the new stadium’s opening date is not June 2017. The construction company in charge of the Dome’s demolition stated that in order to have the significant amount of parking needed for the new stadium’s large attendance, they need to begin the implosion as soon as possible. The takedown of the dome is predicted to take from 6 to 7 months, which would not be in time for the 2017 NFL season. The parking decks would not be prepared in time due because of the time it takes to build such massive parking structures to hold such weights and the MARTA tracks that are so close. This opening date push back and not opening of the dome during the over lapped dates will mean that the Atlanta soccer team will not be playing in their new stadium or the Georgia dome for the first three months of their first ever season. Conclusively, there has been no revisiting of the demolition date of the Georgia Dome and it can potentially backfire locals and their sports teams.

“Understanding Visual Rhetoric in Digital Writing Environments

Because technology is evolving at such a fast pace and quickly becoming accepted as a formal writing space, training on writing for digital spaces is becoming a necessity. In her writing “Understanding Visual Rhetoric in Digital Writing Environments: Mary Hocks explains the importance of teaching visual rhetoric to students, which is explained in three categories: transparency, audience stance, and hybridity.

Hybridity is explained as incorporating different forms of media into online writing to make reading the work more pleasurable and riveting. The combination of text and media can include visuals, videos, graphs, embedded web pages, interactive modules and even sounds. Including media compels readers to completely delve themselves into the reading which makes it easier to see the meaning and understand the author, not to mention also keeping the reader engaged.

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Social Media site Tumblr.com allows for users to post multi-modally.

Transparency is defined as “the ways in which online documents relate to established conventions like those of print, graphic design, film and Web pages” (632). She backs her support of transparency because it makes the reader feel more connected when the work calls upon other sources stating the same thing. When others are saying the same as you and you cite them it makes your work visibly more credible.

Audience Stance is described by Hocks as the level of interactions received from the audience, what emotions the work brings about, and if it possibly discourages them from reacting certain ways. Each work created, if done properly can subtly bring about feelings in readers or construct mindsets. Hock uses evidence from other studies which prove that the interface and multi-modality of a work can compel readers to challenge themselves.

The study of audience stance also looks at how to keep different people engaged no matter the background. Hock gives us a look inside a study done where a group of students were asked to create a website answering a question. The students made the site intricately which allowed for students and adults alike were completely intrigued and engaged. They did this by including an interactive forum to engage students, and Shakespearean sources to engage the adult readers.

Including media in the digital writings enhanced students’ enhanced the students’ thinking because they had to carefully map out how things would flow in the work and present the visual information in a way that would engage the audience. Creating multimodal works also is beneficial to students because it is challenging yet it “leads students to a new understanding of how designed spaces and artifacts impact audiences”.

Mary Hock’s call for students to be taught how to incorporate various forms of media  into their digital works as it benefits the engagement levels of the reader.

Hocks, Mary E. “Understanding Visual Rhetoric in Digital Writing Environments.” College Composition and Communication 2003: 629. JSTOR Journals. Web. 7 Mar. 2016.

“Better Online Living Through Content Moderation”

Content control options available on social media titan Twitter.com

In the article “Better Online Living through Content Moderation” Melissa King shows readers content control tools that are available to protect from online abuse and explains why they are necessary in the digital age. King also addresses opposers of content control tools by stating that “nobody should be required to read or listen to content if they do not want to” (1). She backs this stating that sites that do not offer content control make for bad environments which could have psychological and sociological backlashes.

Some of the content control tools that are widely available on most sites include content warnings, privacy options, blocking restrictions, mutes and reporting. Melissa King argues that these content control features are beneficial to the general public because they allow users to protect themselves from crude or triggering topics as online aggressors can possibly invoke anxiety attacks or spark Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. King calls for television to become the next media outlet to present content control options. Television’s massive commercial and advertisements industry puts many viewers to new levels of uncontrolled exposures. After experiencing subliminal messages users may suffer from spending frenzies, breakdowns and anxiety attacks.

Cable companies only offer basic content control such as rating locks, which allow parents to lock shows with certain age ratings to prevent children from exposure to adult material at such young ages. Because these parental locks do not offer controls to the subliminal anxiety sparks, therapy is provided to help consumers cope. Just as television is television offers low amounts of content control, the internet also has become a marketing guru as advertisements heavily douse the digital world. Ad blockers and pop-up blockers offer good controls to the many advertisements but some sites have begun not allowing users access to their sites without dialing any adblockers.

