Saturday, January 06, 2007

Snapshots of a Great Day

The chartered bus of the UMass Boston students arrived, and they were eager to get something done. And they did.
I started sending off 25 pairs of UMass teams, even before Gentilly residents began to join us at 9am. Some of the final student teams mixed with residents. Through the mid-morning, teams spread out on foot into the Milneburg and Seabrook Place neighborhoods. As teams with shorter assignments began to return, they received new assignments. The students were eager to walk to their assignments, but resident vehicles and my own carried them out when we could. Before noon, all of these two neighborhoods were done or in progress. Teams had been sent out to complete Fillmore Gardens and further out to complete Virgil Park.
The afternoon turned to Gentilly Terrace. There were so many pairs going there that the UMass charter bus was used for the transport.
Lots of mapping, and residents who were inspired by the presence and conversation of so many students. Towards the end of the day, I was driving up and down and around Gentilly -- dropping off and picking up students who were helping fill up gaps remaining in the assignments.
The UMass students were dynamic, self-reliant, worked well together, and got a lot done. They shrugged off the raindrops which, at the time, suggested to me an approaching downpours.
The instructional handouts designed in December by the Dartmouth graduate team (for their Katrina Help signature project) were quite effective, and the UMass students were very quick to figure out further issues on their own.
Really, only Lake Oaks and Lake Terrace remain. There are isolated assigments within the neighborhoods we covered today.
We have now finished 95% of Gentilly since December 7.


Blogger Zsuzsa said...

December 7, 2006 - January 2007:

Gentilly is done
U Critical Mass
U All Look Great
U Mass + Dartmouth = Getting Things Done
Good Times! & Common Ground

Congrats to U/S All

2:59 PM  
Blogger Sarah said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

5:17 PM  
Blogger Sarah said...

As one of the Dartmouth crew down there working to get this project off the ground over the past month, I would like to give a big thank you to U MASS for coming in to finish the job. I hope the handouts about coding helped to get you started and I know Dr. Jett will learn a lot form your involvement. GREAT JOB!! I am jealous that I cannot be in my hometown to see Gentilly mapped completely. As you return home remember what you have seen and the wonderful residents you have met. They like most of New Orleans continue to struggle with a huge rebuilding process and dealing with a government that has forgotten them. Your voices are critical to getting the message out that New Orleans still needs help and that the natives are out there working everyday. Thank you U MASS!

5:19 PM  

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