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Final Site Sit Inspired by Carman Papalia

Smacholdt's picture

I was inspired by the blind field shuttle tour that we took in class today and decided to see how far across my site I could walk by myself and with my eyes closed. I got about ten feet. Fifteen feet tops. This just goes to show how different this experience is on your own from being in a group. One thing that surprised me about my own experience was my intuition. I sensed a tree before I ran into it. It wasn’t that I saw it or felt it, but rather I could somehow just tell that it was there.

I then decided to make observations about the “Soundscape” (a phrase that Mr. Papalia used a few times on our class’s tour) of my site. The first sound that registered was the sound of rustling branches. Then church bells, distant dogs barking, and people talking. I heard the consistent rumble of a train and the flow of traffic. Car horns sounded intermittently as did the voices of students walking around campus. Visually Bryn Mawr is very sheltered from the surrounding Philadelphia area but sound-wise it certainly isn’t. Traffic is a constant, noticeable noise. The other sense that intensified when I had my eyes closed was smell. Fried food scents drifted intermittently out of the dining halls. That was really the only smell strong enough for me to smell through my cold nose.

I want to try observing other locations in my life (my home? My job?) without the use of my eyesight. I bet that I would learn surprising new things about environments I consider familiar to me.