Die Bärliner - The Bard College Berlin Student Blog

Personal Space



Personal Space

Personal Space

Robert Frost advises that “Good Fences Make Good Neighbors.” This concise statement prompts one to think about boundaries and personal space. For me, the notion of the “personal bubble” defines and emphasizes the borders or the ends that give one his/her shape and define him/her as a separate entity. One’s character and one’s individuality resides inside of these boundaries.

Unfortunately there are many circumstances in which one is compelled to deflate one’s bubble and allow a foul breath or an undesired hand to penetrate it. Crowded buses, concerts, stores that offer large discounts and student dorm buildings are good examples of places where one’s personal bubble is always at risk of being punctured.

The question is how one can preserve the desired shape and size of one’s bubble. One potent solution (which I have tried) is to wear a large orange “no trespassing” sign around one’s neck. This simple and nifty trick warns that “you will be punished if you enter my private zone.” With the ‘no trespassing sign” one will never have to worry about the personal space intruders who when discussing an issue, love to place their mouths just a few millimeters in front of yours.

With a large sign around one’s neck one will never again have to worry about taking an awkward step back to regain some breathing room or to anxiously tell a person that your eyes and cheeks are awash with their spit.

But since the “no trespassing” and “Beware of dog” signs are made to be placed on the front yard fences and not around people’s necks, one is compelled to look for alternative solutions. Luckily for me and a few other ECLA students, the art room/studio provides us with space where we can go to inflate our personal bubbles whenever they are squashed by the intruders.

Vira Sachenko, a fellow avid art room user states “I scream as soon as I enter the art room because I feel so free.” There are no intruders in the art room. Even when there are few people working together at the same time, the personal bubble is never jeopardized. Alone-time is an essential requirement and an effective energizer in ECLA’s frequently rapid-fire atmosphere. The ambience of the art room is conducive for the desired shift in focus from interconnected and interpersonal to solitary and intrapersonal.

I have studied happiness for the past 22 years and I have discovered that people often get in a way of my attaining it. Time spent alone provides one with a necessary respite and a chance to detangle the thought knots and to at least for a moment clear one’s mind of the intellectual residue left by intense lectures and demanding essay writing.  So if you are overwhelmed and you think that it is time to start making “room” in your hectic schedule for yourself, come to the art room! In the art room we take care of your bubble! In the art room we believe that “Good Fences Make Good Neighbors.”

 by Milan Djurasovic (AY’11, USA)


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