Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Evaluation of The Service Team's (The Bizzy Beez) Leader April

Meet April , and no she is not a tiger, but that is her profile picture on our wiki. I decided to use it because I know that she probably would not like either of the two pictures that I had of her, and because this is how she is represented on the wiki.

When it came time for the teams to choose our team leaders, our team all just seemed to stare at each other. Then it seemed like (maybe I was just imagining it I don't know) everyone looked at me. So I made it clear that I did not want to be the leader. I am a good follower, but I am not to the leader point yet. But I was the only one that "said" that their schedule would allow them to attend the leader's meeting. So I said that I would go to that as a substitute for who ever would be the leader. It was then that April said that she would be the leader. And she did a great job! I was very happy to see her take up her leadership in being the main spokesperson for our group presentation, and I can not think of one thing that she did not do well in her position.

Team Evaluation

Overall, I am satisfied with how our group performed. I am especially pleased with how many of our class showed up on work days! We had so many from our class, that there were too many working on our section, and because there was not enough in other "class sections" Michelle, and I went to help section 001 on one of the work days.

As for the question "Did each member perform as you expected?", no some didn't, but others that I did not expect did. Honestly, I think that Vic surprised me the most because of how many trips he took to Robertson County to try and get some erosion blankets that we needed, and he also drove out to see about some rock that was to be lain in the culverts, but the poor guy, all of that driving sure was a couple of good lessons for him because the erosion blankets would not fit in his vehicle.

What's With the Rocks?

So what is with the rocks? Mrs. Pitts has three classes that helped with this project and we placed these rocks here to symbolized the three different classes.

The Bizzy Beez Group Development

I was reading my textbook, like every good student should, and I came across the "Stages of Group Development". I wanted to determine some of the things that contributed to each of these stages in our COM 100 002 Service team (The Bizzy Beez).
The Stages of Group Development are:

  • Forming- the initial stage of group development during which people come to feel valued and accepted so that they identify with the group.

  • Storming-the stage of group development during which the group clarifies its goals and determines the roles each member will have in the group power structure.

  • Norming-the stage of development during which the group solidifies its rules for behavior, especially those that relate to how conflict will be managed.

  • Performing-the stage of group development when the skills, knowledge, and abilities of all members are combined to overcome obstacles and meet goals successfully.

  • Adjourning- the stage of group development in which members assign meaning to what they have done and determine how to end or maintain interpersonal relations they have developed.

Although the class introductions were technically not a part of the "project", I believe that it was one of the biggest contributions to the forming stage. But, I also believe that when we divided our class into three separate teams (The Service Team, The Support Team, and the Publicity Team) that we were more identified, and we "formed".

I think that for the Bizzy Beez in particular, most of the "storming" we on just prior to our group presentation. This was a presentation to inform the rest of the class about what it was that we would be doing AT THE PARK, how to do it, who was doing what part, and why we were doing it.

Relating to the Norming stage, Bizzy Beez did not write up a list of rules or anything. However, we did name our group leader, April, the "Queen Bee", but that was just for fun. And I believe that we all expected each other to act in a reasonable and considerate fashion.

As far as the Performing stage goes, I think that this is where we are currently. We have already completed some of the small goals in our large task, and we are working on other ones right now. For instance, we have dug the trenches, planted grass seed (even though we need to to it again due to a turkey invasion), and we still need to lay some rock in the ditches.

Adjourning is yet to come, and this has a lot to do with personal student reflections, and THE PARTY (This coming Saturday!)

Monday, November 17, 2008

The Function of Communication in our Service Learning at Bledsoe

There are 5 functions of communication:
1. We communicate to meet our social needs.
2. We communicate to develop and maintain our sense of self.
3. We communicate to develop relationships.
4. We communicate to exchange information.
5. We communicate to influence others.

Our service learning project mostly requires communication for the purpose of exchanging information to complete the task at hand, but keep in mind too that before this project, not many of us students in this class knew each other previously. So, while we are communicating to get this task done, we are socially interacting, adapting our sense of self from the interaction, building friendships, and we are influencing each other even if it is only combining and influencing each others' ideas about the project.

However, we must be careful about this last one because we want to develop our own critical thinking while still collaborating all of our individual thoughts to make SUPER THOUGHTS! Otherwise, we would end up with a bandwagon affect.

Leaving a Good Vivid Impression

When one gives a speech, one wants to leave a vivid impression, or something that the audience remembers a long time after, and if the speech is done in a careful way, then the speaker has the ability to control what their audience remembers by emphasizing certain things. This is also so in our Service Learning project that we are doing out at Bledsoe Creek State Park. Whether we want to or not we are going to leave an impression, but if we do our work carefully and properly, then we will leave a good impression, and others later down the road can say "This is what service learning is all about!".

