As a kid, all I ever wanted to be was CALL President.
“Mom, Dad–I need the new edition of The Bluebook.”
“No, I most certainly cannot come out to play. I have to practice Shepardizing. Lose this address.”
“You know what, Grandma–you keep this birthday money. It won’t do me any good to get used to having it.”
Then you grow up, see your dreams realized, and find out that it’s never how you thought it would be. Case in point, here are a few things they don’t teach you in CALL President School:
- How to maintain a sense of organizational connection in the end days (…???) of a global pandemic
- How to throw a 75th Birthday Party that does this organization justice
- How to spread out my questions among all of my past CALL President friends so that it’s less obvious that I have no idea what I’m doing…
And yet, here I am. And for the next year I pledge to do my honest best to fake it with an eye towards eventually making it.
In a theme continued from my recent predecessors, the current elephant in the room is that, well, we don’t know if it is or will ever be safe to have elephants in rooms. All I can say at this point is that the safety of our members is our top priority. And while we would all love to see our colleagues in person and act like things are “normal” again, they aren’t. Not yet at least. To the extent that it’s possible, however, we will do what we can to foster the familiar sense of camaraderie that CALL is famous for.
With so much uncertainty still controlling our daily lives, it is difficult to know exactly what the future will hold, but our goal (hope?) is that we will all gather for an in-person Business Meeting at some point in the 2022-2023 CALL year. When that will be and what it will look like will be a work in progress, but you should all know that the CALL Executive Board is motivated to make it happen. We also plan to offer a number of opportunities for social interaction in the form of happy hour events and other optional activities that will hopefully scratch the social itch of our members.
I am happy to report that one important objective that refuses to be curtailed by any pandemic is CALL’s ongoing commitment to fostering diversity and inclusion in our organization. In furtherance of that objective, last year’s CALL Executive Board voted to create the Diversity & Inclusion Committee–a standing committee with a charge of:
- Identifying issues related to maximizing the diversity of CALL membership
- Recognizing and celebrating the richness of an active, diverse membership
- Advising the Board on mechanisms and programs that encourage a diverse and complex membership
- Encouraging active participation by the whole membership including identifying barriers and how to remove them
In a time of so much negativity in the news and the world around us, I am proud to be part of an organization that is dedicating resources to promoting these important ideals. In the year ahead, we will continue to strive to foster diversity and inclusivity in all of our undertakings.
In closing, I just want to say that I am as excited as I hope all of you are to see what the next year brings–for CALL and for each of us individually. I hope that CALL can continue to play a positive role in each of our professional and interpersonal lives. CALL is nothing without its members, so thank you all for your continued support and dedication to this organization. I hope to see many of you soon!