The Library

I just started volunteering at my local library in July. Friends of the Glenview Public Library started a Used Book Store (UBS) to raise funds. Books are donated and volunteers staff the space in three hour shifts during all library working hours.

I thought this was the coolest thing I had ever heard. For a volunteer gig, I mean. I get to sit in the library for three hours, reading my own books and taking people’s money once in awhile. Sign me right up.

When I started my first class at BU, Principles of Marketing, I found the final project was to write a complete marketing plan. I chose UBS. Our director was unbelievably supportive and I learned a lot. The project only earned a B, but when I sent it over to the UBS director, she said, “I only have scanned this (will read it thoughtfully this weekend), but already I would give you 100+++ “. This, Ladies and Gentlemen, is why I volunteer.

I wonder if I only managed a “B” because I worried more about being realistic for UBS and less about the actual outline of the assignment? Whatever. I can’t wait to see if any of it can be of practical use.

The Refuge

I don’t even remember when I started volunteering at a Refuge for Saving the Wildlife, but it was several years ago. The Refuge is, among other things, a parrot rescue. I was looking for a volunteer opportunity anyway, and then I had adopted my father’s cockatoo, Hawk.
Yes. Hawk is a stupid name for a cockatoo. I was six years old when he moved in and our favorite TV show was Buck Rogers. Hawk was the name of the birdman.
Cockatoos need an awful lot of attention and my dad was the only person in the house that could handle him. I grew up with this creature and was always afraid of him. Over the years, he was neglected. When I took him on, as an adult, I decided that I had to get over it and make a better life for him. Volunteering at the Refuge taught me how to meet my own parrot’s needs. Eventually, even the cat could put up with him.
Hawk died almost three years ago. He had a heart ailment that I am convinced was aggravated by the poor seed diet we were taught was right for him. I’m sure it didn’t help that my father was a chain smoker.

I kept my weekly gig at the Refuge – it was good therapy. I mulled over adopting for months before I brought home Kiwi, the African Grey. I don’t know why anyone would name a grey parrot “Kiwi”, but when you adopt, you don’t really get to pick the name. Kiwi was five years old at the time.

Kiwi’s favorite playmate is the dog, Shadow. Her favorite pasttime is talking to him. Right this second, she is preening on her playstand and he is lying on the floor underneath, waiting for her to drop him a snack. What the heck do people do that don’t have pets?

Starting School

This past January, as the rest of the world was making New Year’s Resolutions, I considered my goals for 2008. It went something like this:

  1. Complete at least two, preferably four courses toward my degree
  2. Spend one night a week volunteering at the Refuge
  3. Spend at least one night a week volunteering at the Library
  4. Complete 50 Book Challenge
  5. Exercise regularly (blah, blah, blah)

While I am working full time. This is as full as my plate has been since I was an undergrad. Maybe ever. It would make sense to cut back on the volunteering. Am I going to do that? Absolutely not.

I am not married and have no intention of ever being married. I do not plan to have children. I still want to be a well-rounded person. I want to make a contribution to my community. My intent here is to record some of the tales of the Volunteer Sphere, and perhaps help to maintain some perspective as I try to balance each of my roles.