Tuesday, September 16, 2008

An "Interested Citizen"

On a happy note, this terrible economy has my spam-mailbox filled with offers to help me get out of debt instead of offers to enlarge my lover's erection. So I've got that going for me. I have received offers of free products to review in my blog. The first was for eyeglasses--which I do not wear and do not need. The second was for butt-ugly faux pearl jewelry. The kind really old ladies pile on for Sunday services. I barely get earrings in most days, so that got deleted, too. I haven't received offers to review things I want--a DVR, new sneakers, a cashmere turtleneck sweater, or books. So this bloggy review thing? Not all it's cracked up to be, Suburban Correspondent. Unless I'm supposed to work my way up to the good products by starting at the bottom with "As Seen on TV" crappe.

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I went to my first school board meeting last night. Well, not my first, but my first this year with a commitment to not miss any except October's (because wouldn't you rather be in Disney World?). The brisk pace at which the president moved things along was refreshing, but a conference room full of old men and administrative types confirms why I was the only non-school employee or board member in the room. Major yawn. Plus the room was hard to find and get to (I had to go up and down 3 flights of stairs and through 4 security doors--because we've refurbished an old building so many times it's totally illogical). I think much could be done to make board meetings less tedious--beginning with location. And they should put some fun things in the agenda. All in all, I'll stick to my goal of becoming more informed and involved. But they could make it better--popcorn? Yellow paint on the walls? A barista behind a coffee bar?

I'm no good with meetings. To voluntarily attend them is a real chore. I stayed with it, took notes, and was aware of the room's interest in my presence. The board members faced me--they sat in a long row across the front of the room. They kept looking at me. Then at the end of the meeting the president announced "Open Floor" time. They all looked back at me expectantly. I smiled back pleasantly and looked around at the empty chairs. Clearly I should've taken advantage of this golden opportunity, but I'll bide my time and start speechifying when I'm better prepared. It was also fascinating to note that not a single administrator made a report when asked if they had any. I can't imagine a world where a principal didn't have a request, concern or piece of information they'd like their school board to know about. It occurred to me that I'm focusing on the wrong end when I'm looking for school reform...

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Our prairie is full of birds--songbirds. Walking along the path with Mr. T this morning, about 40 swooped up in the air while we passed. They were eating the seeds of the flower heads and perched on the stalks. Such a surprising sight, I stopped mid-stride and watched them flutter above us. I still feel lucky for seeing that.


9 comments:

  1. My mom was on the school board for years (the first woman ever elected in our district) and also went through consolidation with another district and was on that board, too.

    Every time somebody tells me I should run for the school board, I say "are you crazy?" It is soooooooo boring. They just like the part where they get to act important (although that wasn't such a big deal in my small town because there are so few people, who's really a big deal?)

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  2. I've only been to our school board meetings when I had a personal interest in something--and San Diego Unified is the 7th largest district in the nation so it's a whole different ballgame than what you're describing.

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  3. I try to attend all of our PTO meetings and I'm co-president of the city-wide PTO Council, so I'm pretty much meetinged-out.

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  4. I think you get major brownie points just for going the meeting, much less sitting through it. Wow.

    That last paragraph made me all melancoly for fall. Beautiful description.

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  5. In my hometown the town council meetings are televised on the local channel (the same one they air last spring's graduation over and over and...). I wish they would do that with the school board meetings so we conscientious moms don't have to drudge through every one.

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  6. Okay, I bellied up to the table (Texas expression, or does everyone say this?!) to join a PTA committe, but I totally bow to your dedication in attending the snooze-fest of a school board meeting! Wow--- that is true dedication.

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  7. You should go to our county Board of Commish meetings...if you're not already on the agenda, you can't speak up (!); and they hold a meeting two hours before the public one and so have already made their decisions and just do this in public to get it over with. It's a sham!

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  8. We attended our first PTO meet and greet have pizza and listen to the chorus thingie last night.

    I imagine it was MUCH livlier than your "bored" meeting. ;p

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  9. I got an email to "improve my panus". What in the hell is a panus? LOL

    I AM SO GLAD I don't have to go to any more school board meetings!!!!! Yipee!!

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Spill it, reader.