Solipsism and Me

Idle reports from an idle fellow

Spasibo i do svidanya …

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Surprisingly quickly, the last day of the workshop dawns, and with it an insight into what our Serbian colleague is really doing: he is replicating on computer what a medieval scribe would want to have, in order to go on scrivening. Which is an admirable goal, and an artistic triumph when achieved, but seems to sadly miss the point of using a digital medium. Anyway, up the hill, puff pant, do the idiots’ guide to XML technologies, and then the show-and-tell of TEI applications, and the coffee break is upon us before you can say “see TEI is way cool”. Then I make my farewell speech and hand over to Tania for the final practical exercise. This goes, so far as I can tell, very well. A hard core of a round dozen have survived thus far; Tania splits them into three groups, makes them do a quick document analysis on the Mayakovsky text, and then elicits from them all the elements they will need. Within ten minutes, they have all got a suitable schema out of Roma and are happily tagging the plain text of “Ya Sam” prepared for them earlier. Stronery, really, and they really deserve certificates, which we completely failed to prepare for them, shame.

At lunchtime, Viktor comes in to officially close us down, though the questions are still coming, and whisks the three of us away into a cupboard, where the University director presses quantities of Russian currency into our eager little hands. Unfortunately, we don’t have time to spend it on much, since the conference is still going on; I leave Tanya and Alexei to it, and wander off in search of a Lufthansa office in the hope that they might know whether or not my errant phone has turned up yet (nope). But it was an interesting expedition, marred only by my feet, which are, frankly, rubbish when it comes to coping with more than 50 metres stroll, never mind one that includes some hills, and quite a bit of under-maintained concrete. I saw a nice park, and learned that you really can’t get into any office building without showing your passport, just like it says in the guidebooks.
The view from the conference hall
Since it’s now definitely raining outside, I sneak back into the conference hall and sit quietly in a corner typing; they’re debating whether or not to set a pan-russian society of people interested in digital editing, or just keep tootling along (according to Kevin). A typical end-of-successful-conference debate, of course, but good to see they’re having it, especially if they invite me back.

And eventually after many farewells, there was a very protracted and noisy dinner in the Tatar restaurant, which struggled to cope with 15 people ordering different things… that came in dribs and drabs interspersed with much beer. Ah well. I kissed everybody (3 times in Russia) and made appropriate farewells (I think). Tomorrow will be devoted to tourism


Written by Lou

August 29, 2008 at 19:15

Posted in Uncategorized

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