I must say, I’m a bit jealous of everyone who feels right on track as far as their projects are going, and those of you who don’t feel overwhelmed at all. It must be nice, haha.
While I’m not feeling so stressed out that I don’t think I’ll be able to complete what I need to complete, I do know that I will have to work very hard in the next 6 days in order to get everything done for the poster. The last bit of data collection will be Thursday evening, so I’ll have Friday to put it into the system (which still takes up quite a bit of my time, unfortunately, though the data entry is going faster for me now than it was for me in the beginning), and then all weekend to work on my poster and finish that up for Monday (and for my supervisors to look at it on Monday before I submit it).
The organizations that I am working for, the churches, are not very interested in intense data analysis, just more of a general overview of the surrounding communities. This works in my favor because then I won’t have to labor over SPSS for hours and hours on end trying to get things finished. However, they do want a clear picture of where to move forward from this point, and they want to be able to take immediate action, so that’s definitely been more of my focus.
Canvassing has been really interesting. I’m getting much better at talking to people and being firm but polite when interacting with members of the community. I’m also getting better at digging deeper than just my surface questions to really find out what people are thinking or feeling about their community – I’ve found that if I prod them a little bit if they give a non-committal answer, they usually have something they’d like to say (generally, they like to complain about their neighbors, but hey, we’re after any sort of information so that’s useful, too). And it’s really interesting for me to see that a lot of what people in the communities are talking about experiencing coincide with some of the previous asset research I did on the communities.
For instance, a few residents have complained thus far about a lack of community spaces (parks to play, pools, etc.) for the kids, especially during the summer. I looked back over my asset research earlier and found that they were right – there really isn’t open space for kids or other community members to relax. So that might be one future direction for the churches (especially one which has quite a bit of open space that used to be used as a children’s playground).