Where does the time go?

OK, falling down on the blog here.  Much to catch up on, so here goes.

Meet the Greeks:  Went to a great meeting with the UMass fraternities and sororities November 5th.  The Greek councils put it together and invited representatives from the community to come and learn about all the important charitable and community service work they do, and to open up communication about student and neighborhood tensions.  It was a great discussion – frank, honest and informative on both sides, I think – which is kind of funny since I was the only community rep there.  Just me and about 50 Greeks.  But it really was good, and I give them a ton of credit for setting this up and making this kind of effort.  I hope the Town will follow their lead in keeping this kind of engagement going – I certainly intend to.  It really demonstrated so sharply how much more there is to Town-Gown relations than fancy receptions with the Chancellor.  (But those are nice too!)  I was really impressed with the meeting, with the students, and with all I learned about the Greek governance structure.  I was about 80% done with a long detailed post about that meeting that I never finished, but I still might.  (Bad odds, but you never know.)  In the meantime, consider stopping by the 15-hour charity dance marathon, UDance, starting Saturday evening, November 22nd, at the Student Union.  [Update: Oops -- actually it started Saturday morning and goes until 1:00 a.m. on Sunday, the 23rd.]  This is a major fundraiser the Greeks do for the Children’s Miracle Network, and this year they hope to raise more than $30,000 for a special pediatric bed for Baystate Children’s Hospital.  Learn more here.

Never Forget:  Went to a lovely and touching Veterans Day Ceremony last week, with color guard, a bagpiper, poems that brought tears to my eyes, and the raising of the flag. But I was struck by what really tough shape our flag was in.  I should probably know, but does the Town buy its own flag?  Does the VFW or some other group donate such a thing to us?  However that works, it’s time.

O’Keeffe Web Empire Grows:  Devotees of my husband’s Town Meeting Tally Vote Database will be happy to learn that it has migrated off the um, stagnant, inAmherst.com site to its very own cyber location:  TallyVotes.org.  Updated with the 2008 Fall TM votes, of course.   

Verbal Tic:  I record all the SB meetings with my trusty little digital recorder, and I often need to refer back to the recordings when I write up the minutes.  In doing this, I’ve noticed that I start nearly every comment that I make at a meeting with  “So…”  How strange!  Do I do this in “real life” too, or is it an affliction of my public persona?  (Do I have a “public persona?”  This is getting scarier by the minute.) And now that I’ve noticed it, can I stop doing it, or will it become pathological?   

Missing In Action:  My committee liaison attendance has been kind of poor lately.  Sometimes I have two meetings/events/commitments scheduled concurrently, and other times, I just need to not go to a meeting.  I hate missing stuff though.  Turns out I’m a real “meeting person.” Who knew? 

Welcome Home:  Went to the open house for the new Main Street apartments today, an affordable housing project many years in the making.  There was a nice assembly at the beginning thanking the many, MANY people and agencies who made this possible (starting with Amherst Housing Authority Director Donna Crabtree and extending through such a long list of lenders, housing agencies, permitting bodies, granting authorities, designers and builders and more, that I couldn’t begin to list them all) and then we had tours of some of the units.  It’s a beautiful property – 11 units in all, charming, great porches, nicely sited, energy star-rated – and it just makes you feel good.  The project took more than 20 years to go from idea to reality, but it’s now a fabulous new home to a bunch of lucky people, some of whom addressed the assembly.  Great SB turnout too – four out of five, and on a freezing cold afternoon.  Did I mention that the assembly was outside?

Too tired to think of more to add tonight.  Must do a better job keeping up with the blog posts.


Mary Carey said:

I love the way you start sentences with So.... Do you think it's a way of talking that can be traced back to blogging? Those Main Street apartments DO look great.

Larry Kelley said:

So over a year ago Mary Carey in writing for some crusty bricks and mortar media or other mentioned that I often start my blog posts with "so".

Since I stole "hmmm" from you...

YourAdmirer said:

Congratulations on your recent "elevation"! The responsibility of listening well (and respectfully) now falls upon you: may you be blessed (or inoculated ;-) with a healthful dose of ... tolerance.... And where *will* you find the time?!



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