I’m baaaack.

Hello Friends!

It has been an obscenely long time since I last blogged and I really don’t know why.  I say I don’t have time but the enjoyment I get from writing doesn’t allow that to be a big enough excuse.  I guess I feel like I haven’t had a whole lot to write about, because this isn’t a rant and who wants to read about book reviews and the courses I’m taking.  Then I realized, if you are reading this, you are doing so of your own free will and if you continue to read you are doing so because you enjoy.  And if you do not then it doesn’t matter what I write about anyways.  I may rant on occasion, but that’s not the theme of my life and I don’t want it to become the theme of my life.  SO, I trudge onward and offer you my latest piece…

Foreword (to the foreword…you’ll see):

I have been taking a sociology course as my elective this semester and it has really made me wish there was a place in the ‘real’ world for sociology because I enjoy it so much and would have loved to study it more.  It is so interesting studying this world and the social constructs we so willingly accept, and take for granted. This particular course was about ‘the city’ and how the physicalities of the city infer certain social constructs.  For this assignment I had to observe a public space and analyze the different physical aspects and how they force our socialization to and around them.  I wrote my professor a foreword, which is what I will share with you (the entire paper is far too long and boring).  Enjoy!

 

I had a rather difficult time settling on a space to observe and analyze; I frequent many of these public spaces however I did not feel particularly inspired by any of them.  Until last night.  My family and I had some out of town relatives for dinner and we were sitting around, discussing life, reminiscing of the small town they grew up in and our conversation turned to the ‘bookmobile’ that still drives around town, acting as a mobile extension of the public library.  Every single person (there were seven of us) became completely engaged in the conversation, sharing passionate memories of favourite books and time spent over the years at ‘the’ library.  ‘The’ because I did not grow up in the same town as my parents and their families but I still have fond memories of my own library and how influential it was on my life.  Several of us now have e-readers which have introduced us to a completely different type of ‘library’. But the fact that we were referring to different libraries did not matter at all because the commonality was shared in the fact that the library was always just ‘the library’.  This is opposite of Louis Wirth’s observations, as described in the editor’s introduction to “Urbanism a Way of Life”, because he is attempting to substantiate the many causal observers that note “sharp personality differences between urban and rural people” (Kasinitz, 1994, pp 58). There may be personality differences, but at the core we share these vital similarities.

It became apparent that we are all fervent readers, each of us telling the others they just have to read the book we just finished.  It was just over this summer that I remembered how much I love reading.  Ever since I started in post-secondary school, my excuse for not reading as often was because I figured if I was reading something it should be something I’m studying for.  I realize now reading for pleasure is just as important as taking a break from studying.  This epiphany made my selection for me: the library.  Of course I should observe the library!  Without even stepping into it, it infers so many different things to different people.  The institution of the library has such a special place in the city however it is becoming less and less appreciated, which is the saddest part of all.

I was pleasantly surprised to see the library in use – many people were scattered about, mostly young adults, some in small study groups, others reading by a window.  It was so lovely to see this public space alive with energy… that is, as energetic as a library can be.  With all these people and this big open space, it somehow manages to still remain so quiet.  And that is where I will begin this analysis…

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    November 2012
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