We’re back! And what a few weeks it has been!
Our Achievements So Far:
Since our last blog posting we have completed our primary objective of completing the proposal report; it seemed a little tougher than we initially thought and took quite some time, but we made it through! We have attached our proposal for the public to view.
We have also completed the TCPS 2 Tutorial: Course on Research Ethics (CORE) and our certificates are attached in the proposal.
Our Weekly Objectives:
- Create a list of private community kitchens
We will do this by browsing on Google and Google Maps – contacting schools, churches, and community centers for information regarding private community kitchens to see if they have a publicly available kitchen themselves. Over the reading break, every group member will try and find two community kitchens in Shaughnessy and South Cambie. We will keep in contact via Facebook and record any community kitchens we find on a Google Sheets to avoid duplicates. We plan to have this done by Feb 21st.
- Contact kitchens
As soon as we get the go ahead from Sam (our TA), we will start contacting community kitchens. From our list of possible community kitchens, we will have to find their contact information and either send an email, call, or stop by in person to see if they would be willing to participate in our survey. From there, we can set up a meeting time where we would be able to visit their kitchen.
Upcoming Objectives and Strategies:
1. Visiting the kitchens
Once we arrange a meeting time, we will arrive as a group to the kitchen where we will be able to talk to whomever manages the kitchen, and fill out the survey. We will be prepared by being familiar with the survey so we know what things we need to be looking for and what we need to ask. We will also make sure we have a fully charged camera, if they allow us to take some pictures.
2. Presenting ourselves in a professional manner
We will accomplish this by arriving on time to our meetings, appropriately dressed and very familiar with the survey questions we will be asking. We will also review the TCPS2 guidelines to make sure we follow ethical protocol.
3.Record information about each kitchen visit
After each community kitchen we visit, we plan to record all of the data collected. We will do this by putting it into a google doc where the data can then be organized into categories so trends between other kitchens in the future can easily be identified.
4.Reflect on our kitchen visits and find common themes
After visiting all of our kitchens, we will then hold a group meeting where we will reflect and discuss some commonalities and differences between the kitchens. We will also touch on what was working well for the kitchens and areas where we feel need some, if any improvements. Analyzing our data will help us make further conclusions on trends in the area and community kitchens in general and their effects. We hope to have all our visits completed by March 20th – marking the start on our final report and presentation.
It is hard to point to one particular moment of significance that has occurred in our project so far. However, one that definitely does stand out is receiving the marking for our proposal. After working on it for two weeks and meeting with Sam in class before editing, we thought we had put together a well rounded proposal that both explained our project and met the assignment requirements. We took Sam’s suggestions into careful account as we edited and improved the proposal. Faced with the 1000 word limit – it was hard to fit all the details that we wanted to share, but with cautious use of words and efforts to avoid redundancy, we filled out all of the parts in the assignment outline. This week, we were surprised when we got our mark back and it was not as positive as we had expected.
Getting an undesired or unexpected outcome to any project is never a very fun experience whom all of us have gone through. After having put a lot of time into this proposal, making edits as suggested, along with a rather positive and motivating meeting with Sam, we were frustrated with this end result. However, we are determined to turn this moment into a beneficial experience as we move forward with our project!
Re-connecting back to what we had done is last weeks tutorial: working on a ‘pre-mortem’ and how we discussed over the podcast “Failure Is Your Friend”. Our first step, of course, is to accept that it was okay! In the podcast they mention over and over again how there is a stigma behind failure – which is most likely the reasoning to our initial reactions, however failure should instead be considered as growth.
Starting to regroup, taking these pointers into account and despite not having the opportunity to be remarked, we are now currently working on editing our proposal to make a final draft that will be visible to the general public. Carefully taking into account what we’ve learned so far, incorporating Sam’s feedback in order to strengthen our existing draft and come out with a new and improved proposal! Though time consuming it is not only important to us, but also showed us a valuable lesson on taking what we learned in class (about failure) and keeping it in mind to help better ourselves for the remainder of this project! We want this proposal to be an excellent representation of our project and inspire confidence in our work for anyone who reads it, particularly Shaughnessy and South Cambie community members.
Moving forward with other assignments; this moment has shown us that we need to follow assignment instructions more closely, ask questions, carefully consider each point that we write and continue to work and grow together as a team! Looking back on our required readings in the article ‘Performing a Project Premortem’ Klein states how it is important to pick up on early signs of trouble versus any painful postmortems and we think our proposal was just the glimpse of small failure we needed to get us back on track!
Overall, it has been a constructive experience and we look forward to writing the remaining assignments with better understanding of marking criteria.
Klein, G. (2007). Performing a Project Premortem. Retrieved March 12, 2016, from https://hbr.org/2007/09/performing-a-project-premortem
Freakonomics. (2015, May 20). Failure Is Your Friend: A Freakonomics Radio Rebroadcast – Freakonomics. Retrieved March 12, 2016, from http://freakonomics.com/podcast/failure-is-your-friend-a-freakonomics-radio-rebroadcast/