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March 2009
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May 2009

Seeing through her eyes

"So did you pick out the movie you want to watch, JoBug?" I say, as I finish straightening up the dining room.

"Can we watch that one again about the friends?" she says.

"Which one is that?"  I'm trying to track through the movies I know that she likes to figure out which one this might be.

"The one from... the one... that one," she gropes for the words that will get me to see what's in her four year old brain. "We watched with the witch...  and the scary monkeys?"

"Oh, you mean The Wizard of Oz!"  We'd watched it the previous Friday night.  And again two nights before.  (Lynn and Marian had gone to see Wicked on Easter, which is why I'd borrowed it on Netflix).  She was ready to watch it again.  I love that she identifies it as the movie "about the friends."

"Sorry, Bug.  I've already sent it back.   We'll get it another time."

"Okay," she says, agreeably.  "That witch was scary.  But not too scary."

It's a luxury to have her to myself for nearly a full week while L & M are in Boston.  I arrange my schedule at work so that I don't have any early morning meetings (although despite the fact that she's sleeping later these days I still manage to get us out of the house and on the way to school by 8:15 or so each morning), and I leave early on Wednesday to get her to her gymnastics class.

In the evening, before dinner, I tell her that she needs to play by herself for just half an hour, so I can relax and do a little reading.  She usually lasts about fifteen minutes before she pops in, "Are you still relaxing?"  Fifteen minutes can be a long time when you're four.

She had just a bit of a mommy meltdown the first night, but that was it.  For the rest of the week she was her usual bright, happy, reasonably well behaved, chattering and singing self. 

"Nonai?" she says from the other end of the couch.

"What's up Josie?"

"Call me 'Bug' again," she giggles.

Talking to each other is a good thing

The past six weeks have been some of the most hectic and emotionally tumultuous of any similar stretch of time that I can remember.  Lots of travel, deeply painful personnel issues to confront at work, Josie's daddy entering the picture, a week's site visit from my NLM/AAHSL Leadership Fellow, Memphis 3: Return of the Pigs, and much more.  It's been a time of very low lows, but also some wonderfully high highs.

In the latter camp I put the third meeting of the Chicago Collaborative, which took place on April 8th.  The common consensus afterwards was that this was the best of the three, and given how good those first two were, that's a pretty high standard.

Much of our discussion had to do with upcoming programming and what we can do to develop concrete activities that will help bring our vision to a reality.  There will be an introductory and Q&A session at the MLA meeting on May 19 in Hawai'i, and a similar one at the NASIG meeting in June.  We've put together a proposal for a symposium that will be held at MLA 2010 in DC if it's approved by the CE Committee.  And it's on my list to put in a proposal for this year's Charleston Conference.

I'm particularly pleased with the Statement of Purpose that we developed immediately after the meeting.  While the press release and the framework document on the website provide more detailed background on how the Collaborative came to be, the Statement of Purpose tries to succinctly describe the vision.  I think it works pretty well.

We're hoping that the upcoming sessions will be a step towards broadening the conversations.  We've already scheduled our next meeting for November, and one of the things on the agenda for that meeting will be governance and how we more formally involve other organizations that may have an interest.  Since we're still in our baby steps (I tend to refer to the CC as an "unorganization"), we're a little unsure of exactly how we'll proceed with that, but we do know that in order to achieve our goals we've got to figure out ways to involve the broadest possible range of voices.  Given the energy and determination at this last meeting, I think we'll get there.