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CSC 322.01, Class 02: Prepare for partner meetings


  • Preliminaries
    • Notes and news
    • Upcoming work
    • Extra credit
    • Questions
  • Context
  • Working with real human beings
  • Q&A


  • Susan Sanning will be speaking to you in today’s class.
  • The class Web site still has some work to go.
  • Our community clients will visit Thursday’s class. Be on time and be respectful.
  • I will take attendance. Either the thing you are most looking forward to in the community or the thing that might be the biggest challenge.

Upcoming work

  • Get your résumé up to date. We’ll be using it in class next week.

Good things to do


  • Community time today at 11:00 am in JRC 101.
  • CS Table today in the Whale Room.
  • CS Extras Thursday at 4:15 pm.
  • Rosenfield Symposium next week.


  • ???



  • You will be working with folks in the community.
  • Susan is an expert in these things, so will be talking to you.
  • Question for you - Exciting / Scary?
    • Lots of things are exciting, particularly working on a real project and having a chance to make a difference.
    • Lots of things are also scary, including time commitment

Community questions

  • How many people live in Grinnell?
  • What does Susan pay for Internet (leaving five miles outside of town)? About $400/month for 30 gigabytes of data. This is common in rural settings. In town, you can get DSL for a more affordable rate. But once you are out of the town, there’s less interest in providing service.
  • Poverty rate is somewhere between 30% and 50%, depending on how you define poverty.
  • 40% of students in our district are on free and reduced lunches (that probably under-counts).
  • Drops in high-school because there is a stigma (and for other reasons).
  • What is the unemployment rate in our community? About 2.8% percent?
  • What does that mean about our demographics? People are underemployed and/or making very low wages. Most people work multiple jobs.
    • Sam won’t put particular examples in the eboard.
  • Grinnell is a “food desert” - food may not be easily available outside of town. Access can be hard.
  • No public transportation in Grinnell. No taxi. One Uber.
  • What is a childcare desert look like? Also difficult to get people to take care of your children. How many child care centers are open a full workday?
    • Workdays vary significantly: E.g., night shift.
    • Only one is open for 9-5. And that has a waiting list.
  • What infrastructure supports all of this? In a large, metro, area, there are options for support (e.g., for building software) when you are a nonprofit. You can ask a neighboring company or ask them for money or even rely on organizations designed to do this. While you are only working for only one organization, you are making a difference.
  • If you want to know more about these issues and how to be involved beyond this class, talk to Susan and/or her colleague Keira.
    • We know that not everyone has the privilege to have time to volunteer without pay. Hence, we have workstudy service positions.
    • [sannings] and [wilsonke]
  • What are your preconceptions of the community?
    • [Sam does not record these.]
  • What does our community think about us?
    • “Rich, pretentious, jerks” - Many of them think that all of you can pay the sticker price. They do not know the demographics or need-blind admissions or financial aid.
    • What accompanies misperception of wealth: Arrogance, “You aren’t even looking at me.”,
    • People will project onto them
    • “Savior complex”
    • “They don’t understand us.”
    • The conversation is completely different when you are speaking as an Iowan rather than as a College student.
    • Students often suggest that they don’t like our town.
    • Do we understand community standards?

Why are we discussing this?

  • To help us be more conscious of who we are and how we are percieved.
  • Be intentional in how you behave and communicate.
  • Try to overcome some of your own preconceptions.


  • Do you need to wear a coat and tie? No.
  • If you are meeting someone on a farm: Wear jeans, closed-toed shoes, etc. “I respect you enough to know what I should be wearing.”
  • What would you wear to an animal shelter? (Maybe our current partner wouldn’t care about what you wear, but if it were somene else …?)
  • How do you decide? Look at what they are wearing. What else? Google it! Check their Web site.


  • What is the most professional mode of communication?
    • Face to face?
    • Phone?
    • Email?
    • Slack?
    • Facebook messenger?
    • Textbook?
    • See what their Web site says.
    • Whatever they prefer. Ask them.
  • When can you text?
    • Business hours, unless you’ve heard otherwise.
    • Keep good boundaries.
    • Ask them. Some won’t want to be texted during business hours.
  • How often should you communicate?
    • As often as they want.
    • As often as you are makng decisions.
    • Probably once per sprint.
    • More fun things for the inititial meeting: How often should I communicate with you to make sure that you are in the loop?
  • Acronyms and coded language?
    • LOL, JRC, CLS, CS, DRY, “User Story”, NAA (Not At All), GitHub “Push”, “Pull”, “Deploy”, “Heroku”, …