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Heather

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For those of you who decided to go through the process of becoming a judge, I'd like to hear your positive and negative experiences.

For those of you to whom the idea may have been suggested (Jon in SW Ohio I am sure you are one of them) I'd like to hear why you haven't taken the plunge.

Thank you. :)
 

Jon in SW Ohio

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I've never wanted to be famous, but always wanted to be friends with famous people...same goes for judging. I still enjoy sitting in on judgings, and our local judges are very nice people who I very much enjoy spending time with.

First, our judgings are held on Sunday mornings...I don't do mornings and Sunday tends to be a day of healing...especially lately!

Second, I love growing orchids and being around orchids...adding a workload to that is like making something I love into work, and that is a turnoff for me.

Probably the biggest deterrant of mine is being a student judge. It requires public speaking and I don't even like talking in front of my own society unless it's from the peanut gallery. It also requires a good bit of travel, and I'm not in a position to be available to do that travel.

In short, I'm too lazy and shy :rollhappy:

Jon
 

littlefrog

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Positive - You get to see a lot of orchids, and you learn something new (or many somethings new) at each show or judging you go to. I've found that (at least in my center and the surrounding ones), almost all of the judges are great people, friendly, and they would sell a kidney to help you out. Orchid societies are great hosts and it is fun to hang out with new people at shows and eat and talk.

Negatives - You get to see a lot of orchids, and you end up buying more... You tend to bring your better stuff for judging, and get awards, which costs more. But seriously, it is a major time and money commitment. You are expected to go to every monthly judging in your center (barring a really good excuse) and several shows in your region. In our center, the absolute minimum is four shows, but that would get you laughed at. Most judges do at least 8 shows a year. It costs money for gas and lodging (some of that can be used as a tax deduction, but that only helps a little). You will be expected to do some homework, which (in our center at least) isn't awful, but it can add to your time commitment. And there are a few blowhards and idiot judges (usually older ones) who can be a 'treat' to work with. Few and far between, but you should work on a tough skin anyway.

You will be a student for a minimum of 3 years before your votes even count... Then probationary for a minimum of two (I think two?) more years before you are a 'real judge'. It really is substantially like graduate school. So, it is a commitment. But, you can stop at any time, if you decide you don't like it.
 

slippertalker

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I pretty much agree with Rob......

The enjoyable part of being a judge is being able to see a LOT of plants of various quality, getting to know a very diverse selection of orchid people, and constantly learning about orchids. If you like having your mind constantly stimulated by a thirst for knowledge of orchids, it makes this a very satisfying endeavor.

The negative part is the time commitment. You need to attend monthly judging and several shows. Some of the shows entail driving for several hours one way, then turning around and coming home the same day if you have then endurance to do that. Sometimes, there will be politics (keep your head low) and personality conflicts with certain judges. Don't worry about that too much as it's usually the same conflict most of the other judges have also!

The primary factor here is whether your family will be on board with the time factor. This needs to be discussed fully if you are married, and your spouse has to be supportive.

Typically it takes 3 years as a student judge to become probationary, and you aren't official until it is approved at the trustees meetings, so it's more like 3 1/2 years. Assuming all goes well, after another 3 (1/2) years you are fully accredited. The training process for students is quite intensive in our region, with regular homework, species tests and the training seminars that all judges have to attend. (12 hours a year). Probationary judges have to give presentations of high quality before becoming fully accredited.

It's a bit intimidating as a student, but you find your place quickly, and realize after a while that you know as much or more than many judges in your areas of preference.
 

Marco

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I don't know anything about judging but it looks like a very serious commitment and very time consuming. I agree with slipperttalker on the point that the primary factor should be your loved ones being supporting and ok with it. Plants don't give hugs. And if you try to share a pillow with them you might kill em.

If you can't make up your mind. I say flip a coin and never look back. :D
 

Wendy

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I have been asked and while it sounds wonderful, right now it just wouldn't be feasable for me. It would require more commitment than i could give not to mention the cash outlay. Maybe in a few years I will reconsider but right now i am content to go to the odd judging as a spectator and help out at shows by being a ribbon judge.
 

