Hello world!

I decided to leave the whole “Hello World!” bit in.  It just seems… appropriate.  However, maybe for this it should specifically say, “Hello DH World!”… ;-)

So the Day of DH begins…

Day of DH got off to a REALLY early start today. A few of us form the cohort were up in the wee hours of the morning — and most of the night —  working on our thesis draft proposals for HuCo 530. It’s an intense time of the semester right now, and a bunch of us ended up on Google Wave to engage is some online group-chat therapy.


Online group therapy with Victoria Smith, Silvia Russell, Shannon Lucky, and Joyce Yu to lighten the uber-intense work mood that ensued for most of the night.

Thanks, Google Wave collaborative set up. Thanks.

P.S. Big THANK YOU to Peter Organisciak for helping me with this image fiasco!!!

Google Wave online Group Therapy Chat

Tiredly trudging in to start the school day…

On the days where I have classes in the morning, I usually show up to the HuCo lab shortly after 7 a.m. Yes, that’s right: 7 a.m. Ironically, I am not really a morning person, but the lab is really peaceful with really no interruptions at that time, so it’s a pretty good time to go in to get some work done. Today was a slight exception, through, as I SLEPT in, which threw me off a bit! :-o (Oh, and I should forewarn: I will take a photo-blog / photo-essay approach to this whole thing. I personally feel this approach makes things more interesting, engaging, and insightful :) .

The Old Arts Building here at the U of A. This is where all HuCo-related work and research labs are, and this building is also the original U of A building (back when U of A came to be in 1908 and was just one building).

One of the "perks" of being a graduate student is the access to secure study and work spaces. Such as the case for the HuCo lab if you show up early enough in the morning, as I often do.

This is the HuCo Lab here in the Old Arts building, where all of the HuCo classes, workshops, and many a social conversation take place. My cohort has actually grown quite possessive of the lab space, and we often frown upon "others" -- non-digital humanists -- who dare to enter. ;-)

Next: settling in and setting up my workspace. This is my beloved MacBook Pro (Mac user for life! :P ), or, as I've named it: Lumiére. This machine is basically the equivalent to my child right now and we are often joined at the hip (well, we are when I wear my laptop bag and it hovers around my hip... ;P).

On the days when I have a seminar class all morning I eat both breakfast and lunch at school (in the HuCo lab or VITA, no less). Oy! Breakfast this morning: apple and pear fruit salad and a ground-chicken meat pie :)

So: all of this is happening before class starts at 9 a.m.. What am I doing right now? Well it’s around 8 a.m., so I’m working on an abstract I’m submitting to the SDH-Semi conference in conjunction with work I’m doing on a digital archiving research project with Dr. Geoffrey Rockwell, Dr. Sean Gouglas, Dr. Harvey Quamen, and, the lovely Victoria Smith.

9 a.m. Class time: HuCo 530: Project Management. 3 hours. Woo!

Basically this class prepares us for how to handle corporate projects as a Digital Humanities scholar AND we discuss effective ways at managing a MONSTER project like writing a thesis, which we ALL do in HuCo here at the U of A. There are two threads of project work in this class:

1) we all work in teams of two with either a community organization or a university-affiliated project where team members manage the project objectives and goals both on the technical and overall. Presentations of our work — to our clients and the class — commence starting next week.

2) THESIS THESIS THESIS. We have a number of deliverables to complete related to producing a thesis proposal by the end of this semester. Are are certainly learning how to handle the Thesis Beast :)

Day of DH cupcakes thanks to our very own Joyce Yu!!

Vegan Chocolate cupcakes made by our very own Joyce Yu. Joycie often makes us treats :)


Fun(ny) Moment:

(http://www.rackspace.com) We were discussing Internet service providers, web hosting, etc, and this site came up in discussion. Dr. Rockwell was very amused by this particular person, even going so far as calling the guy a "hunk", and questioning whether this was the right type of person to represent this type of service. Dr. Rockwell said something to the effect of, "Doesn't this guy look like he spends more time lifting weights (than working on a website)?" (or something to that effect!)

Coffee Breaks!! Because we don’t have intravenous caffeine…

Today was a ram-packed day of classes, workshops, and meetings, which is pretty much a regular day. Most of us (well, those of us who stayed for the PHP / MySQL workshop — more on that to follow) NEED those coffee breaks and those multiple doses of caffeine. So:  we have 2 close-by options: we can go for free coffee or tea, which is provided to us through our Graduate Student’s Association, or we have a Starbucks a few steps away from our building. Are you asking why this is important? Well, yes, it’s pretty standard, but it’s ALWAYS a part of our day, so I felt the need to blog about it.

