Cognitive Bandwidth

The shed broke. All of that time spent putting up a shed last week to have a weekend of rain and the structure is toast! Granted we didn’t have the roof on because it required more expertise and time but still, I am a little bummed. I drove into work yesterday in a torrential storm with the sheds walls flimsily hyperextended, only 5 screws holding in each piece of it. I think it will be more of a long-term project than a quick task now.

Other than the shed mishap, the job is going really well. I am staying busy and interested in what I do and that is key for my happiness in a job. I am now inputting some of the data collected from the surveys that I did at the produce markets. It is really interesting to see the results. The surveys ask questions about what resources the clients would want to receive information on at each site. Ideally we would be able to have a general idea for each location what that specific population wants and needs in terms of services and information on resources that they can access. I recently was listening to an NPR story yesterday about a young woman in New York City who has a child and it living day to day on poverty. The article was about cognitive bandwidth and explained the taxing mental stress that being in poverty has on your brain. It actually inhibits you from being able to think long term or remember things well. What this woman says is her biggest regret is going on welfare when she first well into the situation because she didn’t take the time to look into all of the options she had in terms of what services she should apply for, what the stipulations were for each one etc. She ended up applying for cash assistance but this program requires you attend job training every day. This merely added to her stress and hurt her ability to get out of the poverty she was in in the first place because she would have to sacrifice school and a job to attend these sessions daily just to get a $142 check twice a month, much needed supplemental income.

Not having information or knowing all of the options is especially dangerous for people in poverty because they are so mentally and physically stressed. It is harder to think long term when you have to survive day to day. These resources I am hoping to provide information on are extremely important because the odds that clients will find them on their own is very unlikely and we have the contacts of great social workers at the foodbank that can help them navigate the complicated welfare and social services system. I am hoping that the data I collect and analyze will lead to a better use and efficiency of the services provided.

Story on NPR below:


About ced92615

I am a senior in high schoolabotu to graduate. I am doing an Senior Independent Project
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