You have three main tasks to complete before Tuesday: explore, read, write.
Warning: these will take longer than just a few minutes, so plan ahead & don’t do everything at the last minute.
Your task is a “space observation.” Walk, bike, or otherwise transport yourself to an outdoor location off-campus and carefully observe the space.
Here are some questions to get you started. You don’t need to answer each of these — they are suggestions to get you thinking:
- What takes up space (objects, sound, contour)? Both moving and stationary objects take up space; also, sound can take up space.
- How is space shaped?
- How are subspaces marked? Example: in the Panhandle, the shared path is paved, which marks it off from the grassy part. Also, the path itself is divided into two lanes by a painted stripe.
- How do people (and other creatures) use space(s)?
- What speeds happen in space?
- What are you not seeing? What’s missing?
Places you could go (again, just suggestions… I invite you to explore on your own):
- John F. Kennedy Drive in Golden Gate Park — a big section of JFK is closed to auto traffic on Sundays, could be an interesting thing to see (and participate in)
- Geary St. is one of San Francisco’s busiest corridors — early plans for the BART system imagined a line under Geary St, that would tunnel under the Golden Gate and connect to Marin
- Fell St. or Oak St. east of Baker — between Baker and Scott on Fell and Oak are some of SFs flagship separated bike lanes
- the world-famous San Francisco “Wiggle” (Wikipedia page) (on Yelp)– the seven or eight blocks of the Wiggle are a great place to observe pedestrians, cyclists, and motorists obeying and not obeying traffic laws
- Turk Street — on a clear day, you can stand in the middle of Turk St. at its crest and see the Farallon Islands to the west, 27 miles offshore, and Mt. Diablo, more than 30 miles to the east. But don’t stand there too long, because Turk St. traffic moves pretty quickly.
Chris Carlsson, “I’m in a Hurry, so Slow Down!” (blog post/essay)
John Zimmer, “The Third Transportation Revolution” (blog post/essay)
Write a blog post discussing the arguments of Zimmer & Carlsson. Zimmer, as I mentioned in class, is a co-founder of Lyft. Carlsson is a San Francisco writer, activist, and co-founder of Critical Mass.
Your post should show that you are thinking about what ideas and positions these two authors share, and also where they differ. You can also evaluate their points.
Your post should also include information about your spatial observation expedition.
If it makes sense to connect your observation to bicycles, please do.
Include a relevant image (photo, graph, chart…).
Due before class Tuesday September 27th.
In class, we saw some great presentations. Teams of 3 presented findings from our expedition to the Panhandle last week. The teams looked at:
- the Panhandle soundscape
- the Panhandle landscape
- the shared-use path (north side) and its users
- the pedestrian path (south side) and its users
- people in the Panhandle (interviews)
We discussed a couple of key issues in public speaking, mainly focusing on the pros and cons of working in groups.
Following the system of Carl Kwan, we practiced transitions between speakers in a group presentation.
Areas for Improvement
A key area for future attention is the conclusion or ending of presentations. Conclusions are weird: it’s not a move we usually make in our everyday conversations. But to make an impact on an audience, a public speaker really needs to nail the conclusion.
This involves at least two aspects:
- bringing the energy back up for the closing moments, rather than tapering steadily toward a low-energy closure
- ending with a clear, strong statement of key ideas or “take-aways”
Backstage Bikes is a free community bike co-op started and run by Josh McDermott, a faculty member in the Performing Arts Department at USF.
Learn more about Backstage Bikes here:
Thanks again to Victoria Wade for her talk last week on fundraising events. She challenged us to take part in a charity cycling event.
There are many such events in the San Francisco Bay Area. The most famous is the AIDS/Lifecycle ride every June. It’s a six-day ride from San Francisco to Los Angeles– the dates for 2017 are June 4-10.
Coming right up next weekend is Waves to Wine, a fundraiser for MS (Multiple Sclerosis), September 24-25, 2016.
Lance Fernando, VP of the USF Cycling Club, mentioned his participation in the Tour de Cure, benefiting the American Diabetes Association — there are multiple events around the country each summer and fall.
Register using this link:
We won’t have our regular class on Tuesday, September 20th.
Instead, we’ll attend a class taught by staffers from the San Francisco Bicycle Coalition. This class covers essentials of navigating the City on a bike.
The class will be held on Monday, September 26, from 6-7 p.m. If you are unable to attend at this time, please let me know as soon as possible.
Please pre-register for the class NOW using the link above!
Tasks for Thursday, September 15.
You should expect to spend approximately 2 hours on these tasks. They are listed here in order of increasing importance.
- Email me if you did not receive an invitation to the closed Facebüch group (and you want to receive one). This is for communicating about out-of-class events.
- Go to your blog and delete that default “Hello World” post.
- Post your in-class writing for today. Feel free to add, subtract, edit, or change what you wrote.
- Also write a blog post about anything you wish — try to make it bicycle or public-speaking related. Here’s the key part: make sure to add at least one image to your post. Who wants to read blog posts without pictures (like this one– see what I mean)? Suggestions:
- favorite bicycle memory
- favorite place in San Francisco (so far)
- where you will go when we get you a bike
- what you want your SF bike to be like
- Read this selection from the Arthur Conan Doyle story “The Adventure of Priory School.” This is the Sherlock Holmes story where the detective claims to be able to tell which way a bicycle was going. You can read the whole story if you want.
- Look at Chapter 13 from A Pocket Guide to Public Speaking. This chapter presents the organizational patterns we discussed in class today. These might be valuable tools for you in the future.
PS: It turns out they DID make a film version of this story, in classic English TV style.
Starting Module 2: Evidence
As we move into Module 2, we’ll look at ways of locating, gathering, organizing, and sharing evidence.
Evidence can take many forms, as we discussed in class: statistical data; personal experience; photographs or video; articles or testimony by experts or authorities; archival documents; objects– all these can be seen as evidence.
Our first step is to talk more about the evidence we’ve seen so far, from Bill Strickland’s memories to the pie charts of the San Francisco Voter Survey Summary Memo on Transportation. How was this evidence gathered? How is it presented to audiences?
In the coming weeks, you’ll gather your own evidence and think about how to share it.
You can continue investigating the same topic you’ve worked on before, or you can go in a new direction.
To do for class Tuesday Sept 13:
Here is a link to a short reading for Tuesday:http://usfblogs.usfca.edu/
Before Tuesday, please also spend ten minutes watching one of the videos below. You don’t need to watch the whole thing! And feel free to skim around. I’ll ask you to say a few words about one of the videos in class.
These are recordings of lectures given by a professor and a journalist, and I want us to discuss them as examples of using EVIDENCE to talk about CULTURE. We voted to look at bicycle culture, and we’re beginning a module focusing on evidence.
“From Spokes to Sprockettes: A History of Women and the Bicycle”
“A Secret History of Bicycle Cultures 1869-2013”
Again, spend ten minutes with one of these videos — you can skim through the introductions. If you’re interested, feel free to watch more.