Tulane VISTA Blog

Fighting Poverty with Passion

Field Report: Youth Rebuiling New Orleans

February has been an interesting change of pace for me.  In my previous site placement every week was a chaotic mix of putting out fires (occasionally literally) and starting new projects with the foreknowledge that they would never be seen through to completion.  This haphazard approach to running an organization frequently had me frustrated, and rarely had me working at my full potential.  I recognized then (and still understand now) that this was an opportunity for me to grow as a person and learn to place less significance on results or expectations.  Now when I look back at that time, however, all I can remember are the stresses of the environment and I feel glad that I’m in a new organization.

That’s why this past month has been so odd for me.  Every Monday (Maintenance Mondays, as they’re affectionately called) when I’ve come in to work, I’ve gone over the coming week with William, my Executive Director. We’ve gone about this by outlining meetings, deadlines, and prioritizing “to-do” lists on the multitude of whiteboards we now have (one of which spans the length of an entire wall).  Though almost every day has me working on a different task, I’ve been able to reconcile that against the organization’s mission and my own personal expectations.

I’ve been pulled in several different directions, time and time again.  This time however I’ve found myself not only being able to adapt to these changes but stretching myself out to take on more challenges, both personally and professionally.

Interrupted, of course, by Mardi Gras and the revelry that it brought with it…an interesting reprieve from work, and as I’m thinking about it the most consecutive time off without quitting my job I’ve gotten since I began my VISTA year.

As house that we built which we’ve been using as an office has been sold to a teacher, we’ll be moving out shortly.  Though this is a great opportunity for us, it will undoubtedly lead to more of a scramble as we look for, and eventually move in to, our new office.

 

-Brian Templet, Tulane CPS AmeriCorps VISTA, Youth Rebuilding New Orleans

 

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Notes from the field from the AmeriCorps VISTA team at Tulane University.

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