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From the Editor's Desk
2005, Q4 (July 05, 2007)
By Meredith Blackwelder, Managing Editor, Carolina Communiqué

Poet E. E. Cummings is best known for experimenting radically with form, punctuation, spelling and syntax. Yet he sometimes wrote a perfectly conventional poem. This sonnet expresses his feelings about turning of the old year into the new:

The Passing of the Year
The world outside is dark; my fire burns low;
All’s quiet, save the ticking of the clock
And rustling of the ruddy coals, that flock
Together, hot and red, to gleam and glow.
The sad old year is near his overthrow,
And all the world is waiting for the shock
That frees the new year from his dungeon lock. ---
So the tensE. E.arth lies waiting in her snow.

Old year, I grieve that we should part so soon, ---
The coals burn dully in the wavering light;
All sounds of joy to me seem out of tune, ---
The dying embers creep from red to white,
They die. Clocks strike. Up leaps the great, glad moon!
Out peal the bells! Old year, - dear year, - good night!

I wish you a glowing new year.

I love Cummings’ poem because it reminds us of the sadness of leaving a year’s worth of work and deeds behind, while juxtiposing that sadness with the excitement of a fiery new year.

In both our personal lives and our careers, the fourth quarter is a time for reflection. We usually look back and assess where we’ve gone, the progress we’ve made, and improvements that we can make going forward. The end of the year also reminds us that many new opportunities lie ahead for us in the coming year. It’s a time to celebrate past achievements and plan for new ones.

In the spirit of Cummings’ poem, this issue of the Carolina Communiqué is is devoted to accomplishments of the past year and planning for the new year.
  • Anjela Dukes’ president’s message highlights the accomplishments from which we must “part so soon” and move on to new feats.
  • Michael Harvey’s article looks forward to polishing our all-important excellent writing and editing skills until they ring like “bells.”
  • Andrea Wenger’s article reminds us to leave behind myths we’ve heard and “leap up” to using better grammar.
  • Anjela’s article on John Balchunas’ heroic volunteerism starts the “sounds of joy” to celebrate what he’s done with the chapter salary survey.
  • Rebecca Postupack-Slifer makes us look forward to more great things in the “dear” new year because this year once again birthed new ideas and successes with local competitions.
  • Kathleen Mohar speaks to how the “dying embers” of the Carolina Chapter Management SIG have been reinvigorated and will continue to burn bright in the upcoming year.
  • Michelle Mebust highlights how “clocks strike” at NC State University, as they have added a new PhD program.
  • Bill Albing’s article addresses how quickly technology changes. I dare to say that he suggests it changes as quickly as the years change.
  • Jenna Moore’s article discusses the new RSS feed that “frees” you from Carolina chapter information deprivation.
  • Jay Gross’ article takes us away from the “dungeon lock” of yesteryear that our software programs put us in when using special characters in our documents.
  • Dear Viv provides “wavering light” and priceless advice on how to incorporate technical writing into the holiday festivities.

I’d like to wish all Carolina chapter members a great holiday season. May your subject matter experts be jolly, your pens have plenty of ink, and your thesauruses provide the perfect word. End of article.

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