The New Birth

One day while some of us students were working out at Bledsoe, we had an interesting conversation about how the culvert that we installed was like the birth of a baby (simile)! And as I was standing there, Mrs. Pitts said that it was not the first time it was mentioned. It was very much like we were the ones delivering the baby because it was very labor intensive and it was not a clean job. And not to mention, the pipe got stuck! So, it was not only like we were delivering a baby, but like we were delivering a baby with complications.

What I Enjoyed Least About Our Service Learning Project

The thing that I did not like about doing this Service Learning Project was that it took a lot of extra time to do, and because I do not live close to Gallatin, it was a little bit inconvenient to go all the way to Bledsoe on my some of my Saturdays. Overall though, the thing that I dislike the most is that on my way back from the Leaders Meeting on October 13th, I accidentally ran one of those red lights with a camera in Gallatin. If I learned ANYTHING, it was definitely about red lights in Gallatin! It turned out that I had to pay a $50 fine, and that was probably the most expensive Service Learning that I will ever have to do.

What I Enjoyed Most About Our Service Learning Project

I think what I enjoyed most about doing our service learning at Bledsoe Creek State Park is getting to go to the park itself. I definitely believe that it was one of the best places to have a service learning project. I mean, while you are performing your service and learning through it, you can be outside, see all the deer and their young, get some fresh air, and later on we get to have a party at the park! Plus, I think that I enjoyed it more since I performed all of my service hours before it got cold outside. Honestly it wouldn't have been as pleasant if I was freezing like an Eskimo.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Working on October 25th

Ok, Mrs. Pitts was absolutely right. Communication is very important in a project like this. But I thought that would only apply to communicating with my classmates for the project, but I was wrong. And it's not the first time right? For a prime example, on Friday evening I asked my mom if I could use her Honda CRV, and she just asked me why. So I told her that I needed it because the pressure washer would not fit in the Corolla that I normally drive (I needed to take the pressure washer to Bledsoe to blast out culverts and such). Her reply totally is what hit me and made me realize that I need to communicate a little better. She asked me if I had asked my Dad if I could use the pressure washer yet. And of course, I hadn't. Opps! So I asked her if Daddy said that I could use the pressure washer if she would be willing to allow me to use the CRV, and she said that was fine. The moral is don't assume, and that communicate not only with the others that are involved in the project, but with others (like parents) as well. Oh, and I forgot that my Dad had just left town, so another moral is to ask early, and don't wait until the last minute.

After I got done with my Personal Health class meeting Saturday morning, I headed on over to Bledsoe State Park. Yes, I followed the speed limit. ;) he he. My first impression was shock. I absolutely could not believe how much everyone had done so far. Most of the tilling was done, underneath the side walk had been dug out and they were in the process of installing the PVC pipe underneath it, and there were so many people from my class there, I actually went to help the 001 class! I must say I am very proud of 002!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I worked for two hours and by then I think that every one was getting tired and starting to go home, but overall it was a very productive weekend! Yay!

Monday, October 27, 2008

I am having fun changing my blog template!

I know, this isn't technically part of my "reflection process" to be changing my blog background, but I thought that it needed more personality and the deer on the template remind me a lot of when Sharon A. was talking about how the park belongs to the deer. And that we need to be mindful of their space. I just thought that this template was a good park, woody, deer reminder template.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

This is part of the area that we will be working on including the rock ditch, and the pvc pipe by the sidewalk.

This is how the water currently drains and we don't want this!


This is how we want the water drain after we are done with our work.

Here is where us students will need to install a PVC pipe underneath this sidewalk.

This is Mrs. Sharon A. (president of the Friends of Bledsoe) on the left, and Mr. Bill (a park ranger) on the right.

Monday, October 13, 2008

What I Thought About This Morning's Meeting

Before we decided to reorganize our plan, I felt good about what we were doing, and I have to say it, Mrs. Pitts is very well organized. I did feel like all of us students were being stretched over a large area, and I was a little afraid of our communication being stretched aswell due to the fact. But now that we will all be working on a smaller task, sort of in a central area, I think that it will seem like we are more on the same page. At least it feels like that to me.

Also, one thing that Mrs. Sharron A. (President of the Friends of Bledsoe) said that stuck out to me was that "Even if you haven't acheived what you came to do, you have helped and not hurt". Just knowing that made me feel good because us students can't mess things up. Although, some of us students were talking about how some kids that are camping will block up the culverts with rocks, and that they can be destructive. And someone also mentioned that "they clearly don't know some of us", and I was thinking too, that some of us college kids are nothing more than big kids!

