Day of Miran Hladnik 2010
If there is no urgent department or faculty meeting or degree paper defense, I have a privilege to stay at home on Thursday. I spend the day for recreation (tour skiing in this time of the year), housekeeping (e. g. selecting trash, paying the bills via e-banking), reading newspapers that piled up during the week, answering mail, reading books, checking the projects, getting ready for tomorrow (not necessary in this order). On Thursday the 18th I have to switch among three major tasks:
1. I have to start writing the recension of the PhD paper that I have been mentoring. Robert Jereb has written a perfect empirical study of the Slovene daily literary criticism of the original novelistic texts in the period 1990–1999. He has first reflected the available literature on the topics and than used the models he found mostly in the magazine Poetics for the detailed analysis of 877 texts in 9 newspapers. The use of statistical methods is not a casual thing in the Slovene literary studies, so he asked colleagues from other disciplines for help. As I never learned more than statistical basics I can only trust that they have done their job well. Some results: A typical literary review consists of 34 % interpretation, 17 % of evaluation, 15 % of description w/interpretation, and 18 % of description. The term usage is 4,3 terms per 100 words, the rate of explicit intertextual quoting is 8,5 %,
Three referees have become his thesis at the end of January; if we finish our separate expetises till the end of month, Robert could defend his 429 pp. long thesis in May, after the reviews have been accepted by the faculty senate. This is already the third PhD paper I have to assess this year – an unusual density.
2. The second great task is reading a couple of novels more for the award kresnik which selection committee I am presiding. 110 original Slovene novels published in 2009 were registered by the bibliograhpers and the 5 members commettee has to read quick to finish till June, when the award is going to be granted. A significant number of books wer selfpublished, and the growing number of books available on Internet only has been registered.
3. The third task concerns two Wiki-projects. On Wikipedia the Portal:Literatura has been formed after student have written hundreds of articles within their seminar tasks. Checking their work, adding entries, categorizing entries are my daily jobs for the project. --- Proofreading the texts on Wikisource inovolves students who want to earn some money. I've applied for a governmental support and I am hoping to get 10.000 eur to finance putting 4 mio words of text on internet, the third time already. Tomorrow I am going to conduct a workshop for teachers of Slovene in grammar schools who participate at a lifelong learning seminar at our faculty. The topic will be again the use of Wikipedia and other wikis in school.
- As the weather was nice, I've pushed away all the work to be done and spent a day in the Alps. Here is the proof: no kids and no adults and no landowner to ask them for permission :)
- Instead, I would rather go skiing. Here is evidence of snow conditions in the Julian Alps a week ago.
Let me record some additional "digital thoughts", in spite of the fact the D-day expired yesterday. Today, Friday, the UPS delivered a package I ordered a couple of days ago via the Internet shop. For the first time I've confirmed the reception of the package by endorsing with the electronic pen onto the display of the deliverer's computer. How far from the traditional way we faculty teachers and researchers are signing documents! E-mail is still not accepted as a dependable form for our expertise on the degree paper and the faculty clerks demand from us to print it and sign it m. p.
Manual signatures prevent documents for the senate meetings to be sent as text files to the senators. Instead, 50 senators get a 2 kg pile of printed matter every month or pdf-images of this stuff, unable to make a text search through it.
I can't help but commenting on the "ethical concerns" of the DDH-project. As I have already written to Geoffrey and Peter, I find it scarry when our posts are controlled and surveyed by "ethics people". Such a commission is going to be established also at our faculty and should judge which research topic is ethically inappropriate. As if the humanities itself wouldn't be a priori responsible for ethical issues! As if ethical concern wouldn't be self-evident within the humanities! One of the negative results of such a concern is tabooing children and stigmatizing all people around them as potential abusers. I'd rather rhyme ethical comission with ethical inquisition. It seems, along with the "security obsession" and safeguarding personal data according to the privacy law, this is the Achilles' heel of our civilization.
Cultivating the orchard is one of the strongest metaphors for establishing national culture in the Slovene rural story of 19th and 20th century.