The Intersecting of Paths

During the process of analyzing the maps in the World Atlas book, something that struck me was the question of what cannot be seen on a map. The question confused me at first. I didn’t think much could be shown on a map. A map to me is defined as a geographical location with aspects of coordinates and a key are involved. Locations have populations; populations are a group of people; and a group of people hold a certain culture and a type of identity. Generalizations occur as groups of people can be stereotyped by their geographical location. Assumptions of socio-economic class, wealth, behaviors, and attitudes can be made. This type of preconceived notions can be a dangerous due to not individualizing people but instead grouping people together in terms of location. “In a sense, every place is unfathomable, infinite, impossible to describe, because it exists in innumerable versions, because no two people live in quite the same city but live side by side in parallel universes that may or may not intersect, because the minute you map it the map becomes obsolete, because the place is constantly arising and decaying.” (Unfathomable City, 1) 

What fascinates me is that no two people live the same life even when physically and geographically being very close. For example, as a SUNY Geneseo student, there are 1,300 other students in my class year. From 1,300 students, the student body segregates itself at times by major, extracurriculars, or even resident hall. My perspective as a college student will not only be different from one who attends a different college but one who also attends my own college, let alone has the same major as me.

Intersection is also an unique variable that can play a role in geographic location. Two people may live on Long Island, attend SUNY Geneseo, but never have their paths cross. By having a certain route to class and only targeting to reach their separate academic buildings, intersection may not occur. A campus can be defined as obsolete as students achieve their degree and graduate; incoming students take their place in classrooms as well as resident halls. Off campus housing is passed down to lower class-men.

Due to SUNY Geneseo holding a high reputation, an assumption can be made of of the intelligence levels of all students. Due to SUNY Geneseo being located in Western New York, generalizations of demographics in terms of race can be made. As SUNY Geneseo is known for its Education program, the ratio of female to male students can unfortunately be justified. No two students live in parallel universes as some intersect and others don’t. Luck and timing play a role as paths between students and professors may or may not cross which can be a beautiful thing.

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