Ah, the joy of teaching XML. Susan Schreibman of MITH at the University of Maryland is teaching a workshop here and I’m “helping” (mostly by sitting in the back of the room and reading my e-mail and fielding occasional questions, but also by teaching DTD basics and writing the documentation for do-it-yourself XML and CSS practice). It’s bizarre. I learned XML by doing, and then learned the theories. So, sitting here (mostly in the back of the room), it’s hard to believe that people are picking this stuff up, but they are. And then, the worst part (and this is what happens when you try and explain what you *DO* at a dinner party) is that people probably think it’s kind of boring or tedious. But it’s not. So, after encoding all one afternoon, we have them do document analysis where THEY have to do some of the decision-making for one document (about the equivalent time frame in terms of a project would be months and months). Then they see the intellectual difficulties, the challenges, the creativity.
I feel like I have a brilliant child who won’t speak and I have to convince the committee to take her into the drama club.
And, then you realize you have to let her speak for herself . . . even if she won’t.

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