Volunteering is a great thing – a great, time-consuming, life-force sucking thing.
Hmm…that sounds a wee bit negative. Let me rephrase.
Volunteering is like nacho consumption, best in moderation.
There, that’s better. Nachos make happier similes.
Why am I suddenly a volunteer villain? Well, that’s a long story for my short attention span, so I’ll share the highlights – make your own judgments.
Without too much detail, I’m in week two of a six-week surgical recovery. Doctor ordered downtime is NOT something I excel at, but given the alternative, I’ll obey. As a writer, I foolishly believed the free time would be a blessing, an uninterrupted block devoted to creativity and finite edits.
My youngest son, a true “yes” man decided to help me fill the hours by volunteering my services to his school’s Community Outreach Committee. The project was straightforward, edit a small newsletter the students composed for their sister classroom in Haiti.
And that my friends, was the beginning of the end.
Teacher Project Coordinator: “Thanks so much for helping the kids with this project. At this age level, we don’t get many parent volunteers.”
Me: “No problem. I’m happy to help.”
Teacher Project Coordinator: “I’m so glad to hear that. I don’t know how I could have edited all the essays and pulled a book together on top of all the other things we have going.”
Me: (Essays? Book? I missed a memo) “I thought the project was a newsletter?”
Teacher Project Coordinator: (Stammer, stammer, stammer): “Oh, I thought your son told you. The first part is a newsletter, but the second part is 75 student essays about life in Connecticut. We need each proofread, edited for a 7th grade reading level, and bound into spiral books for the Haitian class. But if you don’t have time…”
Me: (Suck it up Buttercup): “No, no, of course I have time. No worries.” (Dummy!)
Teacher Project Coordinator: “Fantastic! And with the great software out there it shouldn’t be too much trouble to translate them into Haitian by the March 1st deadline.”
Mwen se nan kouvri tèt mwen! Anmwe!
(I’m in over my head! Help!)