Tulane VISTA Blog

Fighting Poverty with Passion

Let’s torture a nautical metaphor

Jack-Duffy_headshotThe word at CBNO this month has been “steady.” This past month at CBNO has seen a steady continuation of the projects I’ve been tasked with. I’ve tried to make sure that my approach to learning GIS software has been as steady as possible and that my work on the Blight Resource Guide has been even and steady. It’s not just my own work either; our staff meetings seem to exude an even-keel, making-steady-progress-toward-the-horizon, all-crew-present-and-accounted-for comfortable sense of steadily getting things done. To stretch that nautical metaphor just short of torturing it, it feels like I’ve been navigating by map and compass and watching the waves roll (steadily) past—it’s honestly been a little surprising to look up and find myself in late October (I work in a room with no window so even the fluorescent lighting stays steady all day, every day). I’m ready to work on land for a bit.

None of this is to say that things have been going badly; sarcasm aside about the doldrums, I have continued to hone my GIS skills and the Blight Resource Guide has taken some significant steps forward in the past few weeks. Most notably for the latter, I was able to attend a GNOHA Outreach Committee meeting last week and report on how many organizations we’ve been able to survey.

That meeting helped put both the past and future of the project into perspective to some degree. It helped contrast what’s compiled so far with the information gathered before the project became my concern–I can tell that I’ve had some success in moving it forward. Talking with the GNOHA committee also helped define a tangible next step (signs of land!) and the rudiments of a plan to get parts of the guide written. In discussing (tangible!) next steps, I was a lot more relieved than I expected to be, but I didn’t make this post doldrum-themed for nothing.

My own projects aside, I’m looking forward to the perspective this VISTA assignment will lend me on the upcoming City Council elections that will be floating into view soon. I try to appreciate the learning opportunities that present themselves, especially during my work here. My status as a VISTA means I officially have no opinions on the races, but my assignment as a VISTA means I’ll be watching them closely. To uncomfortably shoehorn in a Halloween(-ish!) reference: I’m going to have to learn this stuff like Frankenstein’s monster, by watching from a distance and staying silent. That last part is going to be a little difficult. No one joins the national service movement and then wants to sit on the sidelines for things they care about.

Me, in the coming months (and more importantly, not what I'll be comparing candidates for city office to).

Me, in the coming months (and more importantly, not what I’ll be comparing candidates for city office to).

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This entry was posted on November 21, 2013 by in VISTA Field Reports.

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