Category Archives: Reflection

Brooklyn Public Library

Brooklyn Public Library Report – Aisel Omerbashi

New York Public Library Report

New York Public Library – Aisel_Omerbashi

Brooklyn Historical Society

Brooklyn Historical Society Library Report_Aisel Omerbashi

Learning Places – Final Project


End of the Semester Reflection

How do you view research differently after this class?

I used to look at research as such a tedious time consuming thing when it came to academic classes. I have always enjoyed researching jut not keeping track of what I came across. But now I view recording my research as something very important not only for me and the work that I do but for the individuals who will be taking my research a step further or to the next level, whether I know it or not, there may be someone who will be depending on my documented research. I am contributing to something much more bigger than I think.

How does a  geographic viewpoint impact your approach to research and understanding of place?

For me personally, it makes it so much more tangible and so much more interesting because whether the history of a place is verbally or literally recorded there is so much history to it, and that creates so many layers of research to be done. With something like a geographic location, I would rather try to obtain as many oral stories as I could, not everything is written in the books, sometimes you have to create your own research method in order to answer your question.

Will you use (and seek out) primary sources in the future? Why or why not?

I definitely will be seeking out primary sources in the future. And I will be doing that because it is a very reliable source and there is never any speculation or anything skeptical about the credibility of a primary source. And I have also been working on my own website for almost a year or so, so primary sources will be very vital to include.

How can research in general, and place-based research in particular) be made more engaging?

Research can be made more interactive by first allowing the pupils to come up with any topic of their choice, unrelated to the course and allowing them to come up a number of credible sources then evaluating their sources in class, maybe in a game like way and testing their knowledge on how to determine if a source is reliable and credible.

End of the semester reflection

1. How do you view research differently after this class?

After this class, I view research differently in many, many ways that I had never thought about before. My mind was restricted by “blinders,” and I did not know that there was a whole “new” world to explore, “at my very fingertips.” I learned that primary sources and archives are “right around the corner.” I have access to resources, materials, artifacts, sources, research assistance, and the list goes on. Now, I feel a greater sense of proficiency for doing research. A whole wealth of knowledge and information are available to me, and I have a more effective way for doing research from a whole new perspective.

2. How does a geographic viewpoint impact your approach to research and understanding of place?

A geographic viewpoint impacts my approach to research and understanding of place connects me with the physical world and the effects that something physical, like land and buildings, encounters through human’s influence. This new and “fresh” perspective had enabled me to be able to “swim” in an ocean of information, where I could only “walk” on land before. I can tackle more questions. I have more ways of viewing inputs of stimulus, by seeing connections where I did not see before. I have more ways to satisfy my curiosities. The are limitless possibilities.

3. Will you use (and seek out) primary sources in the future? Why or why not?

I will definitely use and seek out primary sources in the future. Primary sources are similar to having hard and undeniable facts in a sense. You get to the “source or root of your query,” the beginning of the cause. This is the place where your answer can be more accurately answered, with much less distortion and error. You are closer to the the “rumors” in the chain of dissemination of information. There are elementary exercises that show the way that messages are distorted from one end of a line of people to the other end. I remember this exercise very well. The information is much less likely to be distorted at the beginning of the line. You get the most accurate understanding. Primary sources are at the beginning of the line. They are the most accurate message.

4. How can research in general, and place-based research in particular) be made more engaging?

Research in general, and places-based research in particular, can be more engaging if students could focus in on a particular character or group of people to understand their view point(s). There is always the hindsight of seeing the effects of humanities’ influences, but “What were the thoughts, politics, reasoning, etc. for these effects?” “Was it truly political, environmental, sociological, unavoidable, etc.?” Knowing the true reason for an outcome is knowing the truth. This is a very simple statement, but it is a very powerful one. We need to find connections, not only simple physical connections, but also emotional connections. There is a more significant impact when we “feel” and experience the life of the person and/or place within a more substantiating context. We are not simply avoiding the biases of subjectivity with objectivity. We will always have subjectivity influencing our judgements and reasoning, and we have to learn to avoid inaccurate conclusions. So, let’s not try to avoid the subjectivity by focusing only on concrete evidence. Let’s embrace it and learn from it. We have to become more effective, critical thinkers and problem solvers, and allowing the full view of a topic will provide more variables that would lead to a more accurate conclusion, understanding, picture, etc. Connecting with our topic on an emotional (effective) level has a much greater impact on learning and motivation. When students finally connect with a subject, h/she will more likely value this research with the intentions of the learning objectives. (This is the main focus of motivation that I’ve learned in my Educational Psychology course. I am studying to be a public school teacher, and I am referring directly to lectures and reading on this topic.)

