AcWriMo – Weekly Update #2
After a short pause to allow for our annual colloquium and the necessary preparations (read: crazy couple of days sorting out last minute things) I have managed to Crack On with Academic Writing Month. Finding time for academic writing (I feel that should be capitalised but I will refrain) was more difficult last week than in the previous weeks, as following the colloquium, Christian and I had jetted off to Madrid to run a workshop for postgraduate students of medieval studies at the Universidad Autónoma. However, we still managed to squeeze in a couple of days of work (nudge, nudge, hint, hint, supervisor of ours). I spent time preparing for a book review for a postgraduate journal published here in Birmingham and rewarded myself by drinking my body-weight of Cola Cao. Christian stuck to tea. I proposed spending our entire wages for the workshop on 75 montaditos on everything’s-a-Euro day at 100 montaditos but this was not to be.
Online transcribing course
Prior to the colloquium project team-members worked like billy-o to get the course translated into Spanish. This was met with much praise at the colloquium, which was very flattering and made us feel that our hard work had all been worth it. We have already started to see some really successful usage of the course being put into practice by our merry band of crowdsourcers, and the high quality of many of their transcriptions, including all sorts of complex tagging, shows they have been paying close attention and applying their new knowledge to their work on Textual Communities. We are all really pleased at the reception with which the course has been met, and how it is being used by transcribers.
Our second annual colloquium took place just under a fortnight ago and was again, successful and enjoyable for all involved. This time we were able to hear papers and presentations by even more speakers than last time and we were finally able to meet and learn about the research of several of our Facebook ‘likers’. It wasn’t all work and no play though, and we made time for a lovely conference dinner and plenty of coffee breaks (read: serious networking opportunities) where everyone was able to mix and discuss anything and everything from Alfonsine punctuation, to apocope in the usage of ‘dizque’ – sorry Marine, I still don’t understand this – to the perils of marking GCSE exams. Or maybe this last one was just me and friend of the project, Dave. Once a teacher…
Below is the end of colloquium photo, and Bibliography Bingo opportunity:
The workshop in Madrid was pretty successful, even if we do say so ourselves. A number of professors made the time to welcome us to the university and some even managed to attend part of our workshop where their timetables allowed. This was more than we had expected and we were pleased and flattered that they took the time out to do so. It also meant that Christian’s and my People-We-Have-Met-Off-Of-Our-Bibliographies count went through the roof, what with the colloquium and then the workshop the following week. We found the students who attended the workshop were polite and pleasant, asked the right questions and nodded in the right places – always a bonus. Many also stayed after the end of the session to voluntarily finish line-breaking their assigned folios, showing dedication on their part and betraying just how addictive transcribing can be.
Some of the UAM workshop students busy transcribing. Note the smiles, even three hours in!
After a day spent in the university library, we spent our final full day in Toledo, doing our best to feel medieval. Not sure if medievals ate tortilla española or drank Fanta Limón, though, to be honest, but to be fair I think the NHS frowns upon the drinking of mead when one is with child.
Christian and project-wannabe Alicia enjoying Toledo:
This week things should settle down and get back to normal at Estoria Towers. We are even hoping to sneak in a cheeky visit to the German Christmas Market in Birmingham to celebrate having held our second colloquium. We know how to live it up.