Thursday, July 30, 2009

Grand Diabolical Plans

I am organizing an activity for my middle school aged daughter. I have, in the past, organized other events so I have some experience in this area. Usually, unlike this activity, they involve some sort of kooky vision. This is not a requirement but, no matter how sane it is, when you approach people with your idea, they are going to look at you like you've just sprouted antennae.

"So this is not something for work or some kind of court-mandated community service project?"

"No, I thought it would be fun."

My new project is organizing a robotics club for my daughter's school. It is not outside my scope of interest or ability to create and run such a club. I have organized events, done fundraising, and herded children for a purpose. In this case, the tasks are supposed to be child-led but the children will need mentors--people with even the slightest expertise in something vaguely mechanical to help them with basic skills. Although I am interested, I don't have the skill sub-set that I'm looking for in mentors. There are many people in my community, however, that do.

So the letters went out earlier this week. I am saving my phone calls for next week when I can better gauge the insanity of my plan. However, I have already received some responses. There is an order to how these things go.
1. I make the plan and put out inquiries and feelers tailored to give an idea of the project needs and my expectations. I don't want to put large burdens on my support people because it chases them away.
2. I get responses back that generally look something like this:
"I don't have a lot of time for outside projects because I'm really busy...wait, what is it exactly that you want from me?"
3. Secondary responses: "Oh, is that all? I'm sorry that I responded to your carefully crafted query in a way that expressed non-interest because I didn't read it through. Seriously, you don't want money or a 20 hour a week commitment?"

It will be fun. It may not happen this year (as the daughter with the interest starts high school the following fall) but it will happen. I just need to get people excited about it.

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