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Sunday, December 20, 2009

Greetings from the winter holiday "break"

The semester may be over according the school calendar, and I might be home already, but I still have one more paper to wrap up. When a professor (who incidentally is the dean of your college) tells you take an incomplete so you can give your final paper the attention it deserves, you do not question it and you take it gratefully. So here I am, paying out the nose for internet at a Starbuck's, writing my last paper for fall 2009. It's only a 10 page memo... but one where we have to more or less solve the poverty problem in Cleveland. Gulp. I might as well tackle climate change or world hunger or peace in the Middle East or something. Technically, we're putting on our policy wonk hats to write a comprehensive community development agenda for Cleveland (which is a much less scary way of approaching this assignment). My outline is almost 2 pages already. I did my usual mind mapping stuff and am now turning it into a bona fide outline (just might be my first one ever). This should make writing this baby a breeze. If you've never mind-mapped a paper before, try it. It just might make it easier for you, especially if you're a visual person like me who doesn't necessarily think in a logical order.

I am really struggling not to turn this assignment into a "plan" à la what urban planners make. It is pretty clear I am no policy wonk!

I have learned so much this semester, but the most important that my limit is much less than my brain seems to think I can do. For next semester, my only goal (aside from the obvious ones of graduating and raising the $4k for Bike and Build) is not bite off more than I can chew.

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