Now that I am home unwinding from what was such an incredible and busy week, I can finally speak about my experience at this year’s DEMiC. This was my first time at DHSI, but it was not my first course through EMiC. Last summer I attended TEMiC in Kelowna where I had the opportunity to learn about different theoretical approaches to editorial work. The course was very useful to orient the beginnings of my editorial project, and for this reason I was eager to attend DEMiC. Although it differed from the course I did last summer, it did not disappoint. I had the opportunity to gain valuable hands-on experience with computer coding by working closely with fellow EMiC students and teachers Zaillig and Josh Pollock in the “A Collaborative Approach to XSLT” course. Following the completion of a challenging but useful week of training, I now come away with a strong foundation in XSLT that will be invaluable to the future of my editorial project, and feel as though I am part of a strong and close community.
Last week’s course promoted exactly what its name proposes: a collaborative approach to XSLT working through the interests of computer coding and literary scholarship. While the course demanded a lot of hard work, it was very well organized which enabled a manageable workload. Josh helped students learn the fundamentals of XSLT, and Zaillig provided his own feedback on the challenges he faced while working with this type of coding on his P.K. Page digital project. In addition, both Pollocks worked together to give insight into multiple possible ways of incorporating XSLT into digital editorial projects and also emphasized the importance of working in teams to generate new ideas. Although I was intimidated at first by the course due to my lack of familiarity with XSLT, both teachers were very patient and open to questions, and for this reason they created a very comfortable learning atmosphere. I was also able to consult other students in the class for guidance, as they were willing to help me work through any kinks I faced throughout the course. It was evident that the sense of collaboration that Zaillig and Josh tried to foster was not limited to their charismatic relationship, but also extended to their interaction with the class and the interaction they encