Friday, November 10, 2017

Special Places

Special Places -- what makes them "work?" After we spent some time looking at how people interact with the spaces at D.P. Todd, it might be nice to consider places that are special to you.

We start with an unusual word: topophilia.
"The word 'topophilia' is a neologism, useful in that it can be defined broadly to include all of the human being's affective ties with the material environment. These differ greatly in intensity, subtlety, and mode of expression. The response to environment may be primarily aesthetic: it may vary from the fleeting pleasure one gets from a view to the equally fleeting but far more intense sense of beauty that is suddenly revealed. The response may be tactile, a delight in the feel of air, water, earth. More permanent and less easy to express are the feelings that one has toward a place because it is home, the locus of memories, and the means of gaining a livelihood" - Yi-Fu Tuan, Topophila, p. 93
Affective ties with the material environment... in other words, topophilia means the love of place. This is an important idea that impacts the way humans interact with the world. Special places make us more connected to ourselves, other people, and the environment. This will be the subject of a short writing assignment.

What is a place that you love? A special area in nature that brings back strong memories, a place you love to visit because of the things that have happened there. Maybe it's a built-up space, like the home of a grandparent or an amazing restaurant? Maybe it's a natural location like a beach, mountain vista, bike trail, or fishing spot. Or in between, like a cabin. Maybe you'd like to write about your earliest experience with a natural world, a powerful memory in nature. What is the inventory of this location -- the topography, components, objects, characteristics? What do your senses remember? Consider the visually elements, but also smells, textures, and sounds. What is the story of this place... what is your history with it?  Think about this and write leave a comment below with your response. Start with a word document -- do your writing there (no more than one page) and then copy/paste into a blog comment here. You can also submit a hard copy if there is some reason you do not want your writing piece online.


  1. My Favorite Place, Michael
    My favorite place in the world is my bedroom. I chose my bedroom because it has everything I need when I’m tired including my bed, an outlet next to me bed to charge my phone, and it has good Wi-Fi connection. It also contains all the medals I’ve won hanging on the wall, all from sports that I’ve played including basketball and soccer. My room has the characteristic of being messy because I keep all my clothes on the ground. When I walk in my room I get the sense of accomplishment because I keep my basketball shoes in my room.
    An outside place that my favorite would be the Northern Sports Center basketball court. It was just recently renovated with new basketball floors. It’s a great place because you can see all the people getting better at basketball. You get the texture of the grippe floor, the sound of the basketball hitting the court, and you can smell the hard work of everyone there. I first came to this court in the summer of 2015 and I have been going there since. My friends and I go here often in the summer to play and spend hours there. It's a great place to meet new people as well. Also to play competitive games with people you've never met before.

    1. thanks you for this first class best comment

  2. Thanks, Michael. I'd like to see a story about the bball court that expands on what you have written. We'll talk more about this in class.

  3. My favuorite place to visit is my old elementary because I have had so many memories there that when I walk down the hallway to go pick up my sister from school I can actually picture certain things that happened in certain places in the school. Not every memory was good but that’s what made it special. I made many enemy’s there and I also made tons of friends but what sticks out the most to me is that my grade 5,6 ,and 7 teachers still ask my sister how I’m doing. One of my greatest moments in elementary school was when my class went on a walk and I was asked to be part of a “squad” called the 4 English Muffins. One of my worst moments was in grade 7 when my entire class started making fun of me for a line I said in our yearly Christmas concert which I now refer to as the Q word. A very sad moment in grade 6 was when one of my best friends moved away to Victoria. The most fun thing that happened was when the entire grade 7 class got to go to Camp Morice for three days right before the last day of school. One of my favourite things I did in grade 4 was our little parking lot talent show for our grade called Losers Got Talent. One thing I love about St. Mary’s was that I could get away with everything, like when I was forced to play an instrument from grade 5-7 and I faked playing the flute the whole time. The most embarrassing moment of my life was at school during gym and we went across the street to the softball fields and I saw every guy was climbing over the fence so I decided to do the same and my shorts and underwear got stuck on the fence and ripped, and I was embarrassed for the rest of the day. One thing about St. Mary’s that stood out to me is that everyone except the kindergarten students have to wear uniforms and my class disliked the uniforms so much that we sang a song about it at our grade 7 graduation. St. Mary’s was the first school in the Prince George area to become fully automated. St. Mary’s officially opened in September 1961. St. Mary’s has always made sure students wore uniforms but they haven’t always been blue and grey, my mom told me that when she went to school at St. Mary’s she had to wear yellow and brown. Overall my experiences at St. Mary’s were pretty good and I enjoyed the time I spent going to school there.
    by Sammy Spenst