Free Killam Coffee or Tea. Thanks, GSA.

Sing it: "The best part of waking up is NOT "Killam coffee" in your cup!"

Killam Coffee Time!

Kids today are just TOO distracted by the affordances of technology... ;P

Ah, the alternative, and it's only a few steps away, too!

Amusing myself in line at Starbucks.

META!!! Let me take a picture of you taking a picture of me!

PHP / MySQL workshop

Dr. Harvey Quamen, one of the HuCo faculty members here at the U of A teaches us technical workshops outside of scheduled class hours, so after our 3 hour morning class we have a quick bite and then start the workshop! These workshops can last anywhere from 2 to sometimes 3 hours, but a lot of us need to refine our technical skills not only because of the projects we are working on; it *is* Humanities COMPUTING after all, so we have to get some computing in there! The focus of today’s workshop: PHP and MySQL database “stuff”.

Harvey's code up on the big screen

A closer look at Harvey's code (in my code editor). My head is spinning.

Then a special guest showed up…

Andrew Keenan: seasoned and notable HuCo / SLIS scholar, mentor and friend to HuCo newbies, game studies expert.

Andrew Keenan: photo not available :P

Some members of the cohort who stayed back for the PHP / MySQL workshop.


Right after the PHP/MySQL workshop there was a short period of time before Victoria and I had to meet with Geoffrey and Harvey in relation to the Histories of Humanities Computing digital archive project we are working on as well as the SDH-Semi conference abstracts we have been working on (which, you may have noticed, I happened to be working on earlier in the morning).

Thus, I ventured down the hall to the VITA Research Studio where HuCo students are often found busily working.

No explanation necessary

I also feel that I need to bring attention to Garry Wong’s “glove” shoes (well at least that’s what I call them because they remind me of gloves for feet! :) )

Glove shoes!

Glove Shoe!

Oh! Time to rush off to the meeting with Geoffrey, Harvey, and Victoria upstairs in the TAPoR lab!

Histories of Humanities Computing Digital Archive meeting

Meeting time! Victoria, Geoffrey, Harvey, and I met up in the TAPoR Lab for our weekly meeting about “HuCo Hist” project progress (Victoria and I work as research assistants on this project). This has been a really great project to be involved in, and I’ve become quite interested in the work that goes into “building” a digital archive. Recently the U of A’s English department has taken  an interest in this, so a couple of their faculty members have joined us at our meetings. However, the agenda today was less about the archive progress and more about the abstracts we have prepared,  in conjunction with this project,  for the SDH-Semi conference.

Dr. Rockwell, me, and Victoria.

Dr. Harvey Quamen and Dr. Geoffrey Rockwell

Post meeting: Freak out!!

When the HuCo Hist Digital Archive Meeting was over Victoria told me she wasn’t able to see one of the images I had uploaded that morning, and nothing I was doing to change it and re-upload was working. SO: I went to Vita with the hopes of finding Peter Organisciak for some help with fixing this up. Luckily he was able to help me, so now everything with the images is cool :)

I luckily found Peter when I came to VITA in a panic about my images not showing up properly when other people viewed my blog posts.

Peter helps to resolve the issue. THANKS!!!

Game Break!

It’s about 5:30 p.m. now, and after a full day of work, and the issue with the images, I decided to take a bit of a break.  I love playing NES games since those are the games I played in my childhood. I actually found this site, Nintendo8, http://www.nintendo8.com/, where you can play all of your old Nintendo Entertainment System faves. YAY for children of the late 80’s / Early 90’s!

My personal favourite: Super Mario Bros. 3

Getting the first Warp Whistle in World 1-3.

Also a favourite: The Simpsons: Bart -vs – Space Mutants

Must spray-paint all purple items red.

Last Stop before leaving school…

It’s 6:30 p.m. and I can finally leave school for the day. Wooo! Last stop of the day: to the good ol’ analogue library stacks to pick up a book I have on hold as a potential secondary source for my draft thesis proposal.

the hold stacks

Wrapping up the day…

Well, after a long day of class, workshops, meetings, and working on stuff the day is done. Bye Day of DH!! See you on March 18, 2011!

No more photos. Goodbye.