New AOS student judge in Dallas region

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Good evening all,

At long last, after 40 years of growing orchids and multiple foiled plans to enter the program due to career demands, I was finally extended the privilege of joining the training program as a student with the Dallas Judging Center a couple of weeks ago.

Despite countless experiences clerking at shows and AOS judgings, I think the one thing that most excites me about this next step in my orchid journey is all the learning that is yet to come. It is not just about adjusting my perspective from that of grower and hybridizer to that of a judge- but also the required discipline in monthly homework assignments that will teach much from a more scientific perspective and give me a much broader depth of understanding than I already possess. It is at once strange and exciting to really come to terms with the fact that after 40 years of practical experience in a hobby, there is still so much more to learn with so many future moments for that same fascination and curiosity that we all feel when we buy our first plant.

I would also like to thank this forum for your part in my success on this path so far. For most of the past decade I have not been active with a local orchid society, and so the Corypetalum Chronicles posted here plus recommendations for my nomination from two active members of this forum were especially important in my application process.

And hopefully my first day of student judging was a good omen. It certainly started off with a most wonderful challenge- a beautiful Pleurothallid that required a lot of research to track down the current name, plus a rare cultural award nomination, and yours truly counting almost 100 tiny little blossoms and buds of a flower that opens so very little that the difference between bud and flower requires a magnifying glass.

It was a wonderful and special first day, and I look forward to many such days yet to come.

Best,

Tom.
 

Anca86

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Good evening all,

At long last, after 40 years of growing orchids and multiple foiled plans to enter the program due to career demands, I was finally extended the privilege of joining the training program as a student with the Dallas Judging Center a couple of weeks ago.

Despite countless experiences clerking at shows and AOS judgings, I think the one thing that most excites me about this next step in my orchid journey is all the learning that is yet to come. It is not just about adjusting my perspective from that of grower and hybridizer to that of a judge- but also the required discipline in monthly homework assignments that will teach much from a more scientific perspective and give me a much broader depth of understanding than I already possess. It is at once strange and exciting to really come to terms with the fact that after 40 years of practical experience in a hobby, there is still so much more to learn with so many future moments for that same fascination and curiosity that we all feel when we buy our first plant.

I would also like to thank this forum for your part in my success on this path so far. For most of the past decade I have not been active with a local orchid society, and so the Corypetalum Chronicles posted here plus recommendations for my nomination from two active members of this forum were especially important in my application process.

And hopefully my first day of student judging was a good omen. It certainly started off with a most wonderful challenge- a beautiful Pleurothallid that required a lot of research to track down the current name, plus a rare cultural award nomination, and yours truly counting almost 100 tiny little blossoms and buds of a flower that opens so very little that the difference between bud and flower requires a magnifying glass.

It was a wonderful and special first day, and I look forward to many such days yet to come.

Best,

Tom.
Good luck, Tom! Enjoy the journey!
 

MorandiWine

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Congrats on joining the program. I am also a student judge here at the California Sierra Nevada Judging Center. The knowledge that you will gain is incredible as well as building new relationships and communication skills. No doubt you will find some “interesting” things and quirks about some judges but just remember to keep your eye on the prize and eyes open. A couple of the judges are on this forum and I have to admit that the ones here have made the most impact on me. Not only professionally and personally with their knowledge but also their kindness and support.

Remember to time any trips to other areas so you can participate in other center’s sessions (make sure to check with that chair first). You will get a whole new perspective and likely NOT get stuck clerking LOL.

Tyler
 

Ray

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That's fantastic, Tom.

I was encouraged to join the program several years back, but the job had this way of interfering with life!
 

DrLeslieEe

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Welcome Tom to this amazing journey.

I started the AOS judging program 6 years ago and was elevated to full accreditation last month.

Like you, I have learned so much more than I would have imagined back then. Every show and monthly judgings add more to this knowledge, that will continue till you stop.

The training opens your eyes to things that we might not have thought about. And to see orchids through the eyes of the seasoned evaluators.

While we learn a lot there, part of the training is also to see other perspectives of other experts (like on here).

Enjoy the journey!
 

tomp

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Tom,
Congratulations and welcome. Your long history with Orchids and hybridization should serve you well in the judging program, but I have no doubt you will learn and enjoy even more. The fact that you are willing to undertake the program says a lot.
To me learning how to “judge”orchids was about learning how to “see”:
to see past the big beautiful Red flower
to see past the size and number of blooms, etc.
and to look for the influence of “ type and breeding “ in the background.
While you may already know a lot of this there is always so much more to learn.
As already mentioned having the opportunity to hear other judges perspectives, wether you agree with them or not, is always an education. If possible attending as many judgings as you can, in other regions, is often very informative.
again welcome.
Tom
 

Ray

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It’s a 6 year program. Monthly judgings and 12 shows a year, plus homework and annual presentations, culminating in a final probationary paper (which was my venustum article in the AOS Orchids magazine).
Hmmmm…. Time would be less of a burden than distance for me. The nearest judging center is near Charlotte, some 4 hours away. Next is Atlanta at double that.
 
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Thanks everyone for your kind words. It is awesome to see that so many people on this forum are in the program. I look forward to the journey- just gotta keep up with all the homework assignments!
 

tomp

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Thanks everyone for your kind words. It is awesome to see that so many people on this forum are in the program. I look forward to the journey- just gotta keep up with all the homework assignments!
Tom
the homework component seems to vary from center to center. Some do monthly assignments and others do shorter presentations at 6 month intervals.
 
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