Blog Post #4

What we aimed to do (Week 10 – 12)

 

WEEK 10 (March 12 – 18th)

  • Finalize the excel spreadsheet with community partners
  • Phone meeting with community partners on March 15th
  • Set up interview times with community member about the RFAM

WEEK 11 (March 19th – 25th)

  • During the tutorial, list out information we want to put on our infographic
  • Have a group meeting on March 20th pm to talk about upcoming deadlines
  • March 23rd morning, submit the first version of the infographic
  • Receive feedback and make changes over the weekend
  • Submit final version of the infographic by March 25th
  • Start on blog post #4

WEEK 12 (March 26th – April 2nd)

  • Presentation of the infographic on March 26th
  • Complete and submit blog post #4 on 29th
  • Over the weekend, start discussing the final group paper and how we are going to split up roles
  • Meeting in person on April 3rd to work on the final paper together

 

What we achieved so far…

 

WEEK 10 (March 12 – 18th)

  • Sent out an email to community members scheduling an interview time
  • Finalised the excel documents with community partners through email
  • March 14th: completed phone interview with Andrea
  • March 15th: had a phone meeting with community partners regarding instructions for interviewing process
  • March 16th: had an in-person interview with Lisa from GF Strong about the RFAM

                                                  

WEEK 11 (March 19 – 25th)

  • Generated a list of information we want on the infographic
  • Had a group meeting online on March 20th regarding upcoming responsibility and making sure everyone is on track
  • Submitted the first version of the infographic on Canvas
  • Received feedback on the infographic from Will
  • Edited and submitted the final version of the infographic
  • Started on blog post #4

WEEK 12 (March 26th – April 2nd)

  • Presented our infographic at the nest on March 26th
  • Completed and submitted blog post #4
  • Finish off our final report

“Coming together is a beginning. Keeping together is progress. Working together is success.” – Henry Ford

We can safely say our Land Food, and Community II endeavors have been a success! Group 4 has come a long way from our humble beginnings in room 258 back in January. There were certainly many ups and downs throughout the course of the project. We even did a little assessing of our own community-based assets, if you will, when we felt we needed to change up our action plan for the completion of the project. Over the last two weeks, we’ve seen a significant improvement in how we communicate together. In addition to learning about how people have the ability to impact food security, we, as peers, learned ways to can support each other in our group.

 

As a group with a diverse background, we tended to have different perspectives. We have also learned to respect one another’s ideas, and by working collaboratively we always managed to come to a consensus. By doing so we were able to learn from each other’s mistakes and grow as a team to further improve our skills. And of course, there were times that the team went above and beyond the requirements which were greatly appreciated. This whole experience has been magnificent to each of us. The most significant moment of our whole journey came shortly after we presented our poster for the first time to a real audience.

 

2:00pm Monday, March 26th – The student union building was buzzing with our classmates, various community partners, and hundreds of other students. Right away Anne Swann, the beloved VCH dietitian who is leading our project, had sought out our poster right away. She was waiting for us. Suddenly it dawned on us that this was the moment we had all worked to prepare for. Our minds raced with nervous questions as we weaved through the crowd to greet her. How long has she been waiting? Does she like our color scheme? Did anyone forget their deodorant? Smiling through any lingering nervousness, Kelly and Emily delivered their speech excitedly and clearly. Score. We made it, right? Wrong. After carefully inspecting the feedback from our interviews in a section of our infographic, Anne’s brows furrowed and she began to fire questions at us. 

At first, this was scary. We thought we had done something wrong. However,  it soon became clear she wasn’t telling us how we could improve our approach, but rather to probe us for insight on how to improve the asset map. A professional was asking us how we thought we could improve a living breathing community asset. Never before had any of us have been able to apply the knowledge we learned in a course to a real-world initiative. That realization was empowering for all of us. The work we have done this term may be applied to the Richmond Food Asset Map (RFAM) in the future and potentially other maps Vancouver Coastal Health coordinates. 

Here are some challenges that we faced…

Time Management

   Although everyone in our group is from the same faculty, many of us have different majors. It can be difficult to find a time where everyone is free and is able to get together outside of class time. In addition, many of us have a full course load with lots of exams and assignments. This costs us to lose track of when blog posts, assignments, and deadlines with community project are due. We really struggled with this challenge in blog post #2. Blog post #2 was due during midterm season, many of us were busy with other course load and did not have time to complete this assignment. As a result, we didn’t start working on the post until one day before it was due. Everyone felt flustered and stressed rushing to complete the assignment.

