You may be reading an award-winning blog.
For the last couple of years the performing arts folks here in Our Little Town have been giving out awards to people in various and sundry categories. It’s a nice program, and they do a good job of spreading things around – last year I was even a judge for the Creative Writing category, and it was kind of fun to go through the nominees and figure out which one I thought was the best. There are some talented people floating about this place.
So I was flattered when I was nominated for the Creative Writing award this year and asked to submit a post for judging.
Flattered, but also a bit taken aback.
I thought about whether I wanted to be considered for the award at all, as it does come with at least a bit of publicity and I do write an awful lot about my family here. The internet can be a strange place sometimes, and you have to think about that sort of thing when the issue of recognition comes up.
Eventually I decided that it would be okay, and I picked out several posts that I felt broadly represented the writing I do here. Picking just one felt kind of skimpy – I write about a lot of different things and it seemed appropriate to have a range of things to be judged upon. I sent back the list, and I figured that was that. They’d let me know how it all came out in due time.
Sure enough, I saw a steady flow of traffic from the performing arts folks’ web site after that.
And then it hit me – I wonder if I’m supposed to go to the award ceremony?
On the one hand, you do feel a certain obligation to go, since people have gone out of their way to say nice things about you and consider you for an award.
On the other hand, the whole thing is designed as a fund-raiser for the performing arts folks – they sell tickets, and there are raffles and assorted other things – and while I understand the importance of such events, the fact is that they have always given me hives. I never liked going to fund-raisers when I was running the museum and was the primary beneficiary of the fund-raising. It was always a trial going to them when Kim was Interim Dean down at Home Campus and I had to tag along as the First Mate. They’re full of well-intentioned people and all sorts of things that are supposed to be entertaining and fun and which, properly considered, no doubt are.
But these events are just not for me, and I’d much rather just stay home and read. There is a reason why, back in graduate school, we used to describe our fellow grad students as having “all of the social skills required to be a historian.” It’s a pretty limited set of skills when you get right down to it.
So I asked the person who had informed me of my nomination, and he replied that they were “encouraging all of the nominees to attend”. This made sense, given that a) it’s a fund-raiser and every ticket sold means more funds raised, and b) it’s always nice to have the nominees there, just on general principle. But his response also told me that my presence fell into the “desirable but optional” category – they’d be glad to have me, but the world would not end if it didn’t work out.
I tried long and hard to convince myself that I should go, that these people were bestowing an honor upon me and it would be good for me to be there for it, no matter who actually won. In the end, though, my sense of obligation was not enough to overcome the hives, and I sent what I hope was a polite note declining to attend.
So I don’t know if I won or not.
I suppose I could find out by the simple expedient of checking their Facebook page, and I will do that soon enough. But for right now it is enough to know that there are people out there who think this blog was worth recognizing in the first place, and were kind enough to let me know.
Thank you for that, performing arts folks.
I do appreciate it, even from afar.