Search icon Looking for something?

The Prez Says: Nightwriter's Lament
1997, Mar-Apr (June 11, 2008)
Even though my visit to Dallas in December was short, I took in the local STC meeting. I was there for two days on business and had contacted the Lone Star Chapter president about possibly meeting with her. If you have ever traveled on business, there is nothing like joining with others with similar interests for an evening of fun, and it was fun to join in another chapter's activities, if only for a day.

After work that Thursday, I drove from the factory in Richardson to the centrally located Harvey Hotel in Addison to attend the meeting. As technical communicators, we have a lot in common with each other and I felt right at home. A group of 60 or so people filled a dining room. About twice as large as the Carolina Chapter, the Lone Star Chapter has members from as many different companies with as many different types of work.

The silliness of the gift exchange after supper was contrasted by the intense, yet warm, presentation by Judy Glick-Smith, a past chapter president and region director-sponsor. She spoke about balancing our physical, mental (emotional), and spiritual sides. She spoke about herself and about all of us and I enjoyed how she shared on a very personal level. Too often the workplace is depersonalizing, either because we use machines or because there is a push to get the work done at the cost of keeping a human orientation.

This was a refreshing and uplifting program. Judy wore her cowgirl outfit — hat, bandana, chaps, and all. It put us all at ease. She finished by singing cowgirl songs while playing guitar. I can picture us buckaroos driving our "doc"’’-ies down from the mountains to the valley of volumes for that last great roundup before the grill of a deadline. Yee-Ha!

Her suggestions were definitely practical, and her music was touching. I still find myself humming the song she sang so beautifully, Nightriders Lament. (doo doo doodle odle-dee...) Get along, little "doc"’’-ies. We can be more effective technical communicators when we stay healthy and give our minds a creative rest. And Judy is a shining example because she has her own documentation company, does workshops on motivational speaking, teaches at the local community college, and still finds time to be director-sponsor and do some very real horse herding. Judy, you inspire us all.

If you ever travel on business, be sure to check out the local STC chapter, because STC is active all over the country and in other countries as well. Thanks, Judy, for the wonderful program. Thanks, Ann (president) and Kelly (newsletter editor), for welcoming me and allowing me to enjoy the program. Our time afterwards comparing notes about our respective chapters showed me that we have similar challenges and opportunities. My only lament was that I had to leave Dallas so soon. End of article.

More articles like this...
Comments powered by Disqus.