Week 6: Halfway Point Reflections and Goals – Detroit Community-Engaged Research Program

Week 6: Halfway Point Reflections and Goals

It’s been a long week, so I’ve decided to take it easy and do another stream-of-consciousness type post (sorry!). I am catsitting for my roommate’s family in Plymouth while they are out of town this week, and I think that between being 20-30 minutes out of my way from every errand and place I need to be and working 2 other jobs on top of the fellowship I’ve kind of pushed myself too hard this week, and it’s reflecting in the quality of my work. I love the work I’m doing at my site, but haven’t been able to focus much this week, which feels a little frustrating because I know that I don’t have much time left.

I remember at the beginning of the fellowship I set a goal of really wanting to get to know Detroit better, and realistically I wonder if that was a bit too ambitious. While I am lucky enough to go to my site about 2x a week (if I decided I have the energy and gas money for the drive), I don’t feel like I have seen much of Detroit outside the 3 square blocks around SDEV’s office. But, I’ve become okay with that. Detroit is one of the largest metropolitan areas in the United States and it would be unrealistic to believe that I get could get to know the culture of each area in just 9 weeks while also completing internship work, especially when I’m not even in the city every day. In the past 6 weeks I have come to know the smaller community in which I work better, and learned so much about my coworkers, who they are, and what is important to them. I think these personal connections are extremely important, and I hold them dear to my heart.

In the upcoming weeks I hope to make a point to focus and center myself in the work I am doing, go in at least twice a week, and get to know the people who work at SDEV even better. I think that even once the fellowship ends, I will continue working with my site, just on a smaller level (around 5-10hr/wk). I hope by then I have one singular project that I can head and focus on, instead of supporting 5 or 6 separate projects as I do now. This week, I have started researching policies around air pollution tracking and the city of Detroit’s use of environmental funds, and hope to set up a watchdog program. I’m excited for the next few weeks and what I can push myself to accomplish.

I’ve attached a mood chart and want to know how you guys feel too? Are you worn out? excited? comfy? I think right now I’m sitting somewhere around spent.

2 thoughts on “Week 6: Halfway Point Reflections and Goals”

  1. I’ve never seen a chart like this before, and wow, was I missing out! I definitely need to look at one of these more often.

    I’m pretty much right where you are, probably somewhere around drained. Hopefully by the end of DCERP, I can look back at my experience and be closer to inspired!

  2. You definitely have a lot on your plate Serena! But I commend you for setting goals and pushing yourself to learn and give your best effort! Also I’m super excited to meet you in person next week and thank you again for giving me a ride into Detroit! As for my mood – I think I’m a little fatigued just from having been completely remote and losing motivation because of the constant screen time even though I love working with my organization.

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