professornana (professornana) wrote,

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6 Step Program

What, Teri is writing about a PROGRAM and no an UNprogram? I am taking a brief break today to write about what has consumed me for the past year: serving as chair of the 2013 Odyssey Committee. I was fortunate enough to serve on the first ever Odyssey Committee, chaired by the incredible Mary Burkey. Best. Committee. Ever. was out slogan/motto for the year we spent together talking about audiobooks. I was privileged enough to sit in meetings with people who knew SO much about audio coming in. Naively I thought I knew it all. I did not. But I learned from each and every member of the committee (and continue to do so as several of them have published books about audio since then).

For the past year, my noble committee members have listened to hundreds, if not thousands of hours of audiobooks. Headphones are a normal "jewelry" on me. Despite Scout's efforts to eat my ear buds (something about silicon and ear wax must seem like cat nip, TMI, right?), I have spent hours listening and noting and rewinding and listening again. Right now we are all in countdown mode to MidWinter: listening to our finalists again (and again). We will spend 2.5 days at conference hammering out the winner and honor awards. As I was driving this morning (and not listening since BH and College Girl were in the car, too), something occurred to me: there are stages in committee service. I think this applies not just to Odyssey but to all the committees I have had the great good fortune to serve on: Edwards, Printz, Quick Picks, Morris, Nonfiction, Walden, Teacher's Choices, Children's Choices, etc.

ELATION: Hurray! I am on the committee! I cannot wait! The UPS guy drops boxes on the porch and I scurry to retrieve them, open them. I handle each lovingly, place them carefully on the shelf, enter info into the spreadsheet I have set up.

REALIZATION: OMG! More are arriving each day. My UPS guy knows me by name, knows where to put the package if I am not home. Scout knows the sound of his truck and trots to the porch to greet him.

RESIGNATION: What? Another box? Are you kidding me? The stack is toppling; the shelves are double and triple shelved. Things are getting scary.

DEDICATION: All right, I need a plan. I need to carve out more time. I need to stay organized. After all, I volunteered for this. Look at all the cool things arriving for ME.

REVELATION: Okay, I am beginning to really get the hang of it all. I can juggle this with my job and personal commitments. Here is how it works for me est.

ELATION, PART TWO: We have the winner and honor titles selected. We have DONE it!

Okay, so maybe this is just my own experience. I wonder, though, how this plays out in classrooms, too. Something o consider once I finish listening to today's audiobook...

EDITED TO ADD A SEVENTH STEP: COMMUNNICATION: letting everyone else know about the wonderful work and the results. And an EIGHTH STEP: DELIBERATION (fits between REVELATION AND ELATION, PART TWO): the committee comes together and we "bleed on the table" and discuss with passion and vote and such.

Who knows, it might end up a 12 step program after all. Hello, my name is Teri and I am a serial reader.
Tags: audiobooks, committee work
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