Topic of the Week

Mary Sue Ittner
Mon, 03 Nov 2003 07:50:46 PST
Dear All,

I did not announce the topics for discussion for November because I could 
not get confirmation from a number of people who have said they will 
provide introductions for me. I am finding that this job of organizing the 
topics is getting to be a bit of a challenge for me, especially as I spend 
a fair amount of time on the list and the wiki as well. I understand when 
our idea got transferred to Alpine-l they decided to have four people 
involved, not one.

My husband says that because so many of our introductions have been so 
complete and wonderful that people are reluctant to commit to writing one 
because they don't feel they can provide anything that matches the 
standard. In addition I know we are all busy and there are times of the 
year that this is more true than others. And some people are buried in spam 
or behind in their email. All of this no doubt contributes to my lack of 
responses when I write about providing an introduction for us or try to 
find out when one that was promised might be ready.

I have decided to bring my problem to the group and hope that you can all 
help me find some solutions so we can continue to have the topic of the 
week. I know I find it to be really interesting. When I stopped doing it 
after a year the first time I did it on the IBS list, so many people kept 
telling me how much they missed it.

We could go back to doing the topic of the week as Kelly did it for IBS in 
Genera 52. He just announced the topic without much of an introduction and 
hoped that people would share their experiences. Often they did, but not 

I have saved most of the introductions I was able to obtain when I did the 
topic of the week for Robert Turley's forum. If that topic has been 
requested on this list, I could see if the previous introducer would be 
willing to let me use that introduction again. I am sure some of them 
would. A few already given permission. We have different participants on 
this list and those archives are only available to a selected few and never 
were easy to access. Our discussion would be different from whatever 
discussion came before and I expect enough time has passed that even the 
introduction would seem fresh.

Some of you who do not want to see this die could write me privately and 
tell me topics you would be willing to introduce and when. Or you could 
offer to write someone you know is an expert and see if they would provide 
us with an introduction. Since a lot of people on this list are lurkers I 
have no idea what your area of interest or expertise is so I can't write 
and ask you if you'd provide us with an introduction.

When I asked people to tell me what they like as topics here are some of 
the genera people requested: Alocasia/Colocasia/Xanthosoma, Amaryllis, 
Ammocharis, Amorphophallus, Anthericum, Arum, Begonia (tuberous), 
Bellevalia, Boophone, Bulbinella, Canna/Musa and Hedychium, Chlorophytum, 
Colchicum (several votes), Crinum (several votes), Crocosmia, 
Cryptostephanus, Cybistes, Cyrtanthus (many requests), Dierama, 
Ennealophus, Eriospermum,  Ferraria, Fritillaria (one vote for varieties to 
be grown in the ground, one for Mediterranean varieties, a couple general), 
Galtonia, Geissorhiza, Gelasine, Gesneriads, Gladiolus (one general vote, 
one for species, one for summer growing varieties), Gloriosa, Gynandriris 
(now part of Moraea), Hippeastrum (several votes), Homeria (now part of 
Moraea), Hyacinths (not sure exactly what this one includes), Hymenocallis, 
Ipomoea, Kniphofia, Lachenalia, Ledebouria,  Leucocrinum, Lycoris (several 
votes and we do have some experts on this list and I have saved Kelly's 
intro from before), Neomarica, Nothoscordum, Nymphaea, Pancratium, 
Paramongaia, Paris, Phaedranassa, Pleione, Romulea, Scilla, Sinningia, 
Species tuberous Solanum, Species tulips, Sprekelia, Stenomesson, 
Tradescantia, Trillium, Tropaeolum, tuberous Salvias, Tulbaghia, 
Urginea,  Watsonia, Worsleya.

In addition I still have a number of the general topics that people have 
suggested that give me breathing room as they mean I don't have to have an 
introduction ready. So you see it's not that we don't have suggested topics.

Please everyone, help me out. If you are an expert or just intensely 
interested in a genus that isn't on this list and are willing to start out 
the discussion write me privately and volunteer to do an introduction. I'd 
schedule your topic right away. It is one way you can be sure we will talk 
about a topic dear to your heart. Others have told me in the past they 
learned a lot just by looking up material and thinking through their 
experience. So there are some benefits to this. The introduction doesn't 
have to be long, nor does it have to be scholarly. It just gets us started 
on our way.

So far for November we have for next week Oxalis which Robin Attrill will 
introduce and Steve Marak has told me he will provide me with an 
introduction for an Aroid topic for the last week in the month. I can 
probably fill in again with topics that don't require an introduction if I 
have to, but hope this plea for help will generate some responses, both 
public and private.

So I suggest that our topic for the week this week will be ideas for 
continuing the topic of the week.


Mary Sue

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