Sustainability in Developing Communities: Week 10

So since I can’t access my student portal, I decided to write my reflective journal on my blog. Works just as well anyway.

How do I feel about the progress we’ve made as a team so far? I think we’ve grown a lot. At least I have. I feel that now I’m much more grounded when I’m trying to solve problems. Instead of going off to find all these idealistic solutions, I plant my feet in the ground and ask myself what the core issues are. What are the things you can put your finger on and say ‘ah, well that’s where its not working’. Finding out what matters and what doesn’t is key to working things out.

With regards to myself as well, I found that learning from my team’s personalities helped a lot. Victor I see as the systematic guy. I saw myself as the crazy, chaotic, creative guy in the beginning, but realize that putting order to chaos gives a much better result. I learned that from Victor. First, I was skeptical about him, thinking ‘oh, yeah, we don’t need structure. We’ll just improvise as we go along.’ but when working in a team especially, its not always easy to improvise off each other which is why structure is needed to keep it all together. In that way, everyone knows what everyone is supposed to be doing as well, and it becomes much easier to help each other out. Nick I learned a lot from in the sense of bringing everything together. I see Nick as a good leader, and he’s always writing notes on his laptop. I’ve even started copying the way he writes notes, by using numbers, and subletters, and sub-sub roman numerals etc. He basically just writes everything that is being said and puts structure in it as he goes along. Sure, it may not be perfect, but it looks pretty damn organized when he does it, and he is then able to regurgitate pretty much everything that’s been said from his notes.

I’ve actually only recently been bringing my laptop to school every time. Before I used to take my backpack with notebooks and whatnot but I realized that stuff never works. Since I came to Australia, the only thing I’ve been taking to school is my laptop bag and my longboard. Nothing else, because I don’t need anything else. Having a laptop greatly enhances my productivity because of the ease of organizing notes, being able to multitask, and do basically anything I want from wherever I am. I do feel, however, that my laptop is a bit on the slow side and that the battery life  is a bit too short, but hey, you got to row with the oars you’re given. Hopefully I’ll be able to afford a new one next year.

As a leader, I still have a way to go. I do feel that I’m on the right path, however, by getting a better overview of situations in the first place. Asking questions and communicating has been key characteristics that I’ve developed during my time here. If there’s an itch somewhere, I’m much quicker to raise my hand, ask a question, and address whatever it is that is instigating that itch. Even though I work to attain an overview, I sometimes slack, and lose that overview because I’m focusing on other things. You have to make sure that you always have an overview of what’s happening if you want to be a good leader, and get the results you want which is what I learned in this Semester abroad.

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