End of the semester reflection

1. After taking this course, research seems much more tangible and much more enticing. I feel much more confident in finding sources, annotating them and utilizing them for a subject of interest. I was also satisfied with the numerous fields we have taken, some of which I never knew existed (the NYCHA archives at LaGuardia CC).

2.  As a design student, the idea of a geographic viewpoint has always been relevant. The specificity of geographic viewpoint, site, or location is a great enabler for students, as it may inspire them to further investigate why conditions were the way they were, why conditions have changed as well as the possible projection or invention of what could be made next. However, from a interdisciplinary standpoint, it is imperative to recognize the different methodologies used to extrapolate information.

3. I will most certainly use or seek out more primary sources in the future, as they are incredibly relevant to architecture, urban design and planning. Primary sources are often a critical ingredient for proper research, analysis and sometimes design proposals.

4. Research can be more engaging if the subject of interest is discovered earlier, and if the tools used to facilitate the research are well understood by students and are further demonstrated (i.e sketchup)

Final Course Reflection

  1. How do you view search differently?

Well i will say this was totally new research experience for me, as an engineering major i never really did research like this, which mostly base on history, libraries and archives.  All tools we used in this class as a search engine were really interesting for example Brooklyn Eagle newspaper which i can access from any public library, secondly GIS was really impressive as well.

2. How does a geographic viewpoint impact you after this course?

Just like i said before i never had this kind of class before, i think its because i always take my engineering courses but this time i wanted to try a different course but also have some relation with my major as well. After visiting the sites in vinegar hill and learning about all the history of  that area i felt i was missing lot of stuff in my life. It was really interesting to see how old architecture developed with time.

3. Will you use primary source in future? Why?

In my case yes of course i will because i am doing civil engineering so and as a member of American Society of Civil Engineer i know we have to deal with lot of publications in data center, so i will see primary sources more often.

4. How could teachers make research a more engaging process? What could be taught earlier?

I think its better to introduce all the tools for research at the beginning  of semester in that way everyone will have little extra experience at the end of the semester, which will help all students to produce a well developed project.

Final Reflection

1. How do you view research differently?

Over the semester, I have learned a few new research methods. Coming from a liberal arts background, I was already exposed to library resources, especially online databases. Some new resources, especially NYC public resources, were new for me, and they were very illuminating. The research tools, especially GIS tools, were especially interesting; they have opened up a whole new way for me to interact with spatial data.
2.  How does a geographic viewpoint impact you after this course?
Well, I had never studied a “place” before, so it was a new experience doing so. I will always stop and think now about a location’s history wherever I go. I am tempted to look at some archival information in my home town of White Plains now.
3. Will you use primary sources in the future? Why?
Possibly. I am heading into medical research at the moment, and I guess case reports are a primary source. Medical photography could be considered primary source as well, though I’m not sure the term applies outside of a historical context.
4.  How could teachers make research a more engaging process? What could be taught earlier?
I think a scavenger hunt experience, in the archives could be an interesting exercise, especially early on. I would like to have seen GIS tools earlier.  A multi-class Sketchup demo would be good too, as it is a very useful tool.

End of Semester Reflection

  1. Prior to this class, research in general has always been the most daunting part of assigned projects and papers. By researching so frequently during the course of the semester, it is a task that I am much more used to. I now know about more research tools and databases, which will come in handy for any future research projects that I may have. In addition, visiting archives and libraries to do research is something that I have not done often prior to this course. It was a good experience for me to be able to visit a site and actually look through tangible sources rather than just depending on computer-based research.
  2. I think that having a geographic viewpoint in mind when researching helps narrow down one’s scope. By knowing that the area we were focusing on was Vinegar Hill, I was sure to focus my research on that neighborhood and surrounding neighborhoods. As a class we visited sites that either were located in Brooklyn or had sources about Brooklyn. The sources acquired at these sites were¬†much more relevant.
  3. I will definitely be seeking out primary sources in the future. These sources will most likely not be maps, photographs, or bridge plans. Due to my field of study, which is legal studies, legal research plays a large role in working efficiently and drafting documents. Cases and statutes will be primary sources that I will need to research and cite to both in my classes and work.
  4. I think that because many people do not have much experience doing primary source research, being provided with online databases and knowing how to contact libaries and archives for help would make research more engaging. Once a person gets confident in researching sources, he or she will be more inclined to do so. When research is place-based, it would be beneficial to the researcher to visit the location. I think being able to have firsthand experiences and observations of an area would help with engagement.