Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Goals and Objectives

When I worked at the university I had to submit my goals and objectives to my supervisor every year. My supervisor and I would sit down and look over the previous year's list, and my employee performance evaluation was based on meeting those goals. I was always a good employee, I met my goals or I had a good (and honest) excuse for not meeting them. Budget and funding were always an issue and a formidable problem that kept what was actually achievable well below my aspirations. It's what happens in publicly funded schools. Sure, I would have liked having all the computers in the Press Center running the same software, even the same vintage operating system. I would have liked upgrading our printers and servers, but that was just not possible within our budget. We were scrupulously honest. We never used bootlegged software, although it was incredibly tempting. We kept to our license agreements, and that was that. I just knew where and how to find ways to transform what little budget we had and turn it into gold.

Now that Roger and I are retired, we don't have supervisors asking us what we see ourselves accomplishing for the year; and yet we unconsciously make lists anyway. It's not like new year's resolutions, which seem merely to be promises to stop bad behaviors. Goals and objectives seem altogether different. One day we start a list of seeds to buy for this spring's planting; we plan the layout of the garden; we make sure the water tank is full and the soaker hoses are working; we shovel the piles of manure into the garden beds; we start cleaning up the yard for spring. We know that we want to grow more tomatoes, basil, butternut and acorn squash. Things we can freeze or store over winter. We want to grow enough veggies to cover us through to our next harvest. Is this an achievable goal? We think yes.
Then there are the other goals, the ones that are a flirtation with happenstance. I want to photograph a pair of eagles in their aerial mating ritual. It may or may not happen, and it's really out of my hands, but I know where to start looking. It's on the list because some part of me thinks it's possible. Is this an achievable goal? Maybe, but requires being in the right place at the right time.

Our biggest goals are the ones that require a lot of help from our fellow citizens. We would like to see Bush and Cheney impeached. When we read the lies and litany of deceptions these two have wrought upon our nation we are absolutely fired up to fire them. If reading about what this administration has done to deny and obfuscate the studies on global climate change doesn't make you want to see their heads on a pike, then you don't breathe the same air or drink the same water as we do. Is this an achievable goal? Maybe, but requires support from everyone.

Okay, we've posted our goals and objectives. I hope you will review our work next year and evaluate our performance. Until then, what do you think, can we do it?

PS-- We've stopped captioning our photos because in new Blogger it throws off the spacing in all the text that follows. The above two photos were taken on Tuesday. In the first photo, Roger is rototilling the horse manure into the garden beds. In the second photo, it's the eagle pair I'm hoping to photograph in an amorous moment.

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