Map Diary– Gameday

 

Map Diary of a W&M Student Athlete

            The thought that my movements on a particular day would be archived for historical purposes was somewhat daunting. It truly put into perspective the process of historical archives; that people or ancient civilizations are studied, in part, by evidence of their daily activities – evidence that may be something as simple as a map of where they went on a particular day. In this case, it represents the day in the life of a William & Mary student athlete on a game day.

I am a member of the William & Mary baseball team and live off campus in a house about two miles southwest of the campus with other William & Mary baseball players. This forces me to travel outside of campus and actually “live” in Williamsburg. Even though I use the town for all my daily needs, in my mind I feel as though I basically go to three main destinations – home, school and the baseball field. Baseball requires so much time for practice and games it often feels like I do nothing else, which could make my map pretty static (boring). This was especially true on this day because I only had one class and then baseball, which limited what I would have to map. Not a normal day of activities for me but one that really reflected what game day is like.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013 was a “day of rest”, academically. I had a difficult mid-term the day before (Tuesday) and had spent a late night Monday at Swem, studying. So after little sleep Monday night, a mid-term Tuesday followed by a baseball game Tuesday afternoon, I was pretty tired Tuesday night. Therefore, my midnight start for this project was in bed sleeping until I awoke Wednesday morning for class. Clearly, mid-terms had really limited my social life during this week.

I got up Wednesday morning about 8:30 AM in order to shower, shave and eat in time for my Philosophy class at 11 AM. Normally I would be up early for lifting in the weight room of William & Mary Hall, the location of the Athletic Department, but there is no lifting on a game day. Instead, I had to pull together my uniform and baseball gear to take with me when I left the house for the 4 PM game. I made sure to check the weather in order to know what I would need on the field going into the evening. It was the normal cold and overcast but it didn’t appear that the game would be threatened by rain.

My route to campus is north along Jamestown Road, a beautiful tree-lined street that takes you past lovely established neighborhoods. As a transfer student from Southern California, heavily tree-lined streets with branches that extend overhead to form a canopy are not that common. due in part to very large, multi-lane streets that don’t accommodate the tree-lined ambience. Williamsburg is also much wetter than Southern California, so the greenery is much more dense and beautiful. I can only imagine what is was like before the area was built up with streets and housing tracts; back when Williamsburg was just being settled and was mostly forest.  Traveling between my home and school takes me only about seven minutes; my class was located in Blow Hall along James Blair Drive.

When class ends I generally have to decide where to eat in order to get to the field in time for warm-ups. The baseball field, Plumeri Park, is located a little over two miles northeast of campus on Ironbound Road. The drive to Plumeri Park is fairly quick going across Richmond, making a few turns and crossing over to Ironbound, as shown on the map. While traveling through Williamsburg I’ll grab a quick bite before reaching the field. On this particular day I stopped at the Subway near The Crust though which is very close to campus. I generally spend a lot of time in this part of town and at the field (Richmond Road). My favorite places to eat are on this side of town and that may be due to the fact that they are near the field.

Once at the field, it’s all about baseball – warm-ups, batting practice, fielding and game time. There are a lot of parents, students and residents in the stands, only some of which I actually know. Williamsburg has that small town, family-like atmosphere and the support from the whole community at our games is heartwarming. After the game we meet for a quick dinner at a local restaurant on Richmond Road (usually Chili’s) to recap the game and then we head home to sleep.

I have realized from this project that daily movement through narrative writing provides a descriptive, detailed accounting of the day. It allows a person to identify what they were doing or why they were going a particular place, as opposed to just identifying a location on a map. However, a visual representation of movement throughout the day does give a greater understanding of “place” and how your life is entwined with the place.  It’s a graphic depiction of the larger story that is actually not included in the narrative – those  places along the route that are passed by; the different options that are available  for where to stop to eat or shop that do not get noted in the narrative; the various routes available verse the one that was chosen. Those minor details that are included on the map as part of the route traveled makes the mapping diary an invaluable part of the historical documentation. Where I did not go has never been something I considered until I mapped my own day.


About

The Williamsburg Documentary Project (WDP) strives to collect and preserve the rich past of Williamsburg, Virginia. By conducting oral history interviews, building physical and digital archives, and creating online exhibits, the WDP interprets Williamsburg’s recent past. The WDP works towards developing a better understanding of Williamsburg by bringing together individuals, local groups, Colonial Williamsburg, and the College of William & Mary.

Add Users

If you want to add yourself to this blog, please log in.