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I honestly don’t know what to say

February 12, 2014 - Pam Rodgers

This past weekend, I learned that I was received third place in the Iowa Newspaper Association’s Best Blog by a Newspaper.

Wow, I really had no idea I would win an award for this blog. Maybe I have Olympic fever, but I feel like the underdog of an event who found a way to get onto the podium for my country. I don’t get to hear my national anthem but I’m glad the bronze medal is around my neck.

I guess that metaphor wasn’t as stretched as I thought it would be. It's not perfect, but it’s all I got.

I was trying to come up with a good one because a thank you blog filled with nothing but sincerity just didn’t seem correct way for me to go. Don’t get me wrong. I’m a thrilled that the INA selected me. But the judges comments said that reading my blog “made me feel a bit like the writer was a close friend.” And I know that when I told my friends, I made a few sarcastic remarks at some point. I don’t want to offend anyone because I am thankful that I placed in a state competition. Therefore, I reserved the final part of this blog for sincerity, so if that’s what you are looking for, just skip to the final three paragraphs.

In an effort to fully embrace the judges comments, I thought I would show a mock conversation with my best friend and twin sister, Trish. I often discuss topics for my blog with her, and I always send them to her to read, even before I post them. I was trying to come up with a metaphor to use in this blog. While I didn’t run this particular topic by her, here is an approximation of how that conversation would go. Just a heads up, we talk every day and I’m pretty sure most of what we say to each other isn’t meaningful. You have been warned.

I’ll start. “The Olympic metaphor seems like a good one. Although a few others came to mind. All I could think about at first was the Oscars.”

“Yeah. I can see how you got there. There are a ton of award shows for film, television and music. But the first one I always think of is the Oscars, too.”

“Somehow right after I listened to the voicemail, my brain put me on stage at the Academy Awards, completely speechless like so many recipients in Oscar history. Of course I didn’t win, so eventually logic kicked in and I realized this metaphor probably doesn’t apply to me. I have yet to see rankings following the Oscars. Ooo, is there a suggestion box for that somewhere?”

“Probably not.”

“But then the metaphor could work. We could make it like a track meet where the teams are the movies and the winning film is based on a point system. You can give eight points to the winners and four points to fifth place actor/writer/song or whatever the award is. After all of the individual awards, the points are tallied and the movie with the most points wins Best Picture.”

“Yeah and then you can have a podium for the top three and the Oscar would go to the winner then second and third would get some sort of altered version or one of those certificate of participation that our country loves. But how would you handle the acceptance speeches?”

“The speeches would be cutout entirely leaving the thanking to be done in interviews, just like in sports. Then you wouldn’t forget anyone while you were on stage. Or trip Jennifer Lawrence did.”

“This idea is crazy.”

“I know but think about all the time you save. You could broadcast the Oscars in far less time. You could still have musical filler and film clips, but the awards would be streamlined. You could broadcast in like two hours or less.”

“How did we get on this subject again?”

“I got an award, remember?”

OK, even though this wasn't an actual conversation, I’m pretty sure Trish wouldn’t contradict the thought process. We have developed our own special twin language in 27 years. Our minds move in sync and then we both forget what we talked about 30 minutes later. Plus, I sent this to Trish, and she gave the conversation her stamp of approval.

I think this has gone far enough. It’s time to swing back to my award.

When I first got the news, I didn’t want to tell the people because I was afraid it was some sort of mix-up. I didn’t even know I was nominated so the surprise was genuine. I feel like I need to put more effort into the blog now. OK, that sounds bad. I really do put thought into ... most of my blogs (some weeks are just too busy and I’m sorry). For example, I put a lot of thought in this blog, although by this point it may be a bad example. It’s like the Oscars, it’s running long (see what I did there).

I think I need to get on with that sincerity I promised earlier.

Alright, I know I have spent this blog making light of the situation. But I do want to conclude by thanking the INA for this recognition. It was truly unexpected. I don’t talk about hard hitting issues, that’s why I called this blog “Plain and Simple.” (I could have come up with a more flattering title, too late now.) I hope if you read my blog, it makes you smile a little. I know I’m no comedian, but I hope my sense of humor comes through in my words.

Because my family makes up the majority of my readership, I’d like to acknowledge them. Thanks to my sister for reading this every week. Thank you to my parents for eventually finding time to read my blogs, even if it’s two months worth all at once. A big thank you to my brother for telling me the quality of my blog has gotten a lot better this year. I love you too brother. ;)

Finally, I want to take a moment to congratulate my coworker, Mike Donahey for getting second place in the same category. It is well deserved. Our paper received many awards from the INA this year. It is nice to work at a place and be recognized for the job you do. Congrats to all of my coworkers! Follow the link here to read more about it.



I am looking for:

Blog Photos

A snapshot of the INA program. We'll get 'em next year Mike. Have faith!