20 October 2008

A surprising evening

I may hate meetings more than anyone I know. Consequently, I am always looking for a reason - good or not - to avoid a meeting.

It is not the idea of discussing things that I dislike so much. It isn't talking with people that I dislike. It isn't spending a long time with people that I dislike. It's simply the idea of a meeting.

I would much rather share information and thoughts through memos and letters. If something needs to be clarified then we can get people together to talk it through, briefly. But a meeting? Ugh.

Meetings almost always last far too long. I'm of the mind that no meeting should ever last more than an hour. Does anything ever really get accomplished at a meeting?

I'm all for sitting around and chatting away for hours once the meeting is over. Back in Quincy I'm even famous for standing around in parking lots talking with people after meetings for a good two hours or more. I like to visit with friends. I hate meetings.

Now to the point of this post.

A meeting of the Board of Education was held this evening. These meetings are notoriously long, boring and long. They start at 6:30 p.m. and last at least until 8:30 p.m., and often enough even until 9:00 p.m. or later. Did I mention how long they are?

Also tonight the girls' volleyball team played at home, beginning with a JV game at 6:15 p.m. and a varsity game after that. It was also senior night.

So I thought to myself, wouldn't it be good if I went to the volleyball game and supported the girls? Of course it would.

After asking the Pastor and the business manager, and after checking with the president of the Board of Education, I happily went to the volleyball games. It's good to be the Parochial Vicar and not fit into the organizational and decision making structure.

After taking up my usual post near the entrance to the gym some of the students asked me to join them in the "Dawg Pound," the student "cheering" section of the bleachers. Our students aren't usually the loudest or most excited fans; tonight proved no exception.

I found myself holding court, as it were - which I don't usually mind - fielding questions from sophomore and junior boys from all sides, all of which somehow or other related to faith, mostly to morals. As much as I tried to get them to start watching the game they kept asking questions, poking me repeatedly in the shoulder and asking the questions repeatedly until I gave in and answered, all through the varsity game.

I hope the girls didn't mind too much that we weren't really watching the game. (They easily won each of the games. Congratulations, girls!)

After the games - and after fielding a few more questions, and shoving one of the boys off on his mom who wanted to leave - I went down to the Board of Education meeting (it was downstairs in the library). That lasted another thirty minutes.

I'm not really sure why the boys always have questions for me, or why they ask them so freely. I guess I'm doing something right. Whatever it is, I hope I keep it up.

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