Member Spotlight: Kerna Shedrian
Author: Jeffan Caliarthan
1 January 2012
While she may have joined the site in 2002, she wasn't raised to Accepted until May of 2006. When I asked her about the long gap, she had this to say: "Back in the day I didn't have internet at home and my access to the site was restricted to times I was in college. Later, we got dial up at home but it was nearly impossible to get a chance to be online for more than 20-30 mins as my Mam didn't like the phone tied up for that long and also there were eight people who wanted to use the computer (I'm the eldest of six kids). Eventually I just kinda fizzled off until Knife of Dreams was released and I remembered about the site and I came back, the crazy was still there and stuck around long enough that time to rise through the ranks." How horrible that must have been for her; dial-up! Oh, the horror.
As I spend a lot of time in the library myself, I'm of the sound belief that Kerna lives there. She, however, corrected me on this! "You make me sound like a book Brown. I have a good few posts I'll have you know! I'm active in Blue obviously but I do try and get out there more. I read General and Entertainment pretty regularly as well as random threads in CE and some threads in the Tavern or Hallways. And then you know you can find me in chat most days - idling while I work in the library." So I wasn't too far off when I said that she lived in the library, you see!
Kerna has quite a bit to say on "the crazy" that convinced her to stay around long enough to rise through the ranks. "[The Tower has] friendlier people, a semblance of structure while still being fun, the opportunity to be an Aes Sedai, and without the scary largeness of Dragonmount. As the ezboards had forums all over the place and nearly everyone was doing their own geocities type thing I found that every time I came online there was something new to see. Some link in someone's sig that brought me to a new forum or to some funny articles. I spent hours trawling through threads. Then I met some great, crazy ladies and found that I wanted to stick around."
If you've been around the site at all these past few years, then you should know who Kerna Shedrian is. However, for those of you have been living under a rock, here's a bit of a refresher: she's served as a forum moderator, library editor (under her role as the Tower Historian), classroom teacher, all-around minion, as well as the Head, Heart, Sitter and Soul of the Blue Ajah. That's over 60 months in various staff positions and 12 months as an admin. She also added that she's "been a pain in the ass in a couple of other Departments [and] behind the scenes."
Part of her reason for being so dedicated to the site lies in why she chose to become an Aes Sedai of the Blue Ajah - "the sense of duty, sense of purpose and sense of humour fit me."
Something that we all like to know is how people got interested in The Wheel of Time, and Kerna's story is actually pretty interesting! "I was studying Electrical Engineering in college almost 10 years ago and we had huge gaps between labs and lectures. I was a big enough reader though hadn't read much fantasy. I was into series like The Chalet School or the classics aimed at young women, like Anne of Green Gables and Little Women. I was introduced to this series by a classmate and although he was 4 books in when I started I finished the series a month or so before he did. I blame this series on the crates of books I now possess."
So, is it safe to say that The Wheel of Time changed your life?
"Well, it's affected my pocket. I've bought so many copies of the books now it's not even funny! It's [also] changed my outlook on certain things. Reading different PoVs about what happened made me more empathetic. The Tower itself has changed my life a tad. It's nice being able to say that while I live in a small country, I have friends all over the world."
Finally, I asked who Karen Sheridan, the anagrammed counterpart to Kerna Shedrian, is.
"I live in the land of rainbows and leprechauns. I was born to be a geek, with my love of spreadsheets and books and data! I study Accountancy and it between that and a full time job it doesn't really leave much time for many other interests besides reading and drinking (I am Irish after all). As I mentioned before I am the eldest of six children and I'm a family kind of person. Now, I live with my boyfriend of 10 years. He stole my youth - now I'm an old women of almost 28 with dentures 'n stuff."