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May 4, 2004


This afternoon, I was out in West Hyattsville, MD with a Palm Pilot, collecting data on restaurants and sidewalks. The data that we collected will help our high school kids to make maps of the factors that may influence obesity in their community. The kids themselves have been going out weekly with some graduate students. Since the grad students are about to finish their semester, I wanted to learn how the Palm's work so that I (and several colleagues) can take over, starting next week. Unfortunately, on this particular occasion, the adult team outnumbered the high school kids. Life is always chaotic at the school, and you never know how many students will show up. So we adults cheerfully picked up Palms and joined in the data-collection.

I'd love to write something insightful about the commercial strip that we mapped. Any place is interesting if you observe it closely, and this happened to be a solid, working-class district of bodegas, barber shops, speciality stores (and empty lots with gang graffiti) that would provide lots to write about. Unfortunately, my eyes were glued to the screen of the Palm the whole time, so I saw nothing interesting. I did get very efficient at data-entry and rolled through a whole extra block on my own while the high school kids had an ice-cream break.

May 4, 2004 10:16 PM | category: a high school civics class | Comments


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