NYEric

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Hi. Some of the people in GNYOS suggested that I try the judging program. I dont even have time to go to Society meetings anymore. [Honestly I'm playing as much paintball as I can until my old body gives out.] :rollhappy: It is like having another job, if you're going into orchids for a living then it's essential. Otherwise do it as time allows. Bon chance.
 
M

Mark

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Sweetie, here's a judging program I think we'd like better.

KCBS

:drool: :drool: :drool: :drool: :drool:
 

Heather

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Mark said:
Sweetie, here's a judging program I think we'd like better.

KCBS

:drool: :drool: :drool: :drool: :drool:
hehe...okay, twist my arm a little....

Seriously, thanks for all the replies. I think right now I am going to wait on it. Too much going on in my personal life to commit to that. Something to continue to think about though.

On a related note, I was asked to be a Trustee on the board of my Society so that might be more my speed at this point. Haven't fully committed to that one yet either, but I think I will probably accept.
 

NYEric

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MMMM..Bar-B-QUE! My addiction is to chicken wings, next year I'm determined to go to the wing fest in Buffalo. :rollhappy:
Marco, if you're in NYC we should hook up for the GNYOS show next year so you can get some insight into the judging process. It's not that hard to see how it's done.
 

Marco

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Eric - Yeah I definately sounds like a plan I'm definately going to the show this year. I'm going to be meeting up with another Eric (eorchids) and a few other people hopefully. To go to the show with. I remember last year it was a mad house especially the last couple of hours. People were just grabbing things to get the last minute deals.

as for BBQ i love dallas BBQ....mmmm soo good.
 

NYEric

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Yeah, but Dallas doesn't cook their wings enough. I clerk and spot at the show so I get the hook-up on good plants from the vendors, usually before they are allowed to sell to the public. It's very busy working the show but I get to hear and add input to the judging and also see the winners on the way to the photographer. So being there the first day is mandatory and also the last day to to finagle and get the last minute discounts. WEE!!:rollhappy:
 

Marco

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NYEric said:
Yeah, but Dallas doesn't cook their wings enough. I clerk and spot at the show so I get the hook-up on good plants from the vendors, usually before they are allowed to sell to the public.
Thats kinda why I wanna volunteer, plus dibs on photos without people all over the background and shovin you all over the place. But I don't know if I can oh we'll see.

Pluck u has good wings. I saw a guy gag on an atomic.

Heather - sorry for the hi-jack :D
 

Heather

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Marco said:
Heather - sorry for the hi-jack :D
No problem, Marco. I don't think I'd survive w/out my weekly fix...
Personally, I think the set up and judging days are the most interesting at shows now. Though if I can, I like to be around on the weekend (open) days to answer the public's questions about growing orchids. That's kinda rewarding too. :)
 

NYEric

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All Societies [sic?] need volunteers who can answer the general publics' questions during busy shows. If my schedule allows I come during the weekends also. Marco, I've never been to Pluck U and I live in NYU territory. After the Turkeyday fat goes away I will have to try some.
 

Rick

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I've considered judging too, and have my arm twisted a little by the Atlanta Center.

But given the time/travel commitments I will need to wait till I get closer to retirement.
 
B

Bolero

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Positive - Yes you get to see a lot more orchids. You also seem to get access to better orchids for purchasing as you meet the people that have them. That doesn't mean you won't if you're not a judge but I think you get more contacts and access to more high quality plant divisions than you otherwise would. You get to understand what quality flowering really is and there's a great social aspect to it as well. So if you don't normally get out of the house it's a great opportunity.

Negative - Well there are some judges as previously stated who can be difficult to work with but I get a kick out them. They are usually the ones that are inconsistent with their comments and you can learn a lot from that. The main negative I find is that once you learn what consistutes a good flower you then realise how many bad ones you have in your own collection and it then affects how you see your plants. Then you need to get better than you have......and of course that costs more money.

It does take 5 years to become a real judge but I am not sure that's a bad thing....in fact I might even need longer to get there due to my inexperience in growing before I started as a student judge. But we'll see in two years I guess.......lol.

Honestly, if you have the time and the passion for the plants and the whole judging process then you will have a great time. God knows we need more here........
 
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