Friday, August 14, 2009

Audubon Street project

Daniel MacPhee of the Yale Sustainable Food ProjectOver the past two days, we had an orientation activity where we broke into groups of eight and had to put together a 7-minute presentation on how an empty store front near campus should be used. It was a good glimpse into group work, and a lot of fun (woulda been funner had I been healthier, but whatevs).

Based on this, I think when it comes to group work it's going to be a challenge for me to negotiate the conflict between contributing what I know I can do -- journalism stuff -- vs. taking on things I need to learn how to do, like put together financial statements.

For instance, in this activity I did a minor bit of reporting, interviewed a guy to get some quotes for our presentation, took some pictures (above) and wrote some of the text in the PowerPoint. I did not, obviously, contribute anything, or even follow, the financial and accounting stuff. It seemed like six people in the group were familiar with that, and two of us were a bit lost, but we both had other ways to contribute. I also realized I could've contributed more if I had had PhotoShop and Premiere on my school computer, so I installed them tonight. (Did I mention Yale SOM gives every student a laptop?) Depending on what future projects are like, I may even invest in a video camera and tripod, because I could do some spiffy stuff for presentations like this.

But whoa there, Nellie. On the other hand, if I always jump on the journalism stuff I know how to do, I'm not going to learn I came for the knowledge.anything, which is the whole reason I'm here. Since this was just a fun introductory orientation activity, it didn't seem like an appropriate venue to slow down the works and ask a bunch of questions (like "Say wha?"), but after classes start and I be learnin' some things, I will certainly need to move into less comfortable roles, or else I will have kinda wasted my money and time.

By the way, the idea for our project was to use the space and partner with the Yale Sustainable Food Project to do a produce market / restaurant and have cooking classes. The Yale Sustainable Food Project (pictured above, with the farm manager, Daniel MacPhee), among many things, runs an organic, student-managed farm about a block from my house that I had noticed, and even taken pictures of, but didn't know what it was. Apparently they have free brick-oven pizza on Friday nights, so I will swing by there sometime and do me a little planting, then a little face-stuffing.

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