Tuesday, November 09, 2010

Remind me why we are using a wiki again?

Me: "Last time we tried to write a document collaboratively, it was a big mess, because of version control problems, and because everyone kept emailing me stuff to add in. And that was only with three people involved! This time there'll be eight of us!"

Boss: "So we could just use the project wiki to develop the document."

Me: "No, because the project wiki is public, and indexed by google. We don't want this document to be public. And we can't set the project wiki to private, because of [stupid software issues]. But we could use google documents to create something we can all access and edit, and that will handle version control for us."

Boss: "Google wha-?"

I explain. He looks blank. "Okay. But just explain to me again. What's a google? Is it like my Firefox thing?"

Realising I should work with what he knows instead, if I actually want him to adopt the technology: "All eight of you already know how wikis work, right? Well in that case, I'll set up a private wiki on [site that we already all use for something else]."

Boss: "Can't we just all email you stuff and get you to keep the versions straight?"

Me: "Can't we just NOT do that?"

Finally everyone agrees to use the private wiki. I set it up, explain to everyone who forgot how to access the site how to find their username and password. Walk a few people through using the system. I set up all the necessary pages and headings so that no one needs to learn any formatting commands, but can just click under the appropriate heading and add text.

Boss: "I want to write all my text in RED!"

Me: "Um, why?"

Boss: "Because that's what colour it is in MS Word when I use track changes! And that way everyone will know it's me!"

Me: "Well, we don't really need to know who wrote what in this document. But if you want to, here's how to format things in red."

Boss: "What? I have to type what? Brackets? And "red"? What a pain! Isn't there a drop-down box in the file-menu-whatsit?"

Me: "You don't HAVE to colour your text."

Boss, in email to the rest of the group: "It looks like it might be too complicated to use the wiki, so I think we should all just type up what we want to add in MS Word, and get StyleyGeek to put it in the wiki for us."

Le Sigh.

Sunday, November 07, 2010

Two goodnesses

For the 1% of you who hasn't already seen this:

From the Rally to Restore Sanity, via Sociological Images

And in other news, you must make this coffee-streusel-walnut-caramel cake. No, really. I don't care if you don't like coffee, or walnuts, or caramel (although if that's true: what is wrong with you?) They all come together to make some sort of magic that is nothing like the individual ingredients. Look, just go and make it. It is the best thing I have ever put in my mouth.

Monday, November 01, 2010

More interestingness

Our small university publisher is being taken over by a Big Name Big Deal publisher. I wonder whether this means the books in press I have stuff in are going to be published with the better imprint? That would make me really quite happy.

It looks like there might be a chance I can change my fellowship to a four-year option (with teaching) instead of the three year (no teaching) one I currently have. *ponder*

And my (new) department is about to advertise a job. They have never ever hired a woman in the long history of the department. And the university is getting progressively more annoyed with them, every time they continue to select the one man out of a pool of highly competitive women. So this time they have decided to advertise specifically for women. I.e. no men can apply.

This is pissing off a lot of people. Mostly men, who would otherwise be applying. But also some women, who feel like they wouldn't be taken seriously if they did get the job, because people wouldn't believe they are good enough to get a job without affirmative action. I don't really know what to think about it, myself. What about you?


I just got the world's nicest rejection letter from the TT job I was waiting to hear from.

I'm really quite ridiculously happy about this rejection. For one thing, because I did. not. want. to have to choose between that job and my fellowship. It would have been a really tough decision, and I would have second-guessed myself for years to come. NO ONE turns down a TT job in a location they would really like to live in. And NO ONE turns down a national fellowship.

I am also happy because it was the first TT job I ever applied for, and I got an interview. That gives me hope for the future.

And finally, they said I gave an excellent interview and was an extremely strong candidate, but the other person was a better fit. I have no trouble believing that. I was such a bad fit for the job (as advertised, anyway) that I almost didn't apply. I still don't really understand why I got an interview.

So yay for rejection! WOO HOO!