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(Mental) Construction Zone

rachelr's picture

My assignment for our trip to Ashbridge was to hold an online reflection of my shared experience with the class. That can be found here. Something that our blind shuttle made me think about was the difference between hearing r.graham.barrett and eetong’s auditory description of the history (past and present) of Ashbridge Park and the waterway restoration, and the visual differences I encountered that were in contrast to the mental image I had constructed. I wasn’t really expecting the trash, especially after hearing about all the conscious efforts to revitalize and preserve the area. I assume if I did not have my sense of sight that I would have retained the visual image I constructed from the stories, unless perhaps I had someone describing the reality to me. Carmen Papalia said on our blind shuttle that not having sight could be a beautiful thing, that sight gave us so much to be distracted by that our other senses don’t work as hard as they could. I am now left wondering how my experience at Ashbridge might have been different if I had taken some time to close my eyes. Would I have had a more watery experience if I let me ears and nose take over, uninhibited by the distractions my eyes plagued me with?


On our botanical exploration out into Morris Woods froggies315 helped us to take some time to close our eyes. I think the experiences between eyes being closed on the blind shuttle, in Morris Woods, and at Ashbridge Park would have all been very different. In Morris Woods I was focused on a single tree and have no memory of any experiences beyond the bark; on the blind shuttle I was very focused on all the noise we were making with our shuffling baby steps, and while I noticed things like change in terrain and sunlight and shade, the experience was very egocentric; had I closed my eyes at Ashbridge, perhaps I would have experienced a kind of combination, resulting in a feeling of my own placement within a larger context. Which is, I suppose, what this semester has been all about.