 

Assigning Roles

   Being a group of 5 people, it was hard to know who is working on what without assigning roles. Especially when it comes to written assignments, there can be an overlap of information due to miscommunication in everyone’s responsibility. So it is important to assign roles amongst the five of us in order to work effectively and efficiently according to our strengths. As each of us has different characteristics and strengths, we have taken full advantages to achieving our goals by doing this along the way. For instance, some may be better at visuals and design while others have excellent communication skills.

 

Completely the community project in the right format

   There are many criteria and rules we had to follow when collecting data for our community project. When entering data into the excel spreadsheet shared with our community partner, we had to make sure we are filling it in a format that they wanted. Consistency on formatting is one of the top priorities as we are anticipating RFAM as a widely used tool for the City of Richmond.

 

Grammar

   It is no surprise that none of us have perfect grammar. Very often, we tend to make a substantial number of grammatical mistakes on a blog post or any other assignment. While it is hard to catch our own grammatical error, we will always proofread each other’s work, aiming to lessen as much error as possible.\

“Many ideas grow better when transplanted into another mind than the one where they sprang up.” – Oliver Wendell Holme

 

What we did to overcomes the challenges

Setting early deadlines

By setting early deadlines beforehand, it gives us more time to think. If we give ourselves too much time for work to be done, we will just end up procrastinating more than working. We also don’t want to rush our work cause it will often result in a piece with poor quality. It always feels rewarding and satisfying when we finish our work ahead of time and not have to worry about it later.

 

Making to-do lists

 

An effective to-do list helps our team break down tasks and keeps everyone well-organized. Especially in LFS 350, where all the assignments are usually less direct and intuitive. Sometimes it is hard to have an even division of work between team members. It is easier for the team to divide the work up and have a clearer picture of the problems we are solving. So that we can cooperate in a more effective manner.

 

Frequent Communication with Community Partners

 

Communication is key to success in a group project because we are constantly working with others. Sometimes communication is not very clear, that’s why we need frequent communication to help clarify a concept or issue. Frequent communication through email and phone call also keeps everyone in the project up to date and also have the chance to hear everyone’s opinions.

 

“The Editor” Position

 

It is important to keep everything, especially for the writing because style varies from person to person. Since work is assigned to each group member and completed individually, we decided to have one person as an editor, who will review the writing and deal with the grammar to ensure flow in our writing.

 

Now What …

After finishing the infographic poster and the final project presentation, the three-month project is finally coming to the end. During the presentation, we had the opportunity to share with the public what we have had achieved throughout the course of the term. Additionally, we had a great talk with our community partner, receiving feedback her as well as other dietitians. We also provided our own suggestions for the improvement of the Richmond Food Assets Map in the future such as language translation. Lastly, we are going to wrap up our project by writing the final project report. As we have accomplished a lot within the three months, we are proud and excited to present the experience and the process.

Blog Post #3

Strategies for a Graceful Dismount

This week’s agenda! (Week 9: March 5th – 11th)

What we aimed to accomplish

  • Create blog #3
  • Receive feedback from Anne about excel spreadsheet
  • Edit and resubmit blog # 2
  • Contact and arrange for in person interviews between March 12th and March 16th

What we’ve done so far:

  • Updated the spreadsheet of list of grocery stores and specialty stores
  • Made changes to this list after receiving feedback on spreadsheet from Anne
  • Completed blog #3

Moment of Significant Change

Reflecting on Moments of Emotional Significance

During week 8’s tutorial workshop, we were asked to map out any significant moments and how they impacted our emotions and knowledge base.

Throughout our project planning and first stages of execution we shared several emotional ups and downs. Spirits were high in January as we began this new project in new term with a new group of peers. Although slightly intimidated by the scope of our assigned task, getting to know each other’s motivations for choosing the RFAM project and meeting with our community partner in Richmond was inspiring.

However, in the following couple weeks, we faced several disappointments. We had a extremely hard time dealing with the blog because none of us had such experience before. Also, due to the limited background information of our project, the project proposal was considered to be the most tough part in this project. Everyone felt quite anxious as soon as we received feedback of our proposal from the TA as well as the community partners. We were still trying to figure out the best way to organize our work and working together as a team. No one is perfect, we tried to learn from our mistakes. To better complete this project, each person was assigned with a particular role based on personal strength. The change of strategy helped us work together more efficiently as a whole, which was significantly reflected in the data collection stage.

