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2008-08-25 - 9:51 p.m.

...small successes...

I haven't been writing so much about this topic recently, but I've been serving on an extremely difficult and controversial committee - one that is involved in restructuring the faculty at Mountain University.

I've mentioned feeling like a child in the first meeting. I've mentioned the woman-who-will-never-be-friends-with-me. I can't remember if I mentioned sending out an email that disagreed entirely with the agenda of said "wwwnbfwm" and then dealing with the fallout from that email. Following the suggestions in that email the chair of the committee asked me to put together two major documents. I ignored them completely while I was on holiday. And I've been stressing out completely over them since my return.

During my holiday, the emails were fast and furious, as one group that has been involved in the committee has sent complaint after complaint about the committee progress, the goals, how we were overstepping our bounds, how they were not going to participate in the faculty. It was getting rather nerve-wracking to open my email each day to yet another missive explaining how we were all headed in the wrong direction. I was dreading writing these documents. And I was equally dreading the meeting that took place today, because it mean coming head-to-head once again with the wwwnbfwm as well as this recalcitrant group of people.

This weekend, I threw a few things together in a nearly complete vacuum nearly zero help from members of my department (whom I could not reach) - two horribly incomplete documents, with just the skeletons of ideas in place. And when I went into the meeting - via speakerphone from home because I had no childcare - I was the first person called upon to explain the programs I had come up with. Apart from some delicate criticism from the wwwnbfwm, the documents have been a smashing success (which unfortunately has meant more work for me...).

And this evening, I got a personal note from the committee head, cc'ed to one of the university's grand high mucky-mucks, thanking me personally for writing up these documents, and for breaking through a 'log-jam' and moving the committee forward, and for bringing the recalcitrant group back on board.

I am not sure that I did all this single-handedly...and I'm also not sure what this will get me later in life...but it made me feel very good to be recognized for being constructive - and for committee work that, before now, I thought I was awful at. (rest assured, there are no sentences ending in prepositions in the proposal...). So now at least I progress with the writing, with a sense that I'm doing something useful and worthwhile, even if it is keeping me from everything that I should be doing..

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