Similarities Blog Post

In this blog post, I’m comparing the following two articles: The Power of Place on Campus and Who Am I? Who Are My People? A university is much more than just a place to earn a degree. The campus and the memories made on campus along with friends, in the classrooms with professors, and at the library with study partners hold much more significance in an individual’s life than one can ever think of.

It is stressed in the article The Power of Place that commuters usually feel less attached to their university and the campus as they don’t stay on campus all day long and as they miss out the amazing experience of meeting new people on campus, visiting all the exciting places on campus, and touching the heart of the university (Broussard 1). This supports the idea stressed in the article Who Am I? Who Are My People? as the people at the meso level identify themselves on the basis of where they live and what place they can connect themselves with (Kirk and Okawaza-Rey 191). On campus, different students form different associations based on culture and traditions of the community they belong to. They try to preserve their identity based on their religion and culture while trying to fit in a particular group of people on campus (Broussard 2). Similar idea is also reflected in the other article where people identify themselves at the macro level based on social categories such as politics, culture, power, and privilege (Kirk and Okawaza-Rey 191). Hence, in order to enjoy college life, it is necessary to associate one’s self with the campus and feel a kind of affection, familiarity, and warmth while staying on campus and establishing relationships with the people around.

Kirk Gwyn, and Margo Okawaza Rey. “Who Am I? Who Are My People?” Space and Place : Focused Inquiry, Macmillan 2018, 189-195.

Broussard Earl. May 01, 2009. “The Power of Place on Campus”. The Chronicle of Higher Education.

Cabell Library : My heart

Place is often thought of as an abstract concept but it is of much more importance than what people believe. Being a VCU student, I’m extremely proud because the college campus is so beautiful and mesmerizing. There is no one place on the entire campus which is not unique. I’m a commuter and so I feel sad sometimes that I don’t get a chance to stay on campus all day long but I try to spend my most of the day on campus attending classes, studying with my friends, and hanging around. The place which holds a very significant place in my heart is the Cabell Library. My day doesn’t end if I don’t go there at least once except on weekends. That’s the place where all the college students would have made a bunch of memories studying and laughing with their friends.

One fine day, one of my classes got cancelled, so I walked to the Cabell library. The weather was pretty good and the nature and the campus landscape, absolutely admirable. I got into the library and sat at a table near Starbucks. It was quite noisy as it was afternoon time and Cabell usually remains busy around that time. There was a long line of students at Starbucks, who were eagerly waiting to get their drinks to hydrate themselves and lessen their stress of assignments and tests a little bit. There was a group of students sitting at the table besides mine, who were practicing on their group presentation together. They were laughing and teasing each other more than they were working on what they were supposed to. But they were having fun, which I feel like is the most important thing when you’re at college. From the glass walls, I saw some girls sitting on the lush green lawn outside taking selfies, group pictures, and working on their computers. Everyone around me was doing some or the other thing, enjoying themselves and using their time wisely. Most of the students were studying in groups, everyone trying to help one another in learning and I personally believe that informal learning is much more productive and fruitful than learning in classes or working individually. All the people thus, connected to the place and the people in there and had a sense of attachment to that place that they would never forget in their entire lives. Places hold no meaning until memories are filled in them and they eventually become so significant that people get touched by that enormous power a place can behold.


Borlu’s weird dream

The City and the City is a novel by China Mieville in which he gives a detailed description on the mysterious death case of a lady named Mahalia Geary. The body was found in the streets of Beszel by some kids near the skate ramp. After the dead body was discovered, the Extreme Crime Squad was alerted and Inspector Borlu and Corwi were given the task of solving this case of mysterious death.  I’ve picked a scene from chapter sixteen which presents the communication between Borlu and Mrs. Geary over the phone and an interesting climax of Borlu dreaming about all this at the end of the scene (Pages 178-179).

After having a conversation with Jaris, Borlu gets quite tensed and confused about what to do next in order to solve the mysterious case. He then calls Mrs. Geary, mother of the dead lady Mahalia Geary, in order to get some information about Mahalia’s close contacts. Mrs. Geary was quite upset and angry and she answered in very short statements to Borlu’s questions. When Borlu tells her that Mahalia’s best friend Yolanda Rodriguez was missing, she gets more hyper and upset. When questioned by Borlu about Mahalia’s close friends or people she used to frequently come in contact with, Mrs. Geary talks about a guy who used to hang with her but she didn’t use to like him and that she met him through politics. Borlu promises Mrs. Geary that he would do his best to find out the murderer at the end of their conversation. Then, Dhatt’s phone call wakes Borlu up and he realizes that all of that was a dream.

