“What about your current work frustrates you the most? Explain why.”
I feel similarly about my work as the other VISTA members: I am now comfortable in my position and can really talk about my organization and what I do. It has hit me lately that I am halfway done (mostly because we are all talking about it, and applying for the 3rd year fellow so it’s really not all that surprising). I am sad to be leaving so soon… with what I feel to be so little achieved.
I have yet to set realistic goals for what can be achieved in a year. I always create huge plans that are beyond my capabilities, and the capabilities of any organization I work with. This is probably the most frustrating part of my work, and it’s pretty self-inflicted. I tend to pile things on myself to the point where I find myself, sitting at my desk, unable to do anything because I have no idea where to start. Maybe one day I will relax (insert laughter for those who know me…). I would like to be able to carry out all of my projects, but I know it is not feasible in the short time span, and this is the core of my frustration.
I am currently in the midst of a six grant deadline cycle, with three under my belt (really two that I have written myself), and three/four-ish more to go in February. Two of the grants coming up have no backing behind them currently (aka we have no partners for the programs we want to do) so I have a feeling that I will be at work quite late trying to figure all of this out once the one-week deadline hits! I am constantly behind and find myself stressed out when deadlines are looming in the near-distance. But, thus is the life of working with other organizations and I have learned to deal with it.
January, in general, saw the dropping off of my last Newsie. The next cycle of the program will start February 28th, so hopefully a brief in the Democrat & Chronicle and an article in the Minority Reporter will yield some applicants. A partnership that I had fostered had also fallen through for a grant (that has nothing to do with my VAD, but is a big interest of mine). My big plans for these projects have more or less tanked.
In positive news, I am currently working to create a sustainable audience of young professionals at W&B, and held a younger audiences focus group last fall. I am now developing a W&B YP Book Club, to start February 17th. This will hopefully be the beginning of new class offerings, and perhaps a writing group for this audience. The grant that fell through was aimed at creating a large event in the neighborhood of the arts, but stay tuned, I am working with the neighborhood association to weasel my way into securing funds. Other positive news include the starting of a three month long poetry residency at School Without Walls, and another residency to begin at school #14 in March.
In all, I would not say I am frustrated, just overwhelmed and should probably stop drinking so much coffee! — Kristina