Alongside her arguments for content control, the author shows viewpoints of why content control isn’t beneficial and refutes them with adequate reasoning. One reason people believe content control is not beneficial is because people  mostly interpret the “abuse and harassment” they receive at another level than what it is really meant to be. Sometimes the supposed abuse and harassment isn’t even online bullying but just merely debates. Those who discredit content control also call upon Exposure Theory which proposes that the more you’re gradually exposed to something that builds severe anxiety the less it will be a trigger to you. Melissa King fires back with the fact that online harassment is at random and the lack of controlled exposure by trained professionals the trauma caused will most likely increase and be more significant.


“Better Online Living through Content Moderation by Melissa King | Model View Culture.” N.p., n.d. Web. 7 Mar. 2016.

“His & Hers: Designing for a Post-Gender Society”

“His & Hers: Designing for a Post-Gender Society” by Suzanne Tick is a progressive article that calls for developers to understand that we in a time where masculinity and femininity is built into our environments but these constructs need to be recreated into an accepting society where choice of gender does not matter. Tick describes that the places we work are created by men and is founded on male perspective. This male perspective is with the male being the head of the office and females in the workplace serve as the secretaries, which is an outdated and sexist perspective. For society to come to a completely equal playing field for both genders the author states that men have to join the gender equality movement. Because the LGBT movement has been so successful we also need to propel the gender equality movement alongside it. While this transition and acceptance movement is going on the issue of restrooms becoming safe spaces for all is brought up. Transgender and gender fluid individuals sometimes feel as if they are forgotten about when it is time to use the restroom. Facilities that do not offer gender neutral bathrooms force these individuals to chose a gender. At this point this leaves them sometimes feeling as if they cannot use the restroom in either and proceed to wait until they have another option. The author states that while developers are working on incorporating more sustainable options, “The time is ripe for designers to start questioning how they incorporate gender sensitivity into their work” (Tick, 2). Gender neutral restrooms allow for a harmonious environment and a safe experience for everyone. Tick also explains that the American Disability Act being incorporated into facilities everywhere was filled with discourse and we cannot approach gender accommodation the same way the Disability Act treated bathrooms and entryways. Suzanne Tick closes out the article with a powerful statement that inspires developers to understand that there are thousands of individuals who need to be accommodated for to allow for everyone to be themselves at all times.


Tick, Suzanne. “His & Hers: Designing for a Post-Gender Society.” Metropolis. Metropolis Magazine, 2015. Web. 02 Mar. 2016. <http://www.metropolismag.com/March-2015/His-or-Hers-Designing-for-a-Post-Gender-Society/>.

“Recognizing Campus Landscapes as Learning Spaces”

In the article “Recognizing Campus Landscapes as Learning Spaces” by Kathleen G. School and Gowri B. Gulwadi, the authors make a case calling for campuses to incorporate green spaces in their landscapes to help recharge students’ ability to pay attention. Because college asks for students to devote many hours a day of concentration and devotion students begin to lose the ability to seriously focus. With the inclusion of technology and smartphones in this generation, it also reduces the focus levels the students have. Historically, colleges and universities were stationed in predominately rural areas where they were surrounded by natural landscapes and green spaces.

This picture portrays Marist College in 1960, surrounded by nature and in a rural area which Scholl and Guwaldi claim claim helps regenerate student’s direct attention. Lane, John. Bird’s-Eye view of Marist College Campus. Early 1960’s. Photograph. Marist College Archives, New York.

With the introduction of federal grants and the rapid increase of student enrollment after World War II, open spaces were used to house new buildings which reduced the natural landscapes. In the article, Scholl and Gulwadi use a quote from Frederick Law Olmstead stating that “natural scenery employs the mind… and gives the effect of refreshing rest and reinvigorates the whole system” (Bratman, Hamilton, & Daily, p. 124). This backs up their statement that natural scenery helps students recharge their ability to pay attention and focus more on challenging subjects. The authors also bring up the concept of ART which stands for Attention Restoration Theory which states that “interaction with nature has specific recovery effects on the human attentional system” (Scholl & Gulwadi, 54), which serves as more proof of their main ideas. After prolonged focusing and mental attention being used, the authors state that students will struggle with demands of school and start to see a decline in success on assignments, and social changes which would make them more likely to be hostile and less friendly. Also presented in the article is the idea that a student’s over college experience is possibly affected by the ability to recharge their attention span through surrounding nature. The question of “what is considered nature?” is then proposed and the authors include a diagram of the different sources and forms of nature. In conclusion, Scholl and Gulwadi wrap up the piece by recalling that openand natural spaces are vital to providing regeneration of attention spans of students and providing a great college learning environment.