“Everything is hard before it is easy.” – Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

Skill and knowledge development

We have acquired a lot of knowledge about our project and the Richmond community during the first seven weeks. At first, we obtained the basic information on paper either from our community partners or from our researches online. As the project progresses, we are able pick up more information and advice with the support from Anne. We then became more aware of the focus of this project which had greatly enhanced our knowledge and skills.

New skills developed:

  • Communication skills with group members, community partners as well as community organizations via email or over the phone
  • Skills in collecting current and accurate information using various approaches
  • Increase proficiency with Microsoft Excel spreadsheets

 

Our Takeaways from the Exercise

We are glad to have had the opportunity to reflect on each members feelings all together because it allowed for a level of reflection not often realized in any of the group projects we have previously worked on. When asked in tutorial to plot our ‘e m o t i o n s’ and ‘k n o w l e d g e’ over time we honestly were a bit hesitant. As budding scientists all too familiar with transforming data into graphs (and eliminating bias from results), the idea of taking our own feelings and placing them on an emotional axis seemed uncomfortable. Sharing our vulnerabilities allowed us to truly be on the same page.

The visual the graph provided made it very clear there is still work to be done when it comes to receiving critiques. It helps us to realize what needs to be improved on to better achieve our goals for the project by acknowledging our limitations as a team. It provided an opportunity for all of us to come together reflecting on the completed work as well as opening up ourselves to one another. This enables us to be more determined on our objectives and strengthen our team spirit. On the whole, this exercise proved to be a great tool to improve some of the weaknesses we may have as a team.

Strategy for Successful Project Completion

Communication 

As a group, we all agree that communication is always the #1 factor in successful project completion. It is the foundation of project management and the key in completing goals in an effective and timely manner. Checking our group chat frequently allows us to answer each other’s questions more quickly or update each other on new developments. Proper communication is not only necessary within our student team, but also with our community partner. Anne has been providing us with helpful and detailed feedback for every document we had emailed her. We really appreciate her thoroughness. (Thank you Anne!)  

                                                                                 Evaluating and Improving Our Strategy

Everytime we received feedback from either our TA or our community partner it’s a opportunity to improve rather than a disappointment. We can utilize the constructive criticism to prepare our final draft and understand what to look out for in the future. It is very important to learn from your mistakes so you don’t make the same mistake again.

 

Setting Early Deadlines

Due to everyone’s busy schedule, we find that it is important for us to create a “false” deadline 1-2 days earlier than the official assignment due date. This strategy allows us to ensure every assignment will be submitted on time and we will not be rushing last minute. Hopefully this will help us improve our time management abilities.

Creating to-do lists

Task management can be confusing and difficult when there are five people in a group, especially when there are multiple deadlines approaching. By creating to-do list we prevent any confusion among our group and allow for ease in completing assignments.

Blog Post #2

“Coming together is a beginning; keeping together is progress; working together is success.” – Henry Ford

Blog #2: Project Proposal + Progress

PDF of Project Proposal:

Proposal

 

Weekly Objectives and Achievements

Week 3 (Jan 22 – 28)

Objectives:

  • Arrange a meeting with our community partners from Vancouver Coastal Health, Anne Swann and Rani Wangsawidjaya, to have a better understanding about the project and our roles.
  • Write and post blog post #1 – an introduction about our group
  • Each group member has to complete TCPS2 tutorial course on research ethics

    Achievements:
  • Jan 22nd, 2018 – Had our first meeting with Anne at Richmond Public Health
    • Gained knowledge in the background statistics of Richmond demographics and the importance of a food asset map
    • Learned about the goals, responsibilities and key dates for this project
  • Posted blog post #1
  • Every group member completed TCPS2 tutorial course on research ethics

 

Week 4 (Jan 29 – Feb 4)

Objectives:

  • Learn how to write a project proposal
  • Write project proposal outline (section by section)
    • Receive feedback from Tori if major changes are needed to be made
    • Prepare to present the outline of project proposal to class for next week

Achievements:

  • Developed a project proposal outline during tutorial

 

Week 5 (Feb 5 – 11)

Objectives:

  • Presentation on project proposal outline to Tori and other groups in the class
  • Receive feedback and edit proposal outline after the
  • Write proposal – due Feb 9th
  • Edit blog post #1 accordingly to Tori’s feedback

