I remember when I was appointed to the school board ten years ago. There were three of us seeking a seat made available when a long time member resigned. We talked about ourselves and answered questions in a public, televised meeting. I thought it would be easier than running a campaign during an election. It was nerve-racking. Plus I was up against a local legend - a beloved, retired elementary principal. When it came time for the remaining six school board members to make the selection, the ballot vote was tied 3-3, three times in a row. Finally, on the fourth try someone switched their vote over to me. In seconds I was sworn in, seated, and voting on heaven only knows what. If the audience could have seen under the skirted table they would have viewed my hands clutched white in a death grip.
Fast forward ten years. Monday night we had another school board appointment to replace Anne, our vice president (See previous post "Thank you Anne" 10/7). This was only the second appointment in ten years and the first since I've been president. An unprecedented eleven people applied for the position. Wow! These people came with impressive backgrounds in everything from finance to law and most with extensive involvement in schools. After nine rounds of ballots, including a 3-3 deadlock for several rounds, we finally achieved a majority vote for a new board member (congratulations, Cindy).
Although I am not known for sticking my foot in my mouth (at least I hope not) too often, I'm pretty sure I did Monday night.
Wanting to emphasize how impressed I was with the pool of candidates and unfortunately all too willing to be self-depricating, I said something to the effect that I felt like a "schmuck" in comparison to the talented candidates. You know what I meant, right? Like a rube or a minor leaguer. Sometimes I just get a little too slang for my own good. After the meeting I was discreetly informed by Dave, our resident expert in Yiddish, what the word, "schmuck" really means. Oops. Forgive me Menomonee Falls. I guess I've just watched way too many Mel Brooks movies.