by Julie Dodd

Kay Phillips (right) and Martha Rothwell in the St. Louis podcasting session.

We missed Kay Phillips (NC) at the Mentor Forum in Washington, D.C. Kay had planned to attend. She had made her airline reservation and was on the program to present a session. Kay had to cancel the trip on her doctor’s advice.

Instead of making the trip to Washington, Kay and her husband flew to California for Kay to have a literally life-saving heart procedure. Kay was back in North Carolina recovering when we were at the convention. She is doing well.

Kay’s friends in the Mentor Forum and in the scholastic press association directors’ roundtable signed get well cards for Kay. Here’s what she e-mailed me:

“How wonderful to receive the messages from you and my other JEA colleagues!
… Thanks for thinking of me.

The night before Kay was to fly to California, I called her to talk with her and wish her well. I asked if there was anything I might be able to do for her. She said there was. She had an editing activity for me.

Those of you who know Kay know how enthusiastic she is about the correct use of grammar and wording in writing. When she was a doctoral student and then faculty member at the University of North Carolina/Chapel Hill, Kay taught the Grammar Slammer, required for undergraduates in the School of Journalism and Mass Communication who didn’t pass the school’s grammar test.

Linda Barrington had e-mailed Kay an article from JEA Mentoring Matters about the censorship situation Kay was dealing with in one of the schools where she had two mentees. Kay wanted to make sure the story was correct — the story itself and the punctuation. We went through the story — graph by graph. I took notes. I told Kay that I’d be sure to send the edited story to Linda for publication. That was what Kay wanted to hear.