Category Archives: Assignment

The emotional rollercoaster of commuting

My Daily Commute

                                                                                      My Daily Commute

I will preface this post by letting you know that for class, I had to create a blog post that was “visual”.  Since I have only had one class in photoshop so far, this isn’t going to be pretty.

The image at the top of this post shows my commute from Brampton to Centennial College’s Story Arts Campus near Pape/Danforth in East York.  Since the entire trip door-to-door is just under 50 kms, I figured it wouldn’t be too bad.  Google says it should ideally only take me 46 minutes.  When I started this program in in January, it usually took me about 75 minutes to get to campus.  Now with the Gardiner Expressway under repair, my average commute time is around 100 minutes, sometimes a full two hours on an especially bad day.

To sum up my highway-oreinted trip it’s pretty simple: South on Highway 410, East on Highway 401, South on Highway 427, East across the whole Gardiner Expressway, North on the Don Valley Parkway, and then I just go up Mortimer to Carlaw and I’m there.  Unfortunately it isn’t that easy.  Everyday I go through a full spectrum of emotions on my agonizingly slow journey.  The memes below, provide a pretty good picture of my range of emotions.

Emotions through memesToronto seriously has the worst commute ever.

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Team Building Reflection: True Colours Workshop (Assignment)

The True Colours Workshop is an interesting way to learn characteristics about yourself that you essentially already know.  The results of my assessment told me that Green Planet was my ruling colour by far, as I scored 24 out of 24 for that category.  When I read the description I felt that it was uncannily true.  In many ways I already knew that I had these qualities, but it was easier to identify these traits once it was told to me by an external source.  I think it’s natural to define ourselves not only by the colours our assessment revealed, but also in contrast to the colours that are least like ourselves.

On the positive side of things, I do feel that I bring a wide perspective as a team member, I am concerned with the bigger picture and striving for perfection, which I think is a useful trait to have in a group, but I can imagine how it might be annoying to others.  On the more negative side, I am definitely aware that I have never been one to care for the details or adhering to strict schedule as I prefer to live and work in my own organized chaos.  My desire to improve upon other people’s ideas or processes could also be interpreted as rude or insensitive. I’m sure that these types of qualities are frustrating to my team members and it is something I will need to improve upon. I don’t want this assessment to result in some rigid definition of myself, so I try to see it as an opportunity for growth.

One thing that surprised me is how well these colours actually defined us as groups.  Beforehand I didn’t truly believe that any sort of assessment with only four distinct types could be truly illuminating.  However, while the assessment may not be perfectly accurate on the individual level, I found it was certainly true at the group level.  I would be interested to see the groups sub-divided further into their primary and secondary colours, if only to see if that would be even more accurate.  Additionally I was also surprised to find our dear professor was an orange, as I imagined Project Management naturally attracted golds.  By contrast, I felt that Donna might also be a green, and for some strange reason I felt reassured when I found out she was.

When I think about the different groups that I have been working in so far, I can definitely see how the colours play an important role.  Rather than it being something positive or negative, I feel its information that is useful for breaking up tasks that play to each team members individual strengths.  For example, if I am working with a gold in my group, it only makes sense that they do the scheduling while I look at the process so that we get the best mark as a team.  Of course it would be equally valuable to do the opposite, so that we are forced to overcome our weaknesses.

In the future I would like to make sure I was working in a group with an eclectic mix.  Though I am clearly partial to other greens (and blues) I recognize that a successful group requires the diverse traits of all members.  In a professional setting, it would be useful to know the different colours of my co-workers, but I would rather try my best to understand their colour profile by interacting with them, rather than them being labeled beforehand.  If work was always allocated based on colour profiles, we would never have the chance to change and grow.

If True Colours was a movie, it would be a story about self-discovery that results in tribalism through the hubris of pride.  It would leave each viewer feeling strangely accomplished and self-assured, with a lingering distrust of others.  After it ended the viewer would turn to their friend to discuss the film, only to find that they had seen something entirely different.  Every viewer would feel that they were the protagonist of the film, even when it couldn’t possibly be true.  Each viewer would enthusiastically give two thumbs up to their own interpretation, while struggling to understand the viewpoint of other critics.  In the end it would be an eye-opening and valuable film to see.

As a team member I am definitely drawn to the larger elements such as: planning for the project, determining what is in and out of scope, and focusing on the project deliverables.  These elements naturally become my focus because they play to my strengths.  I have less interest in the scheduling the work, monitoring the progress and creating the critical path because I find those elements tedious.  I prefer to take a leadership role in the project and would have a difficult time having work delegated to me, which could be a real weakness if we had another member who also wanted to take a leadership role.  I feel that I would definitely need a gold team member to keep me on track throughout the project.

The major take away from Project Management has been to treat this whole certificate program as if it were a larger project involving the entire class. I am trying to think in terms of critical path and to have my deliverables ready when I have group work so that my group mates have the resources they need to accomplish their own work.  I have also tried to apply some of the elements from class to my blog.  For example, I think about not sacrificing quality in the interest of getting something done quickly.  Since I am not detail-oriented by nature, I would also like to create a production schedule, to keep myself writing regular updates.  It will take some time and effort to truly implement project management principles to my daily life.