Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Who are these people, anyway?

Yep, still alive over here!  Busy few days, and some minor plan shifts...

As folks start to ask more questions about the week, I realized I've never really introduced our class.

As near as I can tell, this one-week class was the pilot for future field trips as PSU's Hatfield School of Government develops a community disaster resilience specialization within their masters of public administration (MPA).  The intention is to repeat this trip, for students and not-exactly-students like me, every year.

So, leading the trip were Dr. Masami Nishishiba, department chair and bigwig on community and organizational structure, and Dr. Hiro Ito, professor of economics with a focus on global economics.  Obviously, this is grossly simplifies their interests and talents, so, my apologies. Did I mention they're both awesome?  Josh from Hatfield also joined us as program coordinator/'group photo herder extraordinaire' and badly needs a vacation right about now.  All three were raised in Japan, and all did substantial amounts of translation (both verbal and cultural!).

The 9 of us were:
--me [with some preparedness/NET background and a smattering of other stuff]
--Barb [working on continuity plans for Portland Parks, is a FEMA reservist and professional badass]
--Kate [also working on her masters at PSU, she speaks Japanese, so we bugged her a lot]
--Evan [wrapping up his degree in Japanese Studies; bugged HIM a lot, too]
--Robin [retired from social work, daughter works with Josh;  always ready with a question]
--Larry [nearly retired emergency manager from Medford; always ready with a story, usually about being a paramedic in San Francisco in the '70s...which, uh...that's a different blog]
--Steve [a fellow NET from the next neighborhood over, he's a construction manager for a local contracting firm, also in grad school]
--Rob [an almost-former architect working on his masters, with a really good camera usually in hand and an eye for detail]

In some important ways, this felt like a bit of a supergoup, with everyone chipping in some key insight or expertise.  There was nowhere we went where someone didn't say, "oh, you know what this reminds me of...?"  And everyone got to be that person regularly.  I found that impressive and kind of thrilling.    It was also a group that stayed loose all week [although Mitchy got a little frazzled that last day or so...sorry, guys]. Mostly folks were just fun.  It doesn't always work like that....

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