So I got this email saying that I should check the websites I’ve been using because there’s a bug called heartbleed that takes your passwords and credit card information. I don’t understand at all how these things work, probably because I don’t understand the internet entirely. I sit down at my laptop and magically I get to use my email and facebook or whatever else I may be doing online, but really if someone asked me to define what the internet was, I would have no idea how. The fact that there are people who intentionally create a virus that can go in and take personal information from people just blows my mind. Then again, there have always been people that steal, of course now that the world is so technologically dependent, there would be an equivalent to a bank robber online. I am one of the people that is most likely to be affected from something like heartbleed because I have the same password for everything. I saw someone in my class the other day that had a password protector program, where you have one password to get in to the program and it holds all your passwords for everything else inside of it, and those passwords are all very cryptic and difficult to remember. When I saw that I thought, that seems excessive. Maybe it isn’t though…
What did I learn this semester? Funnily enough, I actually did learn something. I’ve found in my three + years of university that more often than not, I walk out of every class thinking: What just happened in there? In Dr. Constance Crompton’s ENGL 355 class however, I learned how to make a website. This is something that I can actually put on a resume…
How great is that? I now know what CSS is, and how it translates into a functional and aesthetically pleasing website for personal or business use. I could make one to promote myself, or a company that I could work for. Real life skills. There needs to be a lot more of that being taught in university. I also know what TEI is and how it can take a physical hard copy of a novel and turn it in to a digitized manifestation of that novel on a computer so that people anywhere with internet can see it. Not only can they read the text itself, but learn about the text through the information in the TEI, like when it was published, or how many speeches a specific character has throughout it, or where the author of the book was born. Before ENGL 355, I had no knowledge of TEI’s existence.
This last week my digital world has consisted of Microsoft Word, Google Scholar, and Turnitin.com. As an English major (for only 1 semester), I had 4 term papers due within a week of each other. Needless to say I did not sleep much. I have always used Word to type anything and everything, as if it is the only word processor in existence. Probably because I don’t know of the existence of any others… perhaps now that I am a digital humanist (a loose definition of one I would say) I should step out of my small and limited digital box and try using another processor for my papers. Any suggestions? Now Google Scholar is great for finding academic articles for citing in papers. I use Academic Search Complete quite often through the UBC library but I find the results to be limited, so much so that I cannot reach my required amount of articles for my papers. Whenever I use Google Scholar though, I seem to find all the articles that appeared when I searched the same word or phrase in Academic Search Complete, but I find many more on top of those. Reaching the required scholarly articles = a happy me!
As any university student will know, enduring the last week of classes is like magnificent torture. On one hand you know that it will all be over soon, but it’s so hard to appreciate the light at the end of the tunnel because you have to go through such hell to get there. This semester, I have two 10-12 page papers, one 2250 word essay, an essay written entirely in Spanish, and a TEI encoded chapter of a novel (Lady Audley’s Secret) to put online for the class after which this site is titled (ENGL 355) – all to be due between today and Monday. This class has brought enabled my first experiences with learning html coding as well as TEI markup. We were assigned for our final project to take a chapter from a novel and use at least four TEI elements (one with an attribute and a value) so that we could make, as a class, an online edition of the novel. I would like to use this blog to shout out my appreciation to 1. Project Gutenburg, for giving us a plain text online version of Lady Audley’s Secret so that my fingers did not have to bleed from hand-typing the entire chapter letter by letter, and 2. TEI website and their amazing appendix (which can be found here: http://www.tei-c.org/release/doc/tei-p5-doc/en/html/REF-ELEMENTS.html ) that lists the elements available in any TEI document and their possible attributes and values. While encoding, the TEI website was completely necessary for me to be able to create a well-formed document available for my project! Our online edition can be seen here:
Check it out! My personal chapter is called “The Bearer of Tidings” and I also took part in creating the map that goes along with the novel.
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