At our April meeting, which we held cooperatively with our neighboring branch, Carlsbad/Oceanside/Vista, we succeeded in making it truly a “joint meeting.” Ginny and Marion asked members of both branches to distribute themselves throughout the room, intermingled at each table. Many mind-broadening conversations were the result.
After an entertaining program by Gary Zacharias, a professor at Palomar College, on humor in American literature, we spent the next hour sharing our respective branches’ ways of doing things. Donna Lilly, AAUW California College/University Liaison, finished the meeting with a spirited talk, highlighting next year’s AAUW convention to be held in San Diego.
COV is blessed in having 108 members, whereas we have about half that number. They have a member who’s good at getting grants, and they get enough grant money to send 13 girls to Tech Trek each year. We’re sending 9 this year, spending down a generous bequest we received many years ago. Some of the other COV projects we recall are On-the-Go (a program of organized outings, such as to the new San Diego Library and Liberty Station), Drama Divas, Elect Her, bridge, “Martha Stewart-less” potluck dinners, and a Dictionary Drive, in which they give away hundreds of dictionaries to needy students.
While all this sharing was going on, members were filling out a half-page form in which they were asked to share “a special AAUW moment.” Twenty-five forms were turned in. Answers focused in three areas:
Meaningful programming: Specific programs, speakers, tours, and AAUW initiatives stand out. Examples included learning about the moon launch (“that’s ancient history now”), a behind-the-scenes tour of LEGOLAND, wearing flapper costumes to help celebrate 100 years of women’s rights at the state convention, the pleasure of hearing the Vista High ShowCats, and delving into many aspects of our state’s history through the COV interest group, “Exploring California.”
Expanding horizons: Participating in AAUW has broadened members’ experiences and talents. Two individuals were pleased when asked to handle a specific AAUW responsibility. Ann Richardson, former Texas governor, speaking at a national conference, “motivated me to be more active in my community.” Attending another organization’s Diversity Day as an AAUW-branch representative gave another member entrée to become active in that organization as well.
Our members: More than 40% of the respondents talked about the nature of “this amazing group of women.” Several people mentioned that joining AAUW is an excellent way to meet people, get involved, and make friends. It was pointed out how we support each other through difficult times and how we remember, miss, and celebrate those who are gone.
Ginny Abushanab and Marion Reid