Leader's Meeting at Bledsoe

Wow! Yeah, wow definitely covers everything that happened in the meeting this morning at Bledsoe. Originally, the COMM 002 class was going be responsible for the culverts 1, 2, & 3. But now, after the meeting this morning, we have decided that the project of 9 culverts was a little bit much, and that one particular area needed more attention than others. So, we totally restructured our plan of action. Now, we are splitting the picnic area around shelter #1 between the three of Mrs. Pitts classes. Here is the map of the new plan; our class is COMM 002 in the yellow section.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

I'm a Little Bit Frustrated

Ok, I am a very reluctant to say it because I don't want anyone to get the wrong idea, but this a communication course that I am taking right? And this is my reflection blog of the project right?I am frustrated. Maybe I shouldn't say it, but I just wish that everyone would at the very least sign up for our Wiki that way others can talk to them. And it would be really great if everyone would put their name on the team lists. Don't get me wrong, I'm not mad or angry, but just frustrated. Maybe disappointed is a better word.

Our Group Meeting this past Wednesday

This past Wednesday (yesterday) we had group meetings in class. This was a good start to uniting teams together to generate ideas. Honestly, I didn't think that there was that must to discuss at first, but it seemed to go by too quickly. April (our 002 service team leader) is da girl! She went out IN THE RAIN to take pictures of the problem of the clogged culverts in action. Although, she said that the rain was absorbed because of the fact that we haven't had much rain lately. That makes our project seem ironic for a moment doesn't it? But from the pictures she showed us, we could also see that the galvanized steel drainage pipes were bent. This is not going to be easy to fix, but our class' support team said that they would hunt down a tool to fix that. This issue also came up about how we are going to get all of the debris out of the drainage pipes, and using a pressure washer seems like a great idea, but from some of the research that our teams have done, I don't think that this is very good for the surrounding environment due to water contamination that the debris would cause.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Doin' Dirty Research

I was looking around on "Google" for some information on drainage ditches, and I found some information about maintaining drainage ditches. And I didn't think about it before, but a plan has to be implemented to keep these drainage ditches that we are going to clean out maintained. I think that we can at least present the information to the park after we have completed our task. Maybe that would keep the situation from reoccuring. The site I found is actually for the city of Portland, but nonetheless, it still has good preventative information. Here is the link.

Friday, October 3, 2008

All of the people on The Bizzy Beezz Service team

Here are all of the people on the Bizzy Beezz team!! (That are on our Wiki so far.)
RebeccaCampbell, Vic Bogle , April Johnson , and there will be more on there when they join our Wiki site.

The Bizzy Beezz! YEAH!!

This morning in Comm class, we all picked our group names and our team leaders. I am on the Service team. So all of us "unnamed" service team people we all sitting around in our little group, blankly thinking about what we should be known as. Hmmmm...... April came up with "Worker Bees" at first, and most of us liked it OK. I know I did. But for some reason it didn't stick. So Someone suggested "Busy Bees" I liked this more. Plus, It looked really neat the way that we decided to spell it. Ok, ya ready? We call ourselves....... "The Bizzy Beezz"! I love the "Zs". Yup, It's a splendifferous name. And the best part is, April is the "Queen BEE" (group leader)! Uh huh! At first, it was implied that I should be the team leader. But I am more of a initiator, a follower that pushes! ;) However, I was the only one on our team that was able to go to a certain meeting that we have at Bledsoe for the leaders of all the groups, so I am going to go as a "second in command". Again, the girls got it goin' on!

Monday, September 29, 2008

Pictures of Bledsoe Community Clean Up Day

This is an assortment of students from Mrs. Pitts' 3 Comm 100 classes that came to help at the Bledsoe Cleanup Day. (I am the one in the middle with the navy-blue, tigger T-shirt!)

This is a couple of the girl scouts, me , and another college girl cleaning out dead weeds around a fountain.

Wake Up Call

September 22, 2008

This morning in class, Mrs. Pitts (my communications 100 professor) asked one person out of each team for the service learning project that we are doing to give a short impromptu speech about what each team's responsibilities were. This made me actually start thinking "Hey, this thing is coming up soon". Mrs. Pitts also went over dates that are possibilities for us to go work at Bledsoe State Park. This also not only made me think that "Hey this is coming up, and we are actually going to do this!", but it also gave me the confidence that we can do it.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

I was introduced to THE CULVERTS

During the Community Volunteer Day at Bledsoe State Park, some of us students went and helped clean up. I really enjoyed helping and pitching in with the girl scouts and brownies!They were soooo... cute.

Not only was I introduced to the girl scouts, but I was also introduced to the the culverts that we will be cleaning out. Some of them really weren't that bad, but one in particular was completely undetectable! Mrs. Pitts and I could not even visibly see the opening at all! This is what worried me the most.