Borlu had a lot of pressure on him to solve the case of Mahalia’s death. The case was getting more messed up day by day as new information was gathered and as more people were interrogated. Borlu was sleeping and while sleeping, he dreamed of a conversation with Mahalia’s mother. I found that quite weird because he had never met her before and the thing Mahalia’s mother told him in his dream about Mahalia’s constant contact with a guy she didn’t like was weird too. All this shows how passionate Borlu was about his duty that all he could think of was how to solve the case of the lady’s death.

Communication between Jaris and Borlu over the phone Pg 175-177

The City and the City is a novel by China Mieville in which he gives a detailed description on the mysterious death case of a lady named Mahalia Geary. The body was found in the streets of Beszel by some kids near the skate ramp. After the dead body was discovered, the Extreme Crime Squad was alerted and Inspector Borlu and Corwi were given the task of solving this case of mysterious death.  I’ve picked the Jaris and Borlu communication over the phone scene from chapter sixteen.

The scene describes the communication between Jaris and Inspector Borlu over the phone. Jaris called Borlu with an intent of telling him about Mahalia’s involvement in Orciny matters. He tells Borlu that Mahalia was not interested in unification of the two cities at all but rather she was helping Orciny by putting herself in danger as she was so fascinated by that secret city. Mahalia was being thought of as a spy by others because of her involvement in matters related to Orciny and was even banned from the meetings and stuff. Jaris tells Borlu that she never really talked much about it, but she knew that she was in danger and all others who knew about Orciny were in danger too. She wasn’t even quite sure about what she was doing for Orciny but she knew for sure that everyone who knew about Orciny were in trouble. Jaris informes Borlu that Orciny was like parasites and Mahalia found out something about Orciny which she wasn’t supposed to know and so they killed her. At the end of their conversation, he tells Borlu that his life was in danger and he doesn’t care about either Ul Qoma or Beszel or Orciny.

This scene shows how secretive the city of Orciny was. The communication with Jaris confused Borlu more because Jaris informed him that Orciny is not in either of the two cities and no one was sure about what exactly was going on in Orciny. Mahalia who used to work for them was killed by them because she discovered something about it she wasn’t supposed to. Borlu was also informed that everyone who knew about Orciny were in danger so it was his duty to find out what exactly Orciny was, what was it involved in, and how it used people to work for them in order to save the lives of other people involved in Orciny and to solve the mystery of this secret city.

The city & the city : First scene from chapter four: An anonymous phone call

The City and the City is a novel by China Mieville in which he gives a detailed description on the mysterious death case of a lady named Mahalia Geary. The body was found in the streets of beszel by some kids near the skate ramp. After the dead body was discovered, the Extreme Crime Squad was alerted and Inspector Borlu and Corwi were given the task of solving this case of mysterious death.  I’ve picked the first scene from chaper 4.

Borlu and Corwi were making persistent efforts in finding the identity of the dead lady. The kids who first discovered that dead body claimed that it was dropped off by a van. Later on, they found the owner of the van, Mikyael Khurusch and while interrogating with him, he named a few people whom he had lent his van to and also told that his van was stolen by a stranger. When Borlu was sitting in his office, he received an anonymous phone call. It was a man calling from Ul Qoma trying to help Borlu with the case of the lady’s death. He was not willing to share his identity but Borlu figured out that he was calling from Ul Qoma from his old fashioned Iillitan-inflected Besz. He was trying to genuinely help Borlu because he knew the dead lady from politics. He told Borlu that she went by the name of Marya and also that after her death, he as well as his other dear ones were in danger too. He told Borlu about how active and committed she was and how she used to travel everywhere in search of some secret information.

This anonymous phone call is an important event in solving the case of the lady’s death as the caller identified himself to be connected to her and also revealed some characteristics of her. He even revealed the fact that the cause behind her death was not just related to her but also a few others and they all were kind of in trouble too. He just genuinely tries to help Borlu after he comes to know about the lady’s death by looking at Borlu’s poster.

Questions for Fishbowl #2 02/15/19

McClay believes that people tend to forget the importance of a place that once meant a lot to them when they lose their grip on that particular place. Do you agree with that statement? If yes, then why? If no, then why?

Based on the first two chapters of “The City and The City” by China Mieville, what do you think the book is all about?

McClay connects the sense of thereness with  a stable personal identity? Do you think that a person who doesn’t have any place to connect to has no personal identity? Does place hold that much importance in a person’s life the way McClay is emphasizing it?

