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Back in mid-December (Sun 12 to Fri 17 Dec) I had the privilege of
attending the TEI Metaworkshop held in Chicago IL. The purpose of
the workshop was to teach some members of the TEI community to teach
TEI workshops, which have traditionally been taught by Michael and
Lou. The idea of having other people teach them, I gather, is both
to allow for more workshops to occur, and to try to give Michael and
Lou a break. Since I take notoriusly poor notes, I won't try to give
the details of a full trip report (although I hope someone else
will), but I will give some general impressions.
 
First and foremost, it was really nice to see Michael and Lou again.
Besides being invaluable resources, they are darn nice guys.
Furthermore, everyone seemed both interesting and nice. I think, if
I had lived in the same area as them, I would like to associate both
professionally and socially with most the people at the workshop.
(Although we were all obviously net-geeks; there were breaks during
which no conversation could be heard -- only typing as we read our
e-mail.) And, for the most part, it seemed no one was alone -- there
were plenty of DOS/Windows users, plenty of those of us who prefer
Macs, several people from scholarly projects, several who were
Unixers, at least two librarians, at least two techies, at least two
who had difficulty with the more technical tagging stuff, at least
two from across the pond, at least two of each sex, at least two
asthmatics, at least two without advanced degrees, and, I was
suprised to find, at least two whom Michael hadn't met (I thought he
knew everyone :-)
 
This was the first such workshop, and the presenters were not as well
prepared as might be hoped, but did a good job overall. Besides,
there was a good point to be learned in watching the editors make
mistakes: no one knows the whole of TEI without brushing up on it.
Made us all feel less inadaquate.
 
The sessions were generally informative, and interesting most the
time. Although sessions routinely started late, most participants
didn't seem to mind -- just more time to check e-mail. The fact that
donoughts and coffee were supplied was a big help, too.
 
One thing the workshop convinced me of: the facilities at UIC (at
least the room we were in) are not as nice as those at Brown; but it
doesn't matter where you are, using advanced technology can trip you
up.
 
-Syd Bauman