  4. Alexa
    One topophilla is my room because it is my Me Time place. I spend 99.9% of my free time in my room when I’m not at school or at soccer. My room is a mess, I have clothes all over the floor, some days I end up tripping over stuff. My room has an Ikea Computer desk that Black and white and Ikea Dresser that is black that is both very messy. I also have a white Ikea TV stand with a 17” HDTV with a DVD players and an Apple TV. My bed is very comfy twin size because I like to have 6-9 pillows and 3-5 blankets. I do my homework on my bed because my bed is comfier than my desk chair, also my desk is very messy and it is use for storage than a desk. The walls have Light purple and light pink walls that have never changed since I was born. My floor has carpet and it is dark green and it is short shag, I really hate the color of my floor because it is a disgusting color. My bed has head rest and I have a cord that runs from a plug in to my headrest for my IPhone and for my water Speakers that I have near my bed. My room is always warm and I really like it to be cozy. On the floor I have mainly clothes on the floor but I do have my soccer gear on the floor. My soccer gear mainly consists of a pair of shin pads and goalie pants and goalie shorts and soccer short and a jersey. Since, I am a goalkeeper I have three pairs of smelly goalie gloves because the gloves smell really bad I have Febreeze cone that smells like the ocean to mask the smell.

    My Grandma’s house is my other Topophilla because it feels like home and it doesn’t feel like I just took a 15 hours 40 minute trip to get there. My grandparents live in a small town called Hudson Bay Sask. And everyone knows almost everyone and it’s a very quiet town and the same with the house. My grandma has two gardens one in her backyard and one out in the country side. (I think, I have never been to the other one.) the one that is in her back yard is big its takes up 45% of the yard. They plant vegetables there and my favorite plant is there pea plant because as soon as I get there I go straight to their pea plant to eat them but sadly sometimes they haven’t grown yet. We always have Vegetables from the garden for lunch and dinner, and our meals are always homemade. My grandparents always over feed us, and then we had dessert when we were stuffed. My grandma makes really good cookies and she freezes them and most of the time she tells me to go down stairs when I want a snack and take a couple of frozen cookies. They don’t own a dishwasher and they hand wash all dishes by hand. My grandparents lives by my Aunty who lives down the street.


  5. My Favorite Place, Nolan
    My favorite private place is my living room, it is my favorite because it is where I play games and watch TV and movies with my family and friends. Another reason I like this place is because it makes me feel comfortable because of the familiar smell, and the comfy couch and carpet. My living room also has a big glass sliding door so you can look outside from the couch and watch the snow fall in the winter or watch the squirrels and birds run and fly around in the spring and summer. My dog usually is in this room too so he lays on the couch with me when I go into the room.
    My favorite public place is the D.P.Todd gym. D.P.Todd was made in 1977 and opened in 1978; the gym in D.P.Todd also recently got a renovation like a new floor, which gives better grip, and a scoreboard. I also have two brothers who went to D.P.Todd before me and they played sports in and outside of the gym, like rugby and volleyball, and now my sister is also in D.P.Todd now and is playing volleyball too. The reason I like the gym is because I go there many times throughout the school year to play volleyball and basketball or go to gym class. The D.P.Todd gym is also where I have improved the most in my sports because of all the practices I have went to there, and it is also where I first played volleyball, now volleyball is one of my favorite sports to play at school or with friends. Sometimes in the gym there are games and events that happen during lunch like musical chairs or intermurals which are fun to watch or play in when you have nothing to do. In this gym I have played with many different teams for sports and have won tournaments and even districts last year for basketball in the gym, and sports have been the most fun part of high school so far.