Creating a Symbolic Map
As I walked through my neighborhood to prepare for this assignment I was thinking about Denis Wood's talk from This American Life. I thought it was interesting that he would create a map of the houses that had Halloween pumpkins. I was also thinking about Stilgoe's chapter on Mail. I think that is why I had a collection of mailbox pictures when I got home. I noticed that most of the mailboxes on my side of the street were protected with poles because about once a year a group of teenagers ride through at night and hit the boxes with baseball bats. I found it interesting that only a few of the mailboxes on the other side of the street had poles to protect their boxes. I guess mine is the popular side for vandalism. I also noticed that none of the corner houses had their mailboxes on my street. They all chose the side street, even if their house faced my street. And there were a few houses with no mailboxes at all. I guess they got tired of replacing their mailboxes and now have P.O. Boxes at the post office. My symbolic map represents the mailboxes along my walk. The ones with stars are protected mailboxes. The spaces with numbers represent houses with no boxes. The empty spaces represent houses with boxes on the side streets. The boxes follow my walk from the beginning of the street to Elm Terrace and then back up the other side.