If you agree with McClay’s statement that a place is an essential basis of our freedom, then in what ways do you think a place is related to our freedom?

In Some Places, why do you think the author said “I was born at a good time” at the end when we can clearly figure out from his description of the places that his life had never been good?

Significance of a Place

In the article “Why Place Matters”, Wilfred M. McClay stresses on the importance of place in an individual’s life and how it has been decreasing with an increase in technological advancements and mobility. The author starts the article with an example of Gertrude Stein and providing an explanation for her famous statement: There was no “there” there. Stein, as a child, used to live in Oakland and later when she came to know that her childhood home was torn down, Oakland lost its meaning for her. The author is trying to explain by giving this example that people tend to forget the importance of a place that once meant a lot to them because they lose their grip on that particular place. The author then points out that place is not just an abstract concept, but a concrete and meaningful one. He talks about how a very common and unremarkable place can attain a significant place in an individual’s heart. Hence, it is not the place that is important, but the memories or emotions attached to that place is what matters the most. Later in the piece, he compares the past and modern day using the idea of place. In the past, people used to remain confined to one place because of the lack of transportation and communication facilities. Now, people can travel easily any where anytime they want to and as a result of this, attachment to a place no longer holds any importance. He connects this idea of sense of a place to sense of personal identity. As people are running only behind materialistic things, they don’t have anything to connect themselves to and by this, he means that they don’t have a stable personal identity. He talks about how a place is not just a static thing but rather it indulges constant human activity that offers scope for the creative energies of its people. At the end of the article, he calls a place to be an “essential basis of our freedom”.

For my step one, I selected three of my pictures at William Byrd Park, Virginia Beach, and Norfolk Spirit Cruise. All of the places are somewhat related to water and nature. It’s because I just like being close to water and nature is the thing which I admire the most in my life. So basically, I feel connected to these places because I’ve some memories attached to them. These places hold a very special place in my heart, but if something happens and I won’t be able to  physically visit them anymore, then most probably their importance will decrease and I’ll find other places where I can actually go. The memories of those places will stay in my head forever though. Also, I feel connected to these places because they’re calm and they boost my mood always no matter what I’m going through at that time. This is how McClay describes a living place that far from being static, a “place” must be a node of continuous human activity and a place that has to offer scope for the creative energies of its people.

Angelic Places

This is the picture of me at Virginia Beach. I admire nature a lot and I just love being close to water. Watching the waves, walking on sand, and especially watching the sunset at beach is what I live for. There’s nothing I don’t love about beaches. The view of beach with people playing with the waves and all those colorful umbrellas is breathtaking and I just love beach life. At the beach, I feel so calm, relieved and I often think about what a life I’ve got. The thing that’s special about Virginia Beach is a variety of people and their different traditions and cultures and most importantly, food. Also, the pieces of art there are just amazing and they truly reflect the talents of people and helps create a positive environment. In addition to the beauty of the beach itself, there are many local shops, restaurants, hotels, etc. around which are absolutely admirable.

This picture was clicked by my mom at the Norfolk Spirit Cruise. I went to Norfolk with my family and we took a brunch cruise. It was nice and clean. I love cruising because I get to enjoy the scenic beauty. It sometimes feel like an adventure and I just love adventures. It was a lot of fun on the Spirit Cruise. The host was quite funny and humorous and it was really fun playing games and dancing. Also, I got to take a lot of pictures of the beautiful view of the sea and grand buildings. The atmosphere that day was cloudy and was just so perfect which enhanced the beautiful experience on the cruise. I really enjoyed that wonderful experience and it is always going to hold a significant place in my heart.

An alluring place

This is a picture of me at William Byrd Park. It is a famous public park located in Richmond, Virginia. It is a very quiet place and has three small lakes. It has a fountain at its center, and has a mile-long trail. There’s nothing really extraordinary in that park that would stand out against others but this park holds a significant place in my heart. The water is crystal clear and the atmosphere very calm and serene. It is always soothing to sit on a bench at the park listening to the birds chirping and watching the swans floating on the placid waters of the lake.  The scenic beauty is thus, very adorable. I first came to United States in June 2016 and the reason why this place means a lot to me is because I celebrated my first birthday in US i.e. in April 2017, at this place. I invited like ten of my friends and it was really fun singing and dancing at the park. We all had such a good time and made a bunch of memories that would last forever. I go there quite often, even alone. This place is meaningful to me because it is so peaceful and I can be there alone, away from the hustles and bustles of life. Thus, it is my favorite place and it has always made my happy. It’s like when I go there, I just automatically forget anything bad that has ever happened to me and I just start thinking positively about my life and future.

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