Medium Post 5

“I am beginning to think that all genres we attempt, especially all new genres… may all have the potential to invite us and require us… to compel us to come up and out of our previous ways of being in the world, to become something new, something more,” Writes Paul Heilker, an English professor at Virginia Tech. He wrote an essay about Genres as a way of being. Essentially, he’s saying that given the situation we’re in, we will behave differently.

Reading this essay, I realized that Zoe’s Bagels has its own genre. The people that go there have to act a certain way in order to be deemed acceptable. Being in there could change the way you are, and the way you have to act in public. Zoe’s is geared towards college students and other people on campus who need a convenient place to grab food and coffee.

The tables at Zoe’s are small and can only fit two chairs at them comfortably. So, to do group work at Zoe’s, you have to be willing to push tables together.

The chairs are small. So, you have to be willing to give up some semblance of comfort to work there.

There’s no music playing through speakers, so you have to be willing to play your own or drown in the noise of the people around you talking.

There is not a lot of space for the queue of people waiting to pick up their order, so you have to be willing to navigate your way through swarms of people to leave the counter.

There’s a recycling bin next to the pickup counter, so you have to be willing to recycle your paper order slip.

There is a compost bin, so you should be prepared to use it for your food waste.

There is space for a lot of people to sit and do work, so you have to be willing to be in a room full of students doing various things.

Zoe’s is on a college campus, so you have to be willing to be surrounded by people of that age group.

There is a door propped open, so you have to be prepared for all the people that walk in and out, plus the excess noise coming from the hall.

These are assumptions made about Zoe’s Bagels. The recycling bins and composting bins are there because they expect us to use them when we go there — it’s one of the things Zoe’s values in their shop. If that’s not something you normally do, being at Zoe’s could bring that sort of quality out in you.

If you don’t like being around people, Zoe’s will probably put you out of your comfort zone, because it’s usually always packed during the weekdays.

So, if you go to Zoe’s, you have to be prepared to socialize and be around people. But, the values of Zoe’s matches up with their audience very well because most college students are fairly social, very hungry and in desperate need of caffeine.

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