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.