Sunday, November 12, 2006

Googling Myself

Tess's Catering: Sweet Jane Desserts
Melissa Morphew's new collection, Fathom
Derek Walcott's The Schooner Flight
It's commonplace these days to Google others to see where they turn up on the web, to learn what you can about them or maybe to locate them after losing track of them. I did just that for Melissa Morphew, whose fabulous new collection, Fathom, I just read. Melissa and I were in a writing group together a few years ago, before she returned to Tennessee and subsequently took a job in Texas at Sam Houston State University, a school that formerly went by the infamous name, Sam Houston Institute of Technology. (Think about it.)
The ultimate act of narcissism these days is to Google yourself. When I type "Ken Autrey" into the search block, I find 280 hits, although many of these are duplicates, and a good number are for other Ken Autreys: the Methodist minister in De Funiak Springs, Florida; the realtor who works for Coldwell Banker in Texarkana, Arkansas, or the Augusta, Georgia deputy sheriff who turns up as an arresting officer in a anecdote.
Someone with my name serves on the Executive Committee of the National Rural Education Association, which met in March 2003 in Kearney, Nebraska. Another Ken Autrey is a contributor to Fireworks, "Britain's only periodical for firework enthusiasts." My cousin Ken Autrey, who died young as a result of a heart problem, appears, sadly, as a resident of Oak Hill Cemetery in Many, Louisiana, where Dad's parents and various other relatives occupy plots.
References to the real me include my Flickr photo page, the FMU Faculty Executive Committee page, and, where I have an "average easiness" rating of 3.1 and an "average helpfulness" rating of 4.1 out of 5. Bob Klein's interview with me about my Peace Corps service is listed with the John F. Kennedy Library. I'm mentioned in an article about Ghana by my former Peace Corps colleague Carolyn Kroll. My forward to the book, In Praise of Pedagogy, comes up, as does my former role as a contributor to the CCCC annual bibliography. One of the oldest references to me is a 1983 ERIC Document, my paper on "The Uses of Student Journals." I'm listed as a contributor to the journal, Postscript, as a reviewer of various books for The State newspaper, and as a former member of the Swamp Fox Writing Project Board. My poem "The Butterfly Tattoo" comes up on the Wadsworth Publishers' page, and my work in the online journal, King Log, also gets a mention. My name surfaces as a contributor to Cimarron Review, Birmingham Poetry Review, and The Ninety-Six Sample of South Carolina Poetry. My name appears in as a graduate of Auburn High School. Anyone seeking a Google portrait of me would get a fair sense of my professional interests and my invovement in Friends of Ghana but would learn little about my personal life otherwise.

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