Tulane VISTA Blog

Fighting Poverty with Passion

Like a Code Blanket – Beau Braddock

So you write in SQL code, huh? How many databases have you made? Is there any chance you could help me out with some pretty simple Python language? I’m working on this query and I honestly am so lost, could you help me out for just 15 minutes? I’ve been looking over this HTML 5 doc that you gave me and I am having trouble on page two of this video tag link, could you skype later about it?

programmer t shirt

Sometimes I miss those early days when I was young, playing video games, so innocent, full of youth, and could actually choose to not have to stare at a screen. But then I wake up, and realize that I can’t take naps while I’m learning to program.

As I delve further and further into teaching myself evaluation tools for creating evaluation and monitoring metrics, I realize that I probably should have taken that computer science course sophomore year. There is a definite learning curve to all of this, and luckily I feel like I’m able to pick it up pretty well, enough to circumvent web apps when I need to and actually start to look at basic code language and manually override lines.

The main task this is all for is learning database language in order to compile the mountain of Excel spreadsheet files and numbers and hours and comments that the Tulane VISTAs have compiled over the years. In the next few months, I will hopefully have developed a system to catalogue and store all of this information, with tracking information pertaining to:

– number of Tulane VISTAs over the years, number of Tulane AmeriCorps volunteers (including service corps members), list of partner sites, assessment of amt. and/or health of partner sites

– amount of VISTA job site hours

– demographic information of previous Tulane AmeriCorps VISTAs

– number of interns and volunteers VISTAs have recruited for their sites

– number of hours tracked for interns and volunteers at their respective sites

– number of projects developed by VISTAs at their respective sites

– number of successful grant applications VISTAs have contributed to

-number of recruiting hours VISTAs have obtained

– number of outreach hours VISTAs have garnered

– volume of potential strategic partnerships at VISTA sites earned

– potentially survey data related to the effect that Tulane VISTAs have had at their sites

– best practices implemented by VISTAs during their service terms

– most common professional development goals cited by Tulane VISTAs

– perhaps a social return on investment calculation?

As I begin to assess the CNCS grant and the reports that Tulane has previously sent to funding agencies citing their data and their assessment of the program, I will have a better idea of what all information is pertinent and useful to what will hopefully be a nice looking deliverable and mail out.

In the meantime though, it’s been lots of social media (#instaVISTA) @tulaneVISTA, lots of email correspondence, and what is most likely an unhealthy level of super fun inter-office camaraderie with my VISTA pal Amy Biedermann. She is for lack of a better term, the other wolf in my wolf pack. And it’s amazing.

That’s all for now! See you next month!! -Beau


About beaubraddock

Beau is currently serving as an AmeriCorps VISTA Fellow with the Tulane University Center for Public Service in New Orleans, Louisiana. He graduated in May of 2014 from Newcomb-Tulane College with a BA in International Relations and International Development, and previously worked in Haiti and India. Beau loves to draw, paint, back-pack, fly-fish, pretend he is good at photography, and travel. An adamant lover of indie films and all things edible, Beau once escaped a falling burning tree in a forest, even though no one else was there to hear it.


This entry was posted on October 16, 2014 by in Center for Public Service, CPS - Social Media and tagged , , .



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