My first week in New Orleans had many surprises. We started off the week by exploring various parts of the city, and I was surprised by its diversity in both the people and the architecture. Some areas were more spaced out and residential, while others were very crowded. One of the most profound moments that I have experienced thus far was when we were on a bus tour and passed this substantial area hidden under a bridge. Our guide told us many homeless people had taken up refuge there after Hurricane Katrina, and a decent amount of people had lived there since. This area was devoid of any sunlight and littered with trash, and it stretched out to numerous blocks. I could not even imagine such a bulk of people filling every square foot of this area. Nonetheless, it was still a home that shielded them from the numerous rainstorms that occurred every couple of hours.
I have found my work to be very enlightening and rewarding. I am working at CrescentCare, a community health center. The area where I work is very rugged with sidewalks sometimes rising like an inclined plane rather than a flat surface. Right away, I found myself applying many of the programming techniques that I learned in my computer science classes. I was no longer sitting in the classroom or in the library working on some problem that had not utility once it was solved except providing me with experience. Now, in New Orleans, I was working on giving the company more visibility into their business by parsing through scheduling reports from their database and using this data to calculate discharge rates, no-show rates, etc. in order to look at the productivity of its medical health providers.