It’s been quite a couple of weeks. There was ITEC, then the regional STEM council meeting, then Edcamp Sioux City. I was busy volunteering with the presidential campaign (and sure as heck wasn’t getting paid to do so!) and busy cooking up new projects at school. I was reading more (I’ve discovered Michael Connelly – he’s a can’t-put-down type of writer) and still trying to exercise after my 15 pound weight loss this summer. Then I got an email, asking members of the Iowa Association of School Librarians to consider nominating themselves or someone else to run for office.
I had kept that email around for awhile, mulling it over whenever I cleaned up my email enough to see it again. I think I was approached via email, that someone else had suggested that I run. Really, me?? I decided to run for the secretary/treasurer position, but then in another week, there was another email looking for people to run. I emailed again and said I’d run for either secretary/treasurer or vice president/president-elect. If I won, I would be VP for 2 years, then president, and that would give me enough time to know what I was doing. That worked out well as they already had two others who would run for secretary/treasurer and just one for VP.
Anyway, on the morning of the last day of voting, I wrote a blog post. I told myself I’d be fine no matter the result (in any other year, I would have voted for my competition, as I know and like her), but my mind hearkened back a couple of years when someone else asked me to run for office . . .
A school board election was coming up and the person in my area was stepping down, and no one in my precinct had made it on the ballot in time. So the previous school board president approached me and asked me if I would run. Really, me?? I was honored, but told her I wasn’t going to campaign. I’d put an ad in the paper, but I wasn’t going door-to-door, trolling for votes. She assured me that since no one was on the ballot, putting my name in the paper would be enough – no one else was running a write-in that she knew of, and she’d get the word out too. I did reach out to a few neighbors and ask for their votes – completely out of my comfort zone, but I did it anyway.
I didn’t know the results that night, and the next morning, it wasn’t on the auditor’s website as it was a write-in election. I didn’t know for several DAYS when I finally called the previous school board president who figured I already knew that I’d lost, even though it still wasn’t on the website and no one had called me (by the time I called her, I knew I must have lost). She said, “Well, you can run again next time.” HA! That wasn’t going to happen. (There was another write-in candidate who didn’t put an ad in the paper but who told all his friends and family, and vote they did.) At any rate, I wanted to put the whole embarrassing event behind me and didn’t check the auditor’s website again.
So all of this was on my mind as I was running for IASL office. Again I didn’t actively campaign, but I did talk to a few librarian friends, and honest-to-goodness, when I sat down at lunch at ITEC and the table of ladies happened to be librarians (complete coincidence!), I asked them for their votes. I put something on Twitter. I may love to talk politics, but I’m not going to be a politician. That was enough campaigning for me.
And then today, looking something up, I found this.
I know in my heart of hearts, it’s a good thing that I lost that, because I never would have moved and taken the great job that I have now. But I know now it’s a good thing that I never knew the exact vote tally, or I never would have run for IASL, and I’m really excited to serve there.
So why am I so embarrassed three years later? And I’m thinking back – did I ever use “ran for school board” as a bullet point on a résumé or interview? Good Lord, I hope no one else has ever Googled me and found this!
Or, that is, found what I found, and read as quickly and incompletely as I did . . . if you go down some, you see I did get more than 3 votes. That was just someone in the wrong precinct writing me in. I ended up getting 50 write-in votes in my precinct, plus my 18-year-old daughter got one too! (We often are mistaken in looks – until I quit dyeing my hair, anyway – apparently by name, too.) At any rate, it is good I didn’t see this before I ran for IASL – because I would have read this quickly and incompletely and thought all these years I had only gotten three votes.
But still, they don’t know what they missed!