[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index]
Robert Ellerman's comments was: misconceptions...
Robert and all,
That was one to think about, especially as it came in with the same
batch as David's and Ryan's comments. I'm probably a borderline core
guy, in that I participate in JAKA, am in a species maintenance group or
two, and have been a member since the early nineties. I'm 42 but am
still generally under 30 when I daydream.
I've always worked with group dynamics, outside of fishkeeping. What's
up in the AKA in this debate is not isolated. I'll offer some fishy
examples. Our local aquarium club was founded in 1933. When I became
actively involved, there were a few young people and a core of older
members. I've watched the energy go out of the club to a degree. Members
are no longer breeding and distributing fish, but rather consuming
speaker's programs, something we barely had even 10 years ago.
I was also involved in the failed Canadian Killifish Association (with
all respect for the efforts of the great people on its executive).
Geography in a big country, and the fact that Mr Klee's strategy of
spreading out the organization of the AKA didn't happen up here made the
group very much of a Toronto regional group. Having a national
association in a huge country is not easy. These days, even "national"
political parties are breaking down by region.
So let's appreciate what the AKA is. It needs tending, but it is a
pan-continental group with a dynamic executive and a lot of goodwill.
For a group without a fulltime bureaucracy, we're doing okay. And we're
driving a lot of new members nuts.
It took me 2-3 years to understand what I got from the AKA. I'm in
Canada, so the F&E was hard to use. The newsletter was dull (the
chairman's mug shots have always been scary, year after year), the JAKA
excellent but technical at times, I wasn't in a local killie club and I
couldn't afford conventions. I hung in because it seemed the right thing
to do. Then, as the cliche goes, I began to give a little and suddenly
got a lot. The AKA just attempts to let us get together. Period. We have
to make the effort. I've attended one convention (and am hoping for a
second this year), gotten into this list, attend UNYKA meetings once a
year when they come up within car driving range and maybe met 15-20 of
the core secret society type gang. I'm still sitting across a border
from most members. But I'm enjoying my membership.
I figure the in-crowd is not in. In many cases, they don't know each
other. There are pockets scattered all over North America - Wright's
left coast crowd, the Florida crowd, Chicago, etc. Then there's the
internet bunch, beating at the doors they think exist. I really believe
there are no doors, walls etc. This organization can really drive you
crazy if you want to confront something, because it's so fluid. The
decentralized structure of the AKA looks organized when you first get
in, but it's a small stretched out association really, and is entirely
dependent on what energy members can pour into it. A lot of what bugs
new members is the sense that you ask and get no answers. Not all the
members are on this list, and not all on this list are members. People
are working hard on projects like maintenance, and get touchy when a new
member gets all excited and think they're going too slow, or even
reproposes the invention of the wheel.
I think we have to relax, take time and chug along in good faith. We
don't need another flame war here, just to think about what everyone is
saying. I may sound like Mr Rogers (my kids think he's scary) but if
you've gotten this far without deleting, I'm done.
See http://www.aka.org/AKA/subkillietalk.html to unsubscribe