This is the middle of my third week here at the Tutor/Mentor Connection, and the learning curve I'm experiencing is feeling like it's beginning to smooth out some, and with some light at the end of this tunnel, I feel as though I'm approaching a new understanding of what not only this site is trying to accomplish, but of how they aim to do it, and of how they aim to prove that they are doing it. Meeting fellow staff here has been a great help to me in this regard, and many thanks to Matt and Karina for having discussions with me about the program thusfar. Most of my last week here has been much the same in terms of reading through the large collection of articles that Dan has amassed on the website, feeling oftentimes as though I am auditing a new class. I am grateful for this wealth of knowledge though, as the more I can get an understanding of all of the aspects of this organization, the better I can convey it's ideas and it's mission to those around me, as it truly is an innovative project.
Today started off with a meeting between my co-workers, Dan, and Nicole Huser from the Adler School. I appreciated her stopping in, as it's nice to know that I am still being supported by the school and that their resources can become my resources for assistance if necessary. After the meeting, I was left with a new motivation to find my niche in how I can help the Tutor/Mentor Connection by doing more than passing along it's ideals to those around me. I began looking into the Social Network Analysis articles on the website, as well as the models that have been done in the past. I was also introduced to the collection of previously filled out grant proposals, and am considering that as another side project I can work on. During my three hour commute (yes, 3 hour), I was contemplating my last blog post, and was attempting to rationalize how a social psychological model framework could be tweaked to fit into a social problem, such as education. If one could replace the Individual as the center of the model with the societal problem (such as education), making the microsystems at work around it the different influences that influence a child's ability to learn effectively (or the different organizations working independently to solve the problem), and then T/MC as the surrounding bubble that addresses the interactions between those microsystems...as I said, I was just brainstorming this idea as an interesting way to convey what T/MC's mission is in a psychological model framework.