sprite writes
broodings from the burrow

October 3, 2005

greetings from pittsburgh
posted by soe 9:48 pm

I have landed safely once again in the Oakland section of Pittsburgh, the area of town near the college campuses of Pitt and Carnegie Mellon.

Today’s focus group went extraordinarily well and we’re very pleased to have connected with this Healthy Start Pittsburgh, as both the participants and the providers in the program seem to be excellent people — very willing to share their opinions and offer constructive feedback.

I’m a little nervous about the focus group tomorrow. I will be running it by myself and have had an email that indicates that this group might not be as excited about our project as today’s group. But I will practice the listening skills learned in hotline training (“What I hear you saying is …”) and be open to comments — and hopefully everything will be fine. (But I wouldn’t object if anyone wanted to cross their fingers for me, anyway.)

On a non-work note, Pittsburgh is an interesting city and I’m beginning to understand some of the neighborhoods a bit better on my second trip to the area. I managed to find the grocery store this morning, as well as an independent coffee house (where I hope to grab some lunch tomorrow, since they have outdoor seating), a cozy-looking used bookstore (around from the a coffee house), and a pub where I had dinner (the waitress was vegetarian and helpfully pointed me to a portobello and cheese sandwich that was monstrous!). Tomorrow I plan to hit a museum in the morning before returning to the hotel in the afternoon to prep for the focus group. I figure I need to do some exploration of this city if I’m going to be here at least once more before this project ends.

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