Thursday, June 14, 2012
Hello all, obviously I am not a dedicated blogger, I could simply blame my busy schedule, or perhaps something fancy like so much time spent studying leaves me brain weary, but the truth is I just kind of moved the blog to the back burner and forgot it was there. BUT I DIGRESS. Summer is in Full swing here in KC, lots of grilling, and working on the lawn, but so far I have been so busy I really haven’t had much time to enjoy it. Busy doing what you say? Well I am taking Statistics during the 4-week summer session, that means 2 hours a day 5 days a week spent in a classroom from 1-3 PM, right smack dab in the middle of my day. I admit I was dreading taking statistics, and so many people talking about how much they hated it, but I actually like it! All the manipulating numbers, analyzing data, graphing and quantifying actually has a calming effect on me. I think its because with math there is one answer, and as long as you follow the equation you will always get that answer, and so much of my schooling has been the exact opposite! You see Urban Studies is one of those Cross-Disciplinary fields, we learn Economics, Political Science, History (lots of history), and Sociology and blend them all into a Science of trying to determine the best way for humans to live. I think of myself as a master of Systems. Everything you encounter in a city we think about and how changing one effects the others i.e. if you allow for bigger lot sizes, then it takes more roads to connect those lots, which requires funding for upkeep, and means people living in those lots have to drive farther, which means they emit more exhaust which then effects our environment and on and on and on. There are no right answers, everything is subjective in my world, a world of cost vs/ benefit. A world that was like math would be nice, but unfortunately I am limited to basic algebra, as anything beyond forming parabolas I find impossible. I also am doing an internship (unpaid) with a local suburban Property Owners Association. This community is Huge it has two lakes, both large enough for boating, 2 clubhouses, 1 regular pool, and one pool that may as well be a small waterpark, and a Golf Course. There are a dozen other amenities but listing them would be….boring. I have developed a Survey for their +2000 homes to do three things. Collect Demographic information, discover which amenities are the most popular, and last to get some general feedback from the population on how good of a job the Board of Directors is doing. After we get our results I will have just a few weeks (while my fall semester starts) to give them a quick analysis, and will probably spend the next month really crunching the data. I am enjoying it immensely, but I have to admit you get to see the real petty side of people when working in such a “rich” community. It can be amusing and sometimes a little terrifying, but am almost getting two separate experiences. I am learning a lot about quantitative research, big thanks to my friend Phil who has +30 years of experience in this area. I am also the “in’s and Out’s” of political maneuvering from my Coordinator Steve, he manages to ride the political tide, while not taking it all too seriously. He is a consummate professional and makes keeping your cool look easy, even when people are arguing over something as ridiculous as the color of roofing tile you can use. The rest of my summer I hope to be spending time at the pool, doing some reading, and studying for the GRE. AND BLOGGING! I think I’ll probably sit down and change my site, and maybe start actually joining the Blog-ster Community.