Mid-Term Reflection

Information presented to me by this class’ coursework has proven to enhance my style of writing. In the past I have learned that when writing summaries to include commentary and information attained from further research to build on what the author has said. In this class I have learned that summaries should include nothing but a shorter form of what was written, how it was written and what is trying to be portrayed through the words. What I have learned about research and writing for this class is how to properly write an annotated bibliography because in the past I did not cite things properly and summarize the information properly. Writing for the built environment has taught me a lot on reflecting on my environment, which helps build patience and awareness. Sitting and reflecting on what I observed through the course of the hour at the Atlanta beltline made me realize things I have never see before even though I frequently visit the trail. The rhetorical situation for the compositions I have written in this class are as follows: The subject of my compositions have been on built environment and what all it means and how it is represented in and around the city of Atlanta, as a writer I have to compose works which reflect on what I have learned, and the readers must be properly informed by what I have to say but not persuaded to feel any way by my works. The audience we are trying to appeal to are others interested in Atlanta’s built environment and other topics which include history and rhetoric of different places in the city of Atlanta. Writing and composition using a blog is different from past writings I have done because I have to think about how the aesthetic of everything I post and the blog and how it affect the reader and their willingness to even read the article in full or not. Including different types of media enhances the work and engages the reader in multiple ways. Including these media types has definitely opened me to different styles and encourages my use of new strategies to analyze and summarize the media used.

Some of my strengths as a writer during work from this class is definitely how in depth I go when analyzing things. I think learning about intriguing topics such as the city of Atlanta and all its quirks really engages me and makes me strive to be attentive to my work. An aspect of my writing I want to work on is not including my personal opinion on things when it is not asked for and appropriate e.g. my summaries. For extra points I have attended office hours/ study groups which I believe was substantially helpful because for the first few weeks I had no idea how to work anything on this website or how to even access the weekly overview. I am not satisfied with the effort I have put into the class thus far. I feel like online classes are too much for me to handle but there’s a little character trait called perseverance. My workload with other classes is overwhelming me and causing me to focus less and less on this class.

I will change my approach to the remaining reading summaries and more that are due in the future. Based on what I have learned from the previous assignments I need to set reminders that things are due at least 3-4 days in advance to let myself know that things are due so I can work on each assignment in increments instead of all at once. I also need to include more media to enhance the readers and the level of engagement. Extra point activities I will incorporate into my weekly workload are the extra credit materials and submitting more of my pictures and sounds. Adding in these activities will help me improve as a writer because it will reenforce what I have learned from the reading. Overall I believe this reflection was beneficial because it made me ponder on my strengths and weaknesses during this English 1102 course and now I can make changes to better my work.

The Atlanta Beltline as a Built Environment

For my exterior Built Environment study I took a trip to the Atlanta Beltline. The Atlanta Beltline trail I studied is the Eastside Trail. IT stretches from Irwin Street (a block from the Krog Street Market), and runs all the way to Piedmont Park at the intersection of 10th street and Monroe Drive. It lies in the Virginia-Highlands neighborhood of East-Atlanta and stretches from Downtown Atlanta to Midtown. The Eastside Trail was officially completed and opened on October 15th, 2012. Along the trail are many important artifacts such as sculptures, paintings, graffiti, and murals. These artifacts are scattered randomly along the Eastside trail but all within close enough distance to keep the average attention-span intrigued the whole way. The layout of the site is in a linear form as the trail does not loop around, although the city plans to connect the Eastside trail to the rest of the Beltline when it is completed when funding is complete. The Beltline is easy and open to navigate for people who get on through the Ponce City Market, Virginia- Highlands entrance or in Midtown. People who live in nearby apartments frequently complain about how bushes, landscape and gates prevent them form accessing the Beltline through the backdoors of their residencies. This makes me feel as if the brush is not kept trimmed to prevent people from lower-class neighborhoods from entering the Beltline.  This site is very appealing to many people of different ages and demographics. It can be used for multiple things such as leisure, exercise, shopping at the Ponce City Market, or even commuting to work. This sites uses are advertised through social media, signs along the Beltline and appealing attractions along the trail. When enjoying the Beltline many patrons stop to check out the local shops and eateries near on along the Beltline. The Atlanta Beltline serves as a safe environment for bikers, skateboarders, and people on foot to enjoy the city life while engaging with art and fellow Atlantans.

Atlanta Beltline: Digital Artifact 5

IMG_0267This picture is of two graffiti Gay Pride flags in the equal sign form and under it the markings read “Trans is Beautiful”. This is an accurate representation of Atlanta because it is known as the “gay capital of the south” and also hosts the third largest gay population in the United States. This is important that it is tagged at the Atlanta Beltline because the Beltline supports expressing oneself through art.