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Stuff that Really Matters

Mick Doherty
Dallas Convention & Visitors Bureau
Editor & Publisher, Kairos  
This column is a little bit personal; if you are bored by sentiment, or think it has no place in an academic publications, wander elsewhere from our Table of Contents. If you enjoy a voyeuristic peek into the backstage of a publication's life, read on, Macduff.

Last issue in this space I waxed philosophic about what it was that made this publication truly "kairic."

... true to the name "kairos," we have in fact been re-inventing ourselves every issue ... The changes -- the "kairic" part of this journal -- are inevitably people changes. This issue is no different, as for the third consecutive occasion of our publication, we have staff and board changes to announce.
That's true this issue, as well ... so make it four consecutive occasions for radical re-invention. James Inman, University of Michigan, steps in as News Editor. Jeff White, Ball State University, begins imagining the first days of "Archivist" for an electronic journal. Amelia DeLoach gracefully bows out as Associate Editor after 18 months of dedicated work. Two or three other changes are set to be announced at the C&W conference this week.

That's not what this column is about.

People move on to new jobs, new challenges, while staying with the journal. Lee Honeycutt is off to Iowa State from RPI; Nick Carbone leaves Marlboro College for the Colorado State University. (From here, I would say the academic stability of the field of Computers and Writing, on the basis of those two moves alone, just shifted west. ) Eric Crump wandered off from the University of Missouri to being Netrat in residence for NCTE; Steve Krause grabbed a job at Eastern Michigan University. Todd Taylor has already left Florida for Tobacco Road and the University of North Carolina.

Not all the moves were strictly academic in nature, as Sandye Thompson left Texas Woman's University for Baylor Medical Center's Publications department, and I myself preceded Honeycutt away from RPI, ending up at the Dallas Convention & Visitors Bureau. Jason Teague, the man whose graphic magic makes this journal work, left North Carolina for England, and returned recently for work with iXL in Atlanta. Jan Rune Holmevik did some continent-hopping of his own, leaving his home in Norway for a new one in Fort Worth, Texas.

And perhaps most important to the existence of this journal, Joseph Unger -- who never had a formal Kairos  affiliation, but without whom this whole deal never could have happened -- left Texas Tech for a job with GTE in Irving. Welcome to the Metroplex, Joseph ... but damn, the journal misses you already!

There are more of such moves on the way, and doubtless next issue there will be a fifth consecutive column like this one. That's only partly what this column is about.

The academic support network that grows in and around the journal's staff and board, and by very short extension all of its contributors, shares great excitement and congratulations each time one of us makes a career move like those listed above. But over the last year, there have been a stunning number of mucb more important life moves between, among, and for the Kairos family.

Where to start? Greg Siering brought a whole new theoretical slant to "Links Editor" in marrying ("linking"?) Carmen Davenport early in 1997; then Jan Holmevik and Cynthia Haynes, both of our editorial board, married each other in June in a traditional ceremony in Norway. Not to be outdone, two months later Sandye Thompson and I exchanged vows in Dallas. (Dallas in August. I know, duh. It was hot.)

One of my "groomsmen," by the way, was Becky Rickly of the Editorial Board, while fellow Boarders Dene Grigar and John Barber were readers; in the next month or so, it will be Barber's and Grigar's turn to tie the proverbial knot, as they announced their engagement in November.

The first gift we received arrived two months early from the home of Managing Editor Claudine Keenan, who couldn't travel with a newborn: Beth Ann Keenan joined us last summer and we greeted her as "Baby K" (though if you ask me if that stands for "Keenan" or "Kairos" I will not answer). Joel English and wife Katherine became proud parents to Caroline Creagh English in the last couple of months; Steve Krause and Annette Wannamaker welcomed William Steven Wannamaker Krause just before that. And Becky Rickly had her second little one this spring, practically giving birth online -- hubby and daddy Locke Carter announced the arrival of Ellis Newton Rickly Carter via e-mail within an hour of the event.

From the Editor's Chair where I've sat the last three years, the coolest thing about this journal (and we can't talk about the web without using the word "cool" -- it's not allowed) has been the interlinking of the people involved. I'm not going to suggest for a second, of course, that the journal had any effect at all in the life events mentioned here; I guess my point is, with the exception of Steve Krause and Becky Rickly, I didn't even really know any of these people before the advent of Kairos in the summer of 1995. Now they are far beyond colleagues; they are important friends.

That's what this column is about. Every issue, a sections editor or an author writes me a plaintive e-mail claiming family crisis will affect a deadline. Claudine will leave a staff MOO early because there are tiny Keenans underfoot, or Greg logs off because the girls need to use the phone.

That's what's "kairic" about this publication -- every day, we re-invent ourselves based on our present circumstances, and the radical occasions are usually cause for celebration. New jobs, new marriages, new kids ... we publish pretty good webtext in this journal. That's almost important.

Mick Doherty is the founding editor and publisher of Kairos. He is the Internet Editor for the Dallas Convention & Visitors Bureau, and working toward completing a PhD in Rhetoric & Electronic Publication at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute.