I printed out the essay requirements from the instructions on the SR Exchange Club website and used them to create a "Feedback Form," similar to the ones I use for grading assignments in my University of Phoenix classes.
I emailed a copy to Donna Kerger, just as an example of a rating form I use in my classes, and she adopted it, point breakdowns and all, as the Exchange Club Essay Assessment form, which she sent to me and the other two judges.
The other evaluators were the presenters at the preparation session, Cheryl Cook-Callio and John Murphy. So I was in lofty company. I didn't want to mess up.
We were emailed five essays to evaluate. The entries were identified by number only. I didn't know who wrote them, which school they attended, their grade level, or gender.
After reading all five essays and filling out the Feedback Forms, the top two were very close, but one was clearly the best. I emailed Donna and the other judges my order of finish. I was pleased, and relieved, that the other two came up with the same order. So it was conclusive who was first, second, and third.
Karen Stepper wanted to announce the awards at the Exchange Club Luncheon on May 13th. I was leaving for Maine shortly after judging the essays, and would not be back until May 14th. Donna said it would be OK to miss the lunch because the actual checks would be handed out at the City Council Meeting on May 26th.
After I got back from Maine, Donna reminded me again that the Awards would be handed out this Tuesday. I said that gives me the opportunity to dress up, which I don't often have these days. So I put on one of my nicer dresses with a matching hat I bought at last year's Art and Wind Festival, and was ready to go, but I couldn't find my car keys.
I found two sets of Maverick keys but no Focus keys. I drove the Focus to Walgreens yesterday, but I couldn't remember where I left the keys. It was almost 7 pm and I had to leave to get to the meeting so I drove the Maverick.
It drove and handled like a dream, but other cars kept passing me. I was doing 40 mph, which is the speed limit on Alcosta, but they still passed my Maverick as if I was driving a Model T.
I got to the old City Hall, passing the new one under construction on Bollinger Canyon Road. That will be very nice once it is finally finished, but that's a subject for another blog.
I parked in the empty lot across the driveway (or street?) from the old City Hall. I didn't want to take a chance of my newly painted Maverick getting dinged.
I crossed over to the meeting, expecting the small seating area to be full. It was filled up but there were some empty seats. Donna was sitting in the back near the door where she usually sits. Ken Mintz, representing AT&T which funded the Awards, was sitting next to her. A gentleman sitting with them offered me his seat. I didn't recognize him, so I apologize if I should have. I have been very forgetful lately.
There were several presentations on the agenda ahead of the Essay Awards. Caroline Lee gave a presentation on the Teen Council, which was very impressive. Then Caroline was given a proclamation as outgoing teen member of the Parks and Community Service Commission, and then all outgoing members of the Teen Council were recognized for their service.
Then Karen Stepper and Donna Kerger went up to the Dais to announce the winners of the Exchange Club Essay competition. I went up and sat in a chair next to the Dais. I was introduced as one of the judges. I commented that the quality of the writing by the top three was very high.
Then Donna surprised me by giving me a Certificate from the Exchange Club for my contributions to the Essay Competition. Donna said they received nine entries, which she attributed to my posting the video of the Preparation Session on YouTube and my blogs on the competition. I was totally surprised.