A Refreshing Change

About a month ago, the Big D and I were at the local Co-op. Him, juggling three gallon-sized water bottles. Me, trying to find something to ward off morning sickness [more on that later, or maybe just another time]. We both rush in past the table set up in the front door, but I returned to the entrance to get a shopping cart, because handling three empty water bottles is far easier than dealing with three full ones.

I got interested in this lady sitting in the entrance apparently trying to recruit co-op members to run for the Board of Directors. Sounds interesting to me. I'm a member, I've got nothing, nada, zilch going on in my life right now. Well, nothing except for the weary task of making a baby within my own body. [Jeez, so this is what being female is all about? More on that later, or maybe just some other time.]

I keep distracting myself by dwelling on my biological functions. But, what I really want to do is talk about this refreshing change in my life. Not the baby, but the Board.

So, I'm going to run, that means, I'm going to throw my name in for the election. I've never, ever been able to "win" something like this. In some ways it makes me think about popularity contests, haunting memories of unsuccessful bids for student council, etc. But, what the heck, I'm an adult now...and a woman of color. Sadly, there are no people of color on the Board so maybe my brown face will attract some voters.

Yet, another distraction by my biological features...Anyway, so I attended a Board meeting last night. Some would call it boring. I found it utterly fascinating. Most of it was completely over my head and it's rare that I leave a situation where I am astounded by the flow of new ideas, complex projects, and revolutionary discussions.

What really got me - here it is, the thing I wanted to talk about - is that the Board President and the General Manager of the Coop both seemed brilliant and really knew their thing. This is astonishing to me! I rarely encountered this at the University! The College of Liberal Arts was a work environment where the guy answering the phones and booking advising appointment knew more than the Associate Dean and Assistant Dean with their heads put together. I am not exaggerating. Not in the least bit! That the College dealt with leaders more engrossed with their insecure personalities and their failed academic career attempts to be faculty stars was something I knew that just needed to be dealt with in a daily working relationship. But now that I'm out, I am duly impressed with the idea that competent leaders can and will bring about productive environments. And in this case, I believe that these Co-op folks will bring about positive, perhaps revolutionary change!

It was exciting for me! After leaving the University I was jaded, thinking the world was an unproductive place where people just putzed around in the daily grind. Sure there were bright spots here and there but that seemed mostly created by brilliant talented people who did so on their own accord. I couldn't figure out how to make this happen in my own life.

Truth is I was totally isolated, sheltered perhaps, at the University. Living in but not engaged in this great neighborhood where I've owned a home for the last twelve years - NE Minneapolis. Was I a snob? This is a serious question for me. Was I more concerned with global change through University initiatives, rather than seeing the local potential of my neighborhood? The diversity represented on the Central Avenue business district is staggering. It makes me stumble on my feet and stammer out defensive reasons for living where I live - smack dab in the middle of white, Minnesota nice.

And, although this diversity may not be represented in the Co-op Board, perhaps I can be the one to help change that. These folks are doing a great job, but with four new seats open, the doors of opportunity are wide open for me to step in and connect - locally!

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