Friday, April 04, 2008

The sustainable community development cohort


Yesterday was my last class with a lot of Sustainable Community Development people who are graduating soon. We ended up at Steamworks after class and discussed keeping in touch over drinks. It's a hard thing, keeping in touch.

I've been taking my time getting through the program and nearly every step of the way I've been pretty indecisive about whether I'll finish it. It's good and worthwhile and there are things about it that I certainly enjoy, but on the other hand it pulls down my gpa and I'm still not sure if it's really for me.

I feel like I can't afford to get Bs in my classes anymore and in SCD there seems to be a barrier there that I have yet to chip through. I think too that though I think it's all useful stuff to learn, I'm really more of a thinker than a doer. My friends will attest to the fact that I'm often all talk and no action. I think of much but bring little to fruition.

Given that fact it's a little weird that I'm in a program where it's nonstop field research, preparing feasibility reports, business plans, grant writing and research proposals. These are very useful skills to have, the sorts of things that I can mention that I do to managers at work just to see their eyes light up. No doubt my ability to do these things, and the fact that I've done some of these things for non-profits around the city makes me more employable. I don't mind doing this stuff and I'm reasonably competent (though I could probably use more practice) but it's just not something I feel particularly passionate about.

And yet I keep signing up for the classes. It's the people, I think. You'd be hard pressed to find a nicer, friendlier group of people than the ones that are in SCD at SFU. Everyone genuinely wants to be there, really open to ideas and everyone listens really well so classes are the source of all manner of good discussion. I come home feeling really, really happy.

That makes it sad that yesterday was my last class with a lot of them. They're graduating and off to bigger and better things, changing government policy, working the Obama campaign, designing green technology, planning cities, infecting NGOs and non-profits with their energy and enthusiasm.

Sometimes I think the future's in good hands.