Jenny Baker
/ Categories: TIP, 571

Editor’s Column: From the Ashes

./Steven Toaddy

Isn’t the myth of the phoenix interesting? A magnificent bird burning (spontaneously?) to ash only to be magically reborn, juvenile and uncertain and vulnerable but enthusiastic, from that ash. Like so many traditions, it can be twisted and shoehorned to fit our megalomaniacal metaphorical needs, sure, but that core concept is beautiful, no?

Let’s twist and shoehorn away. Tara (our previous TIP editor) is still around—in fact, she’s now the External-Relations Portfolio officer for SIOP—so the burning-to-ash part is missing. But the core of the myth of the phoenix seems to be about continuity, endings, and beginnings; Tara’s time as TIP editor is ended; mine is begun; TIP continues. Tara was the magnificent version of the phoenix; I’m the blinking, confused, vulnerable one.

But the thing that is missing from the metaphor, as it pertains to this situation, is the many-component support crew that keeps this whole thing running regardless of the editor’s involvement, who evidently prevent the ash pile from being swept away by a strong wind before the juvenile phoenix can be, what, hatched? My gratitude goes out to the personnel in the Administrative Office who put this issue together, Tara and her predecessors who gave me everything that I needed to succeed in this role, and the authors who take the time to pull together the content—all of the content—that makes TIP a valuable resource to the membership of SIOP and beyond. You folks show us how to be supporters of our discipline, and you don’t get enough recognition for it.

Like Tara’s were before me, my days are numbered in this cycle. Someone else will emerge from the ashes in 3 years’ time. For now, though, there’s some work to do, and this cycle is going to feel largely familiar but just a bit different. We should see more explicit connections between audience segments and content, starting with this issue’s audience-specific Features articles. We’re working on getting you each connected first with the content that you want to see (rather than just dumping the whole issue on you and letting you sort it out). We’re asking questions about what people want to read rather than about what contributors want to write. We should see our new presidents’ initiatives playing out in the content of TIP, starting with, for instance, the selection process that is behind our incoming team of TIP-TOPics columnists. From a truly staggeringly high-quality pile of applications, the selected team is well equipped to help make TIP more attentive to the perspectives and needs of more types of folks than it has ever been previously. I’m grateful to this team for the work that I expect to receive from them, just as I’m grateful to the outgoing team for the work that they have done in these past years.

We have some great content in this issue. Along with the typical array of recurring columns and valuable reports:

From all of the folks who continue to put forth effort to bring you TIP: Thanks for reading, and we would that you continue to find value in these articles.


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