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Location: Austin, TX, United States

Scholar, Writer, Mother, Dreamer. Editor of Luminarium, an online library for English Literature of the Middle Ages and Renaissance.

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

The Dream of an Intern

Warning: Whining. Read at your own Peril.

I'm going to be really really good this year, so maybe Santa will bring me an intern next year. I still have over 3000 pages of Luminarium to update/upgrade, and I'm beginning to feel a bit hopeless. The sheer monotony of adding, deleting, and changing code is starting to damage my calm.

*Ignores the suppressed giggles of those who know her well and who, consequently, just chortled at the previous statement.*

Don't get me wrong. I love the site. I love improving it. But there are so many "big-ticket" items that could use improvement on the site, not the least of which is adding new materials. I still haven't gotten the blogs working right, and the discussion forums, though working, are somewhat anesthetic, nor have they been linked in. And let's not even start on Wiki and Bliki. I figure if I had an industrious little intern elf to take care of some of the basic maintenance, I would have time to make material improvements.

I know, even talking about this is a bit boring. But for those who are gluttons for punishment, here's an average day:

Wake up.

(30 min) Stare blearily at screen with beloved cup of coffee over email.

(30 min) Respond to urgent emails, label rest to do later.

(1h) Keep going down file list, cleaning, adding, deleting code from files.

(15 mins) Have a slight mental tremor. Read favorite blogs.

(30 mins) Begin a new encyclopedia entry or e-text.

(15 mins) Decide to post a bit of silliness on blog.

(1.5h) Add/change/delete files. Rinse, repeat.

(15 mins) Decide life worthless without Pop-Tart (frosted).

(1.5h) Finish encyclopedia entry, link it from relevant existing pages.

(15 mins) Wonder if the Pop-Tart is feeling lonely. Have another.

(1.5 hrs) Respond to emails, send out permissions requests, grant requests in turn, pacify the irate, thank the kind, add/change/delete links and materials sent in by colleagues.

(30 mins) Trawl around the web, doing anything but working.

(3 hrs) Uninterrupted "I'm going to update everything once and for all" time.

(30 mins) Unavoidable realization there are still weeks of updates to follow.
Medium-scale meltdown and self-pity fest.

(2 hrs) Final push, I can do it, dammit.

Rest of night, delirium. Begin again next morning.


Sorry, I know self-pity and whining is unattractive, and frustrating too, when there's little anyone can do to help me with this full-scale overhaul.

And it's not all brain-numbing or miserable. If it weren't for this particular 3700 pages updated (or else!) it would be quite fun, and you always keep learning, which is great. And there are good news, too. The Luminarium Margaret Atwood Page just won another award, and an educational publisher wants to publish an essay I wrote in their text books and teachers' guides. Which reminds me, I have to fax the permissions form.

Thanks for letting me whine!

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Blogger SzélsőFa said...

Writing out your problems is one part of the solution.
Ps: *coughs* I'm sorry, but you seem to eat unhealthy .... ?

January 30, 2007 3:25 PM  
Blogger Anniina said...

Heheheh, yeah my diet has been TERRIBLE lately. I am planning on eating better and more healthy foods. Self-pity usually drives me to sweets and fattening things, so I do have to guard against that before I roll down the street like a big donut.

January 30, 2007 5:51 PM  
Blogger onlyjokinglasse said...

Hey, do not worry: I love donuts!

January 31, 2007 2:12 AM  
Blogger Vik said...

Hmmm... I think you forgot the coffee. Or rather the COFFEE (Think bitter tar that you can chew)

January 31, 2007 3:16 AM  
Blogger Chris said...

Anniina, dear, I don't want to sound overly critical, but I just visited Luminarium and I think I see the problem. The site calls itself an "anthology of English literature," but right there on the left hand side it says "10 years." I don't mean to be a know-it-all, and I didn't major in English lit or anything, but I'm pretty sure no matter what ten year period you choose, you're missing some pretty good English literature.

If, for example, you chose the very best ten years of Shakespeare's works, then you'd be missing all those wonderful James Bond novels and Chitty Chitty Bang Bang by Ian Flemming. Ten years won't even cover the entire publication of the Hitchhiker's Guide To The Galaxy series. I don't want to hurt your feelings, but I just don't think this "10 years" things is realistic.

Please don't take this personally. I know my opinion means a great deal to you, so I don't want you, even for an instant, to think I don't respect and treasure you just as much as I always have. I'm just trying to help you. I hope we're still okay.

All my love and smooches,

January 31, 2007 8:06 PM  
Blogger Anniina said...


February 01, 2007 3:31 PM  

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