Similarly Different Trust in a Team

5 08 2008

It seems like my group members will bring an interesting mix of perspectives. So far, we seem to have different ways of approaching communication between group members, as well as differences perspectives on how to best approach determining the group make-ups. Jimigarcia27 suggested that although it would be a difficult to recognize “who will be a perfect match”, “people who show similar styles to their postings should be paired together” (4:3 – Jimigarcia27 7:30 pm 7/29/08). From reading my teammates’ postings, it seems to me that our posting styles are similar, in the most literal sense. The sentence structure, approach to a question (personal thoughts, quotes, evidence), paragraph/essay format (beginning, middle, end), and individual connectivity all seem relatively similar. I feel as though any of us could have taken the same stance or argument as one of our teammates and written it in a similarly. That being said, the content of each post and stance is different from each other.

While Jimi advocates similarity between group members, Present Makalele thinks we should stir the pot and randomize communication styles between group members in order to bring experienced interlocutors and non-experienced interlocutors together, because the mix “will provide a robust array of communication styles to observe going on between team members” (4:3 – President Makalele 7/30/08 9:56 pm). This also seems to have taken place. Although I have never commented on a previous posting by any of my teammates, nor have they responded to me, I noticed that some of us have responded to the same postings written by others. For example, President Makalele, Sports08 and I responded to topofthemorn’s post about Project Management in Ireland;. This may have been unintentional on Steph’s part, but it does seem mighty suspicious! Here we are, experiencing similar differences.

In terms of Sports08’s approach to the question of group member constitution, he said about Steph determining groups, “I trust her judgment” (4:3 Sports 08 7/30/08 9:51 pm). He will try to focus on politeness through being conscious of how the content of what he says may be mis/interpreted by the rest of us: “if I feel as though I am being polite to somebody from another culture, I may actual be seeming rude or inferior” (4:3 Sports 08 2008 7/30/08 9:51pm). Sports08 will also bring to the table an awareness of how, having never met in person, we are essentially all strangers and will continue to be after the end of the class, yet together we are in a unique situation of learning to and are able to share experiences and emotions with each other.


I love buses!

17 07 2008

Mike Prout, a varsity swimmer for UMass Amherst, is heading to Beijing this summer as a member of the U.S. Paralympic Team. Although this news is certainly a candidate for a Most Exciting post, it is not a New Thing to me as I have been aware of Prout since he won gold medals in Athens. Instead, Mike Prout and my interest in the Paralympic Games led me to discover the Most Exciting and Fascinating New Thing I just learned – the Vancouver 2010 initiatives for implementing sustainable development practices for the Olympic Games and beyond.

The meaning of the term “sustainability” is sometimes vague, as it can be interpreted differently in a variety of contexts. To me and the Vancouver Organizing Committee (VANOC), it means integration of environmental, social, and economic factors to create a regional development plan with future challenges in mind. Two of the most important issues for me is building accessibility and sustainable transportation, which VANOC has taken heavily into consideration. When developing Olympic venues, VANOC has been trying to keep social inclusiveness and environmental sustainability practices in mind. The venues are designed to be “barrier-free” to maximize building accessibility for everyone, despite any mobility devices.

The absolute Most Exciting for me is the public transportation planning. There is no spectator parking at the Olympic venues, so all spectators must walk, take a bike, or take a bus to watch the Games. The city is working to procure a fleet of hybrid, bio-diesel, fuel cell, hydrogen, and other alternative energy powered buses for the Games. The Olympic fleet will then replace the older, diesel city buses. The efforts made in Vancouver to prepare for the Games by creating a more pedestrian and bike friendly city, as well as expanding the bus system and adding “cleaner” buses, is an exciting model that I hope can be adopted in more areas. With the current fuel prices, imagine what it would be like to be able to take an affordable commuter rail from Amherst to Boston, or from New Haven, CT all the way to Brattleboro, VT. Expanded rapid transit systems are not that far away from implementation.