Grant Reading and Jury Duty


Last Thursday morning I read and scored education grant proposals.  There’s a foundation in the county that raises an impressive amount of money to fund assorted projects designed by teachers.   I received some wonderful grants while I was teaching in North Port….big ones and small ones.  They’ve asked me to be on the grant reading committee for the past few years.It was never at a good time.  There readers are from lots of different pools…AAUW, retired teachers, big money people, etc.  I’m glad I was available this year.  It was time I gave back.

It was an interesting experience.  Each grant is read and scored by at least three different people.  Good thing because everyone has different ideas about where the money should go.  Some grants had such great ideas and were so poorly written, it killed me.  According to the rubric, I had to give them really low marks.  But I really wanted them funded.  Then there were others that got nearly perfect scores but left me cold.  I  didn’t recommend funding them.  Going to be interesting to see which ones get funded.  I doubt if the ones with low scores are going to make it.  Wish I knew who they were.  I’d offer to help them write a new grant.  I’m thinking I should do some volunteer work next year …maybe at Cranberry…go in and help people write grants.  Cranberry, actually, doesn’t need much help.  Lots of teachers there get their grants funded every year.

Today I had jury duty.  When Jerry went last month, he was stuck in the courthouse in Sarasota until almost 6:00.  I lucked out, big time.  I went to he Venice courthouse around the corner and was dismissed at 10:30 AM.  Everyone there had the same reaction.  We all were prepared to stay for the day…armed with iPads, laptops, magazines and books.  When they told us we were free to go, all 300 of us didn’t even move for a minute.  I think we were just stunned.  I  had told friends I couldn’t meet them for lunch.  We were getting together because one of  our group was having surgery tomorrow.  I texted them and said I’d be there for lunch.  Nice to be able to give Jerri a hug and wish her good luck.

We had company for a few days.   Jerry and Tom have been friends since kindergarten.  Back in the “olden days”, a lot of Catholic Schools were K-12.  Jerry’s gang went through school together and STILL get together every year at Thanksgiving.  We didn’t do anything terribly exciting.  We went to Siesta Key and Sharky’s.  Marilyn and I went to yoga.  I made an egg thing from a recipe that my sister, Eileen, gave me.  I messed it up big time and it STILL came out great.  Now that’s what I call a great recipe.  Good visit…lots of fun.  Can’t even imagine being friends with someone for 65 years.  But then, there’s the group from Mont Marie…we’ve been friends for almost fifty years.  How can that be?  I’m only around fifty…at least I thought I was.  Maybe we were friends in our playpens.

Books:  Mr. Owita’s Guide to Gardening (thanks for the recommendation, Kathy) ….lovely book. It was my “jury duty book” and I finished it in the pool this afternoon.   History of the Rain (thanks, Martha and Deirdre)  This was stunning.  What an incredibly beautiful book. Made laugh right out loud.  Made me cry.  This guy (Nial Willimas )can write.  I finished it and wanted to reread it right away.  The last book I felt that way about was The Book Thief.  And The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry...oh, I just loved this one. (Thanks, Anne)  I had heard it was good.  Then someone told me it was boring.  Then my sister, Anne, told me it was wonderful.  Moral of the story…pay attention to your sister.



12 thoughts on “Grant Reading and Jury Duty

  1. I think I told you about the Harold Frye book too. I loved it as well!


  2. Moriarty Geraldine

    thanks fo r the book recommendations!!

    Miss you!!


  3. Loving the every day living blog posts….It’s just marvelous!
    Not sure if you’ve read The Light Between Two Oceans…..powerful metaphors – our book club loved it 🙂

  4. Wendie Highsmith

    Mary-Love your book list. I am a slow reader ..I plow through. Every now and then, something grabs me and I read it sort of non-stop. What sort of surgery is Jerri having? I presume you mean beach yoga Jerri. Give her my very best, and to Susie, and Trevina, as well. On we go! Wendie


  5. I want your recipe! Always need good vegetarian recipes for this family.

  6. You always find a way to give back. One new development in my retirement is having a chance to read more for leisure. I am always looking for suggestions and trust any recommendation made by you. Thanks!

  7. I’m writing down those books, good buddy.


    Hi! Thanks for the book suggestions!!!!!!!!!! Will be talking with you soon, and seeing you soon!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Love, Marie

  9. Deirdre Christman

    The grant reading sounds really interesting. I always get something about it because of mentoring, but I’m never around at the right time. Now I have something else to look for ward to when I finally move to Florida full time. Given how much fun we’re having now that the girls have moved to Connecticut, that may not be for a while.

    Finished The Children Act and suggest you cancel your hold at the library. Flimsy premise and a main character I detested. I downloaded Five Days at Memorial from Alachua, using your card, thank you very much, and am just starting it. Interesting, but I wish I had fiction to go along with it. People often say a book “reads just like fiction,” but I can tell the difference right away. The author has far fewer choices in how s/he tells the story. I do like memoir, though.

    Can’t wait to see you!

  10. Thanks Mary for putting your book choices out on your blog..I just reserved all! I need to reciprocate in some way with some of my own..just haven’t read any that I have been moved by for quite a while. Wishing you all good things and sending a big thank you to you for the birthday wishes. :>)

  11. Sounds like you have re-nestled into retirement quite well, Mary!

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