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A new hat

<--- Getting everyone's attention at VA HOBY 2008

This year at HOBY, I was the Director of Programs. That basically means that everything that I was responsible for everything the 230+ ambassadors did from 1pm on Friday until 3pm on Sunday.

We had panels and workshops and service project planning. There was an ice cream social/birthday party (HOBY's 50th! VA HOBY's 30th!), spirit breaks, and a dance. They had a picnic lunch and watched a movie, spent time reflecting on issues, marketing objects, and building towers out of spaghetti and marshmallows. They learned from volunteer representatives and an Oxfam Hunger Dinner.

They had a weekend chock full of friends, fun and leadership training.

I say I was wearing a new hat, because long time readers will remember that I have previously served as a facilitator at HOBY (2006 & 2007) and was an ambassador in 1999. Having this new level of responsibility took me farther away from the students I love to interact with, but gave me a chance to make an impact by creating a program that touched all of them, not just my individual team of 10 or 15.

It was rewarding to wear this new hat, but like all new clothing items it took a bit to break in. And, as anyone who has seen my hair is aware, hats are especially difficult for me to fit into.

I'm still deliberating about whether or not I want to continue in the position I was in this year for next year's conference - I guess, as Malise put it, I'll never really have more time to think about it than this week, since we are a year away from the next seminar.

I know I did the best job I could possibly do when I was working on HOBY this year - but I know it is not the most I am capable of. I didn't realize I was going to have to house hunt, move, have surgery, or have a number of major events at work immediately preceding the conference. I didn't know what my job responsibilities were, no one had any transition information for me, and the person leading me was in a similar position. So, there was stress. But in the end, it was worth it. I can't wait to put out an evaluation to see how I can improve things for next year.

My new hat is beginning to fit a bit better, but I plan to take my time deciding whether or not to go back to my old one and return the new one, or try the hat on again. Maybe with the new light of experience, it'll look and fit more comfortably.

HOBY hugs to all,


P.S. - Could not be a more appropriate quote for this passage ... not admiring a mistake is a bigger mistake. ~ Robert Half