Claire: Bigger isn’t always better: The perks of transitioning into small groups

Today was a day of transitions. Mainly, we transitioned today from the broad world of “learning about urban studies” to actually honing in to our specific and exciting project. I guess we started this transition Wednesday before the holiday weekend, but today it really sunk in.

Another transition that was made today was the transition from being one big, giant, 21-person-sized PLACE group, to now working in multiple smaller groups. Just from the hour or so working with our smaller groups today, I can say I enjoy smaller groups over larger. I find it easier to be engaged and active, and well as more confident and willing to take risks.

Another reason I am really enjoying this transition of group sizes, is the productiveness. It’s awesome to see what the group (all 21 of us PLACErs) can accomplish by breaking up into smaller groups with different tasks.

At the end of last week we broke into four groups; interviews, surveys, data and literature, and case studies. Our homework for the weekend was to research for our group for an hour or so. When we all arrived this morning we broke up into our 4 groups to review and synthesize our individual research we did for homework. Each of the groups then presented to our group as a whole and I was so impressed by how much we had accomplished in so little time. Some of the people in the interview group had already went and conducted interviews on Powell boulevard, the survey group had made an informative survey, and the data and literature group had great information surrounding the demographics of Powell, the history, and the surrounding area. My group, case studies, had found many examples of bus rapid transit success around the world, and well as other instances of converting parcels to cooler things.

Sharing information from the little groups gave me confidence in our big group, and I can’t wait to see what we can accomplish.


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