May 2, 2010

embedded knowledge

With the Boys Club play structure on hold for about a week or so, Randy put me back on the website project for this week. The deadline for the website to be up and running is June 1st, so it’s getting down to crunch time. All of the projects that will be listed on the new website have a maximum of seven photos per project. Along with the photos is a description about the specific project and a list of magazines if it has been published before.

A neat feature about the new website is that if you mouse over the magazine title, you can select it and it will take you to the full article. Here’s where I come in. You only get to read those articles because I manually scanned in each individual page that contained information on the project. Once the pages were scanned into the computer, I took them into Photoshop and touched them up. Because a lot of the work Randy does is favored by many different magazine editors, a lot of the projects get published.

Going through the shelves of magazines, thumbing through pages to find the appropriate article is okay for about two days, but after that, it gets monotonous. I definitely didn’t picture last fall when I knew I was going to be working here this semester that I would spend days scanning in magazine articles, but here I am. In one sense, it’s very encouraging to think that I had a very important role in contributing to the website. The other upside to scanning articles all day was that I used that time to my advantage. By entering all the articles into the website, I was able to learn even more about RBA. Some of the information from projects I already knew, but other bits of information were foreign to me.

While working at RBA, I have been focusing on being a “sponge” in the office and everywhere we go. The more I can learn from this firm, the better off I’ll be later on. Randy has learned much of the knowledge he has through real life experiences. Often times, we experience similar real life situations in the office and because Randy has dealt with an issue like it before he knows how to solve it. For instance, when I was working on the Bisson bathroom renovation, the client asked for more storage space in the shower. Because Randy has worked on a bathroom that had a built in shampoo and soap holder, he knew some specific details that would work for that application. This is the type of knowledge base I have begun to develop at RBA.

I know my embedded knowledge has already begun to develop because there have been times in the office that a particular detail would have stumped me a year ago, but now I was able to sail through smoothly. I didn’t expect to gain as much knowledge as I have at RBA. Looking back, I really didn’t know what to expect. This is the first firm that I have worked for and definitely one I have learned tons of information from.

The weekend came with warm weather. With Saturday starting out warm and sunny, Meg and I decided to give the farmers market downtown a try. We ended up spending about an hour walking around looking at all of the fresh produce and eventually found ourselves walking around the downtown area. It is good to see that Omaha is taking the initiative to revitalize the downtown area. There is a lot of construction in new and old buildings and they’re doing things that are going to bring more people to the downtown area. One “big ticket” item is the new baseball stadium they are building across from the Quest Center. Not only will the Omaha Royals and College World Series be played there when it opens, but it will bring people and money to the downtown area. I also recently heard that Omaha is going to be the home of a new arena football team. Since the Nebraska Cornhuskers are the only football team (if you can call them that) this state supports, it will be good to give the city some diversity and a chance for citizens of Omaha to watch football right in their hometown.

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