The Heart: Student Reflection 2

“Camping out in such a public place was interesting in comparison to the stout fire pit and other camping experiences I have had.  This night got me to thinking a lot about ‘green space’ as a way humans define the outdoors as something we are giving back to the land because of what we original took away from it.  The heart is a green space, an open space, but still very much defined by the other structures around it.  It is a human construct in its existence as an outdoor environment and in the meaning, that is developed around its name.  In working through the process of getting permission to camp on the heart, I began to think about the idea of camping restrictions.  The heart is a central place on campus for students to hang out and many people sit on the heart late into the night talking with friends.  As I observed at the stout fire pit, the location seemed to be redefined when it became not just a place to hang out, but a place to sleep.  There was a whole process in being ‘allowed’ to camp in a public location.  It is interesting to look at these places as temporary camp sites and it doing so they could be defined as non-place.  This definition is only in connection to using the space as a sleeping environment.  It is a defining place on the Earlham College campus and would never be a non-place under any other term.  It is an edgeland as its definition is somewhat ambiguous when you use it as a sleeping space.”

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