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August 07, 2005


So NOVA's having one of it's periodic crises. We had nominations for officers, and Lisa, who's been President long enough to want a break, asked for nominations, and nobody stepped up. I don't know who suggested it, but I got nominated, which is amusing, since I have been the Vice President over the last year, and I did such a good job of that. Which is to say, Lisa needed someone to cover for her around three times last year, and I was only able to do one. I told everyone that with Jean looking for a nursing job, I might soon be even less reliable, but still, no one else stepped forward.

Bob, who is running our video program, is showing every sign of burn out, but again, finding a responsible individual to take charge of the equipment (i.e. not set it up at their home for a personal theater and run down the expensive bulb) is not looking easy. The crowd of regulars consists of folks who like coming to NOVA twice a month, but are not able to contribute to running it. I know how real life can eat up your commitments, so I'm not accusing folks of being slackers, just guessing that the reality is that not many folk interested in NOVA have the time or energy to run it. Sure, you 'just' have to schedule the room, pick up and drop off the keys, and do some 'minor' paperwork, but if I can't guarantee doing it reliably, I can't expect anyone else to.

After the meeting, we went out for snacks, and had a lengthy conversation on the topic. Alan volunteered to step up to the Presidential nomination, for a year. And Alan is very reliable. But he's once again a person who's doing it out of a sense of duty. I can't speak for his intentions, but I think he's doing it more for the idea of NOVA as it formerly existed. If NOVA can't sustain itself with people willingly stepping in to do the work, then us old warhorses shouldn't feel obligated. Lisa said that she thought without the 'core' members doing the work, NOVA would just collapse, and she didn't want that to happen. But if the only folks doing the work do so out of a sense of obligation, when the loose membership is probably only coming out of habit...

It's obvious to me that I'm not the right choice for President. Lisa wanted to do a follow-up discussion at the next meeting, and I remembered that I'd be out of town (Jean, Kelly and I are doing a research trip to Seattle). I'm probably not going to be able to make the first meeting in September either, so that leaves the second meeting of September, when the elections are supposed to happen. So... If nominated, I'll run, reluctantly. If elected, I'll serve, poorly. Is that what NOVA deserves?

Posted by dpwakefield at August 7, 2005 10:23 AM