Achievements:

  • Wrote and submitted project proposal to Tori
  • Edited and resubmitted blog post #1

 

Week 6 (Feb 12 – 18)

Objectives:

  • Edit project proposal after receiving feedback from Tori
  • Email final version of project proposal to Anne and Rani

Achievements:

  • Emailed project proposal to Anne and Rani

 

Week 7 (Feb 19 – 25)

Objective:

  • Start working on excel document
  • Receive feedback from Anne and Rani

Achievements:

  • Contacted Richmond city hall and the Richmond chamber of commerce for business licenses  

 

Week 8 (Feb 26 – Mar 4)

Objectives:

  • Write and post blog post #2 – Project proposal and progress
  • Aim to finish updating excel document by March 5th

Achievements:

  • Posted blog post #2

 

Moment of Significance

 

What?

 

Our group had a hard time finalizing the project proposal. We created it using our own knowledge, and from additional research we did. By integrating opinions from our group members, our partners Anne and Rani, and our TA Tori, we managed to finish the proposal outline and the first submission.

 

Writing of the Proposal

Lessons We Learned ‘The Hard Way’ about Writing Proposals:

When we say “the hard way”, we actually mean lessons we learned through thoughtful constructive criticism from our professor, teaching assistant and community partner. Undoubtedly, rejection hurts on any level, and when we first received our grade we all realized there was serious room for improvement.

 

Cohesion

We had difficulty making a cohesive proposal since every group member worked on different parts of the proposal which meant there was not a single, cohesive voice, but rather many disparate voices running throughout the proposal.

Readily Understandable Content

Complex language, jargon and obscure abbreviations do not belong in a proposal. Breaking down what we researched (food sovereignty, food security, community planning) into concise digestible paragraphs proved much more difficult than originally expected.

 

So What?

 

Importance of Cohesion

Cohesion not only reflects how we communicate as a group and finalize our projects, but is also important for effectively persuading the reader that our proposal holds credibility.

 

Importance of Understandable content

Having a crystal clear understanding of our project’s objectives and goals will better allow us to make higher level connections from our research and to think critically about making improvements to the web application.

 

These skills we have gained in the proposal creations

Improving communication and information sharing is not only a goal of the RFAM, but we now realize must be a goal for us to work toward as a group.

 

Now What?

 

In preparation for our feedback interviews about the application and the final presentation of our findings, we aim to make a several improvements to our team strategy.

  • We will put a much larger emphasis on editing and revising for simple grammatical errors as well as the content itself after receiving feedback from our community member and TA
  • We will meet in person as a group more often outside of class
  • We will get better at time management, and make sure to get work done sooner so that midterms do not take us by surprise again!

 

Upcoming Objectives and Strategies

 

Next, we will be collecting data from the community organizations and grocery shops and obtain consents to publish their information. We are planning to achieve this by email and phone. Once we will gather all the information, then we will be entering them into the Excel spreadsheet provided by the Vancouver Coastal Health before March 5th. Based on the latest update that we provide, our community partner will then compile them into the Food Asset Map.

 

Towards the end of March, our team will do an infographic presentation on the final project and the final report will be completed by early April.

 

As for future assignments, we plan to complete all assignments at least 1 to 2 days before deadline. This can improve our time management skills and ensuring all assignments are submitted on time. We will also be having a small meeting for every assignment to assign roles and responsibilities. This can prevent any confusion or frustration within the group.

Blog post #1

Welcome to Group 4’s blog!

We are UBC Land and Food Systems students partnering with VCH public health dietitians, Vancouver Neighbourhood Food Networks, North Shore Table Matters Network, the City of Vancouver, and Fresh Roots to create Food Asset Maps. Our team will specifically be working to aid development of the Richmond Food Assets Map: Grocery Stores and Public Markets. We encourage you to follow us on our community development journey.

Meet the Team!

Kelly Law Major: Food, Nutrient and Health

I enjoy playing ultimate frisbee because it is a fun form of exercise and also a bonding opportunity for me and my friends. In addition, I love exploring and trying out new food and restaurants, gaining new experiences and sharing them with my friends and family.

Through LFS 350, I hope to make an impact in the Richmond food system and explore different food resources in the city. I also hope to strengthen my skills in communication, writing and my abilities in working as a team player.

Ada Chow Major: Food Nutrition and Health

I love cooking, particularly Asian food, and I do enjoy trying out new recipes occasionally. Other than that, I also love travelling because I have always found it fascinating and inspiring as it allows me to experience the world in a different perspective.

In LFS 350, I hope to learn more about our community food system, at the same time, I would like to give back to the society through the Richmond Food Aspect Project. From this project, I would like to gain a deeper understanding on the food assets in our small community. I also hope enhance my writing skills as well as to my ability to work with the team as an engaging individual.

Gloria Guo Major: Food and Nutritional Sciences Double Major

I am a foodie. I love to explore gourmet and restaurant. I enjoy having food with friends because it is a good opportunity for us to share our feeling and experience with others.

I like taking photos for the delicious food that I enjoy. Plus, I love to post them on social website like Instagram, especially at the midnight. For me, sharing my life is a rewarding way to open my mind and get in touch with the world.

I think LFS 350 would be an effective course that can help us meet friends, talk to people, learn more knowledge as well as adapt in the community. I hope that I could apply my knowledge that I learned in school to the real life through doing the group project. I will try to contribute myself as much as I can and communicate with other group members in time.

Jeff Chan Major: Applied Animal Biology

I go to the gym three to four times a week, therefore I am an “expert” when it comes to healthy and efficient meal preparation. I always do research on how to make tasty and healthy dishes by watching Youtube videos and online recipes. Especially after learning other people’s ideas about meal prep, I like to create and alter the recipe to fit my own taste and preference. Grocery shopping is one of my favorite weekend activities, too!

I think LFS 350 is a good way to explore more about food and the food system, which can benefit me in many ways. Besides, I know LFS 350 is a group project based course, and I love to work with other people and learn from my team. I think group work is the best way to explore your strength and weakness and learn from other’s strength. I will try my best to cooperate with my team and get rid of my bad habits!

Emily Peer-Groves Major: Plant and Soil Science

I am pursuing a degree in soil sciences for future applications in global food security and international development. I have many interests that range from bread making to geopolitics to keeping the plants alive in my apartment.

I hope this course will bring me a better understanding of the social metrics that contribute to a sustainable food system, and supply me with more opportunities to volunteer in my community through our own project and other projects being undertaken by our peers.

 

Why We Chose Asset Maps Richmond

As a group, we hope to make a positive impact on the Richmond food system. Contributing to Food Asset Map project provides us with that opportunity by changing the way Richmond residents’ interact with their city’s food resources. We are all interested in exploring the different food asset options and learning more about different ways to help low income households. Throughout the course of the term, we will be anticipating any challenges that our project might bring to us as a way to strengthen our adaptive communication skills. Collectively, we all want to develop better communication skills through connecting with different community partners and also within our group.

The reason why we chose to do this project is to explore more of richmond city and to make a difference in this community. Food, Land and the Environment II has highlighted the importance of social well being and citizens rights within the food system. We are particularly interested in the Asset Map because of its many applications in community planning. This tool will allow governments or researchers to estimate the proximity to nutritious and/or affordable food to different vulnerable populations. This could be a very useful tool for city planning.

Project Objective

  1. To provide a tool to community members and partners for locating community food assets that is current, easy to use and easily updated
  2. To build community capacity to support community members dealing with food insecurity
  3. To make it easier for Richmond community partners to view and use community food assets strategically

Food assets are places where people can grow, prepare, share, buy, receive or learn about food. Community organizations and schools are also included on the map because they are places where community members can get support with learning and health or connect with others in their community. Asset Maps already exist for Vancouver and the North Shore Communities and will serve as an example to us.

First Impressions

We were met with kind greetings at Vancouver Coastal Health Richmond Office where we began to discuss the project’s goals with a registered dietician / project coordinator.

Vancouver Coastal Health and its affiliates seem to embody Ernesto Sirolli’s advice for ‘people trying to help’. He proposes that the first step is to listen to the people you’re trying to help, and let their ideas guide the solution. It was made clear that community feedback is a cornerstone of the development of this tool. Part of our job will be to conduct interviews with community partners and business owners.

Food justice is to develop a community framework where people can eat healthily without concern.  I think the right to have access to fresh and nutritious food should be equal to everyone in the world. People shouldn’t need to be concerned about whether they can afford it or not. In order for food justice to work, we need to solve problems related to efficient food production and the unequal food distribution around the world.