C. Shaun "Kainaw" Wagner

About Me

I was born. I lived. I died.

More About Me

More? I am a Luddite programmer. I began programming a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away... Kansas City circa 1977, to be exact. I initially learned machine language programming, but soon received an amazing book, The C Programming Language. From there, I became a programmer.

When I was supposed to go to college and become a professional, I realized that I didn't exactly enjoy being around computers. In fact, I rather detested sitting in front of a computer. I wanted a job where I was guaranteed three meals a day, a bed every night, and no computer in sight. I enlisted in the Marine Corps. They made me a computer and electronic engineer.

In a second attempt to run away from computers, I developed two movie theaters in Charleston, SC: The Roxy and the American Theater. I approached both with the same proposal: When people are at home, they sit on a comfortable couch and eat real food while watching movies. Why not give them a more comfortable couch and better food (and alcohol) at the theater? With both theaters, I was given the latitude to design what I wanted. Both times, my design was hacked into a basic theater full of crappy seats, no tables, and a full restaurant menu. How is someone supposed to eat real food in a theater seat with no table? I even proposed using airline seats so everyone could have a tray. Needless to say, both theaters failed and I took the brunt of the blame.

After going back to computer programming, I did a lot of soul-searching - and got married! I realized that I wanted to teach. I needed a PhD. So, I began a fifteen year trek through the College of Charleston and the Missouri University of Science & Technology. Eventually, I received my PhD. Along the way, I found a conflicting interest - well, a few.

My son and daughter were born while I was in graduate school. While they were a distraction from the necessary studies, I made them part of my goal. I wanted to get my PhD for them. With it, I could teach. I could get away from programming every day. I could have summers off. I could be happy.

Apart from family, I began working in a field that I had previously never heard about: health informatics. I initially worked for the Hypertension Initiative at the Medical University of South Carolina. That evolved into working for the Outpatient Quality Improvement Network. Then, it evolved again into a job as a senior administrator for the Care Coordination Institute. I found a job that, if I do a good job, helps people. I'm not making silly games to waste time. I'm not making pointless web pages to advertise businesses. I am digging through medical data to try and improve health care while reducing health care costs.

Now the conflict arises again. While working full time for the Care Coordination Institute, I have been teaching at USC Upstate. I've also agreed to teach at Furman. I've been discussing possibilities to teach at both Clemson and Bob Jones, but haven't come up with anything substantial. It appears that I can find a teaching position at a university if I really want one. But, what do I want?

What does Kainaw mean?

I am very often asked what Kainaw means (and how you pronounce it). It is pronounced "Cane" as in a walking cane and "Aw" as in "aww, you stubbed your widdle toe." It is a purposeful misspelling of Kainah, one of the Blackfoot Native American tribes. I chose it long long ago, before the Internet was popular, as an online username for various discussion boards. I wanted it to be unique. So far, I have found many people named Kain, but nobody named Kainaw. Therefore, I believe it has served the purpose as a rather unique username.

So, why did I choose Kainah to change into Kainaw? I am mostly a standard American mix of various European nationalities. I figure I'm mostly English and German. I do have some Blackfoot lineage, which is not all that rare, but it is something. When I was brainstorming for a good username, I happened to read about Blackfoot tribes: Siksiki, Piegan, and Kainah. I didn't think that Siksiki or Piegan would make a good username. Kainah (or Kainaw) seemed a good fit and I've stuck with it for well over 20 years now.

You've read it. You can't unread it.
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