Friday, July 20, 2007

Changing the Game

Something's going on here that feels positive. A shift from yesterday.

We came back to the importance of having a mapping key while walking Indian Village, and we are getting a few unexpected volunteer offers.

I decided to adjust the definition of our block-team roles. I'm giving it a verbal test drive as we prepare to map tomorrow. With about 200 residents, this project can map all 8-square miles of Gentilly sustainably. It's amazing sometimes what knowledge of organizations can do in field settings : )

Since last night, I've been thinking openly about (i.e., discussing back and forth with Ingrid and Sam) our weekend goals with respect to Vascoville, Gentilly Heights East, and Sugar Hill neighborhoods. Now, I'm expecting us to focus most on "teaching to fish" rather than "how many fish" we're catching.

More residents learning the system is taking precedence for me now. It's time to move beyond the how-much-we-have-mapped game. Been there and done that. And it's time to make a deliberate trial on empowering many more residents with geography.

It could likely mean producing less this weekend than what I initially promised myself and others. But at heart, I am an academic. I won't be consistent if emerging evidence and understanding implies a new perspective or direction.

I see greater potential in giving more authority to residents rather focusing too narrowly on mapping area covered in the immediate term.


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