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Posts Tagged ‘boats’

Oh, the best laid-plans… For instance, when you’re running a meeting and it turns out:

  • You printed out the wrong agenda
  • Two of your key attendees have to leave one hour earlier than expected
  • A rapid decision on a complicated topic has to be made while both these attendees are able to participate
  • Another of the key attendees cannot be at the meeting at all

OffTheRails

At that point, you have to juggle the Order of the Day pretty severely, and as one string gets pulled from the warp, a bit of the weft goes wonky, and the conversations loop and swirl like water currents splashing over rocks in a mountain stream.

Or maybe it's a bit more like THIS...

Or maybe it’s a bit more like THIS…

Whatever the metaphor, the meeting was effective.  Work gots done. People got to have their say.  People who had to leave, didn’t feel left out, and the meeting still ended 30 minutes early.

But ’twas mighty hard on the notetaker.

“Why not organize the agenda in the order you actually plan to say things?” asks said notetaker, who is a reasonable, organized person.

I pointed out that some of the docket-juggling was due to the needs of the moment that I couldn’t have planned for, but I get the feeling that wasn’t viewed as sufficient justification.  Honestly, my goal is to get enough committees functioning that I just ask them to give me reports of what they’ve accomplished, and I don’t have to provide both the structure and the content for these sessions….but it’s a work in progress, and most of the group understands this.

<sigh>

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“And if you want me
You can find me
Left of center
Wondering about you…” — Suzanne Vega

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Once a year people in DC go mad over a grove of gnarly trees.

Thousands of people wander around, pushing strollers, paddling pedal boats in the Tidal Basin, buying commemorative merchandise, and taking giggly pictures of each other. The morning I traveled down to see the spectacle, the sky was what UK weather forecasters call “Grey Cloud”, tending towards “White Cloud”, so everything seemed filtered through a pastel haze.  Still, the visibility was pretty good:

Some of the visitors were more enthusiastic about the scenery than others — one long-suffering pair of elementary school teachers were herding their class to the long picnic tables for an early lunch before continuing to tour beneath the trees, and as sandwiches and drinks were opened, several of the children announced that what they really wanted to do was go back and ride the train [the local Underground, called the Metro] again!

Not far from where I had stopped to look across the basin, I noticed a young child trying to get his parents’ attention, pointing over and over across the water.  “What’s that?  What’s that?”  The parents didn’t seem to be paying attention, and it was all I could do not to yell over “That’s the memorial to the President the Texas Board of Education is trying to remove from history!

The Jefferson Memorial, featured on the back of the US 5 cent piece

Let us not get too distracted by the Texans and what they tolerate from their school boards…

I’m not, as you may have guessed by this point, all that interested in photographs of people; I came for this:

Where I grew up, there was a magnificent cherry tree, taller than our house [which had 2 stories and a full attic].  In the spring, it would “snow” petals for days — one of the most magical times of year. When the tree was taken down, I kept pieces, and one of the resulting carvings is always on my desk in remembrance.

I mentioned that the sky was clouded during most of my visit to the Cherry Tree Festival, but if you look down at the water, really carefully, you can see a hint here, flickering amid the floral flotsam, of the blue sky that owned the afternoon.

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