Wednesday, 13 October 2010

Ask and Ye Shall Recieve

A couple of weeks ago I had dinner with a friend of mine who had done his PhD (in Philosophy) at the same time I had done mine. He is now in the financial sector, but keeps his creative mind active. His latest hobby, he announced, was learning Old English.

What surprised me was that, although he had been searching for a while, he said that he was really disappointed with the level of provision of online materials for Old English. Of course, my hackles went up a little - OE really isnt my area of expertise, or even passing acquaintance - but surely the DH peeps into OE and Medieval studies must have made something that was available for learners, that was decent?

Let not the good name of DH be besmirched! I cried. I shall prove you wrong!

First port of call for me was twitter. Within a few hours, I had been pointed to various resources, from various scholars - none of which my friend had been able to find on a Google search.
- for online teaching resources for Old English (via @hurricaneally)
- The electronic beowulf CD-ROM (via @dougreside)
- teachers upload Beowulf guides & other Old English resources to Woruldhord community collection (via @RunCoCo)
- recommend search for Stuart Lee Old English lectures on iTunesU & Oxford podcasts (via @ltgoxford)
- Peter Baker's electronic intro to OE: (via @Rwelzenb)
- Not sure how accessible it is: (via @iridium)

Sometimes, I just love twitter. How else would I have been able to find these things in such a short time, with so little effort on my part apart from a 140 character question?

Then, of course, there's DH Questions and Answers, which I've just posted the question to to see if I've missed anything else. Again - what a resource! Populated by both experts and newbies - all of them enthusiasts.

Thanks, DH people. I feel like we've not only disproved a criticism, but also highlighted the helpful nature of our community.

My friend thanks everyone for the pointers. And said: "I really must join twitter!".

Friday, 1 October 2010

Spot the Difference

Something on here has changed. What is it? 10 points if you can see...

I just updated my job title. I'm now proud to be the "Reader in Electronic Communication" in the Department of Information Studies at UCL.

Reader is one of those funny titles that no-one really knows how to place. You dont have to go for it - you can apply to be Professor straight after Senior Lecturer, but I am such a completionist I wanted to collect the set. I'm really proud to have been promoted so soon after Senior Lecturer - and just before a year off on maternity leave, too.

Time to pause and reflect on the next phase... and a nice glass of something in celebration will have to wait for a few months!