Thursday, March 1, 2012

Speeding things up a bit

You know how some car advertise that their vehicle can go from zero to sixty in two seconds?  Like it is a good thing?

Well, that is how my life is feeling at the moment.  Things were pretty quiet for a while, but the pace is starting to pick up. 

A couple of months ago, I received a group email from a local archives-profession based club indication that the Minnesota Historical Society was seeking judges for National History Day events.  If you have no idea what this is, you can certainly look it up, but to put it plainly, it is like a science fair for social studies. 

It just so happens that THIS GIRL (points to self) is a former History Day participant.  Went to state with my group's exhibit.  Got an Honorable Mention.  Are you impressed?  Mind you, this all took place back in 1994, so it's been a while since I was part of the fun.

When I read the email about judging, my first reaction was interest followed immediately by the belief that there is no way they would want me to do this.  Then I stopped and thought about that assumption.  Not only am I a former participant, but I now hold a B.A. in History and a M.L.I.S.  Technically speaking, I am a nearly ideal candidate.

So I signed up.  As part of the application, I was asked to review the list of regional competition dates and mark down the ones for which I would be available and able to attend.  It was at this point that I made the mistake of not making note of the dates I chose.  But more on that later.

After I sent in my information, I heard nothing.  For quite a while.  Then, a couple of weeks ago, out of the blue, I received two letters from the MNHS organizers indicating that I was scheduled to judge at two metro area regional events for the junior level (6th through 8th graders).  Sweet.

Ever the diligent volunteer, I signed up to attend a short training session last weekend.  It was very helpful, but in the course of the training, we were asked if anyone would be willing to volunteer to work at another regional event as they were short by about 20 people.  So I said yes.

Cool, right?  I was feeling pretty good about myself at that point.  Then I picked up my mail on Tuesday to discover that I will also be judging an out-state regional on St. Patrick's Day.  Not a problem. 

But now I am worried.  You see, these competitions are spread out over the course of the next couple of months.  Apparently, they send out notifications a couple of weeks in advance for each event.  This means that there could be more. 

Not that I mind.  In fact, I think it will be something that I will really enjoy.  There is something about the eagerness and energy of kids who do this sort of thing that reaffirms my faith in society.

In the midst of all the growing chaos, I had a snow day yesterday.

Yes, I realize this makes me sound like a wimp.  We have had virtually NO snow all winter and on the first big day involving the stuff I call in to work.  Fortunately, I was not alone as almost half of my coworkers stayed home as well. 

To be fair, I did get up at my normal time (5:30 a.m.) and got ready as normal.  I was to the point of putting on my makeup (my last step before leaving the house) when I sat down to make an honest assessment of my situation.

First of all, snow was actively falling at this point and had been for quite some time.  This never bodes well for commuting. 

Second, my driveway and street were still pristinely unplowed.  True, I own a shovel and could have taken care of my driveway on my own, but I was holding out in the hope that my association's snow removal service would show up and do the job faster and more efficiently. 

Third, I knew that work would be a ghost town.  No one (customers included) would want to be out and about in this weather.  So I would have to white-knuckle drive into work for a journey that would likely have dragged my normal 20 minute drive into over an hour in length to sit and stare at the computer for 8 hours and then face a possible second white-knuckle extra long drive home. 

Not wanting to be a total jerk, I checked in with coworkers and my manager.  Everything was OK, so I changed out of my work clothes and into something more comfortable.  Lena was a bit confused, but it all worked out well for her in the end as she was able to spend a great deal of time leaping through the deep snow and burrowing her head into drifts.  Doggie heaven.

Perhaps these updates seem a bit insufficient to make up for my recent absence.  Too bad, I say. 

Before I conclude, I would like to send out a blogosphere congratulations to two of my readers and good friends who recently announced that they are expecting their first child.  In case you were curious, I am thrilled that my friends are all reproducing en masse as it gives me a great excuse to shop.  So, Rox and Bill, CONGRATULATIONS!  I could not be happier for you! 

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