Things I have learned in the last year:
-You can walk into a windowless hotel room with fourteen acquaintances and walk out two days later with fourteen lifelong friends.
-The only people who truly understand what you went through are the ones who were in that room with you.
-Forever (which is the length of time that you will be keeping your mouth closed about what happened during the deliberations) is a really long time.
-Getting to be on a phone call where you hear someone's life change is an incredible experience.
-It is challenging to go from one of the most intense experiences of your life and a crazy press conference full of celebration to driving a carpool the next day.
-Reading a New York Times article announcing the winner is enough to make you cry because you were in the room where it happened.
-You can't say if you voted for the winning book, but every single person will ask you if did.
-If anyone finds out you were on the 2015 Caldecott committee, they will inevitably ask to see your tattoo (which you didn't get).
-The generosity, graciousness and appreciation of the winners will overwhelm and humble you.
-Fifteen minutes during lunch is not enough time to tell a group of fifth graders about the experience of being on the committee.
-Having the ability to give away hundreds of books to a school that needs them is a wonderful feeling.
-The first Midwinter after you've been on the committee is hard. You know everything the committee is doing, and what time they are doing it, but you're not doing it too.
-If there are people left in the world who don't know you were on the Caldecott committee, your friends will make sure they find out.
-Being able to simply read and appreciate a beautiful picture book and not have to read it over and over and analyze it and tie yourself into knots writing a nomination for it is a nice thing.
-As overwhelming as it is to see your porch covered in boxes of submissions, you miss them when they stop coming.
-Reading the winning books to your own children is one of the most special feelings in the world.
-There is nothing like the thrill of seeing a Caldecott Medal on the cover of a book, and knowing exactly how it got there. It never gets old.
-Figuring out how to be vague in a blog post like this one is hard work.
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