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Letter to the Editor, Peer Workshops
1996, Nov-Dec (July 02, 2007)
September 4, 1996

Dear Michelle,

I want you to know what a valuable experience it was to take the HTML Workshop taught by Michael Uhl these past four weeks. It was, in fact, amazing. I can't begin to tell you, Bill Albing, and other key people in our chapter how important it was to me and to my career to take that workshop.

First of all, Michael was fabulous. He has so many skills and so much knowledge, which he generously shared with us. I really learned. Within a week, I'd actually produced my first HTML document — my resume — and two weeks later, thanks to Mike's help in the follow up session, I cleaned it up and got it ready to go online. Lee Bumgarner did a great job of telling us how to submit the resumes, and he put them online quickly.

Apart from the obvious advantage of having my skill set "out there" for prospective employers to see, I gained the incredible benefit of getting a start in HTML: a skill that is very important to me. Ever since I became an online Help enthusiast, I've been very eager to learn HTML; and I certainly intend to be included among the technical writers who have jobs authoring the Web. Mike's workshop helped me turn that intention into a reality.

I have only one thing to say about these peer workshops: more, more, and still more, please. I would very much appreciate it if our chapter would hold as many of these workshops as humanly possible.

STC is a fantastic place to exchange information. The monthly meetings are instructive and informative. The conference I attended this summer was a tremendous help to me, as well. But, after taking the HTML workshop, it is clear to me that nothing we do could ever be as valuable as holding these workshops for one another. They provide a depth of knowledge, skill, and understanding that the other forums can't provide, due to time constraints.

I'll be willing to teach one, if that will help. Having been a freelancer for so long, I'm still playing "catch up" in many areas; but I'd be happy to teach something like "How to sell your services to your contract employer."

Having milled around a bit at meetings and other gatherings, one thing is blatantly obvious: each one of us has at least one very special skill to share with the rest of the group. Workshops that impart these skills are the best way to spread them around and help each other. In fact, I doubt that any other kind of training could ever compare to peer workshops. Let's pull out the stops and have a lot of them!


Ceil Shuman
Member, Carolina Chapter STC End of article.

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