Map Diary

It is one thing to know your schedule, but it is entirely another to try to map it out in the hopes that it might make sense to someone else. I documented Wednesday, March 13th, which was a fairly average school day for me. My Wednesdays this semester are a little hectic, but manageable (you should see Monday!). While I kept tabs on my movements over the course of the 13th, the span of time between the actual moving and later reflecting dimmed my memory of my travels around campus. So many of these movements are made out of obligation just to get from place to place, and without much thought. The process of mapping my movement has given me insight into how I have thought about my daily space, but also changed how I might view it in the future.

In working with the campus map, I found it difficult to display my path throughout the day. I realized that I spend much of my time at William and Mary within a very small geographical radius. My first class on Wednesdays, in Adair Hall, is the only course that I am taking that is off of “old campus.” Most of the time, I am in the academic buildings along the sunken gardens, or the dorms and establishments just adjacent to that area. Because I move mostly within this limited space, my campus map looks like a garbled mess of lines. I have never wanted to be one of those people who only experiences a small corner of the world, but it looks like I have, at least on campus on a Wednesday.

Creating the visual representation for my day shed more light on how I schedule myself and my movement. I rarely think about how many different obligations I have over the course of a regular school day—probably because to do so would only make me stressed. I did my visual depiction in the shape of a board game, with my start and finish location the same. I think this accurately shows the course that my day took, as well as the idea that it is a game to be conquered (or maybe just completed). While I am lucky not to have anything demanding my time in the evening, which I usually spend studying at home, I was surprised to really consider all that I do between the hours of 8 AM and 5:30 PM.

While I did keep to a small geographic region on Wednesday the 13th, what I did was much more varied and possibly worth noting. I took four classes in four different departments (Dance, Linguistics, English, and Music), had two meals with friends, and ended my night doing homework. It was a liberal arts education day, and fairly representative of many that I have spent in my four years at the College. Sometimes, when I am immersed in the world of academia, I forget how lucky I am to experience so much within this little bubble of campus life. In the real world (looming ever closer), most people go to work in the morning, stay for the length of the day, and come back home at night. My collegiate life does not take such a simple or linear path. I spend an hour or two doing many different activities throughout the day, all various facets of the person that I have become in my time at school. In what other period in my life will I be able to dance, sing, read literature, and study language all in one day? My “career” as a student, within the physical space of the William and Mary campus, gives me this privileged experience.

After completing my maps, I think I might begin to think of my small-scale traveling within this space differently. The short journeys that I take every day are a bit more than just means to an end—they add up to the larger path of my life and time here at William and Mary.


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.

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