Exciting Times! Or, Random Reflections by Jim Davis

March 28, 2015 12:33 AM | Anonymous

We are laying the groundwork to make us a better and stronger community. Upcoming changes will redefine this group.   Being new to the Chicago ISPI Board, I thought I could write something about my experiences so far as a director on the board. 

I was happy to join, but I wasn’t sure what a board did except sit around and make very important decisions about very important issues.  So I Googled “board” and found the definition, for our purposes, to be “an organized group of administrators assembled to function as a governing body”.  Good enough?  Of course not.  I didn’t stop there. 

I quickly realized that “board” likely has more definitions than any other word in the English language.  There were the normal definitions, such as ”board” (a flat piece of lumber), being “on board” (in agreement), “room and board” (food and lodging), etc.  But there were others I hadn’t heard of such as a leeboard, which is a lifting foil located on the leeward side of a ship.  In Australia, a board is the part of the floor of a sheep- shearing shed where the shearers work.  In the early days of English theater, “treading the boards” referred to a stage career.   A plank is thicker than a board but not necessarily wider.  Who knew?

Some definitions were confusing.  In transportation terms, board means both “an invited embarkation on a vessel, train, aircraft or other vehicle” and “to attack by forcing one’s way”.  I guess the second definition explains most passenger behavior at O’Hare.

Some boards are luckier than others.  You can board a ship for a cruise vacation.  After years of hard work you can successfully pass the medical boards and become a MD.  Other boards are not so lucky.  Snowboards and surfboards are stepped on and ridden, hockey players are violently shoved into the boards (go Hawks!), thumbtacks are jabbed into bulletin boards, and dartboards….well…...need I say more?

I now believe that as our language was being developed and people couldn’t think of a word to call something, they just chose to name it a board. 

So what was the point of all of this?  I really didn’t have one.  But I do look forward to working with all of you during this wonderful transition!


Jim Davis, Director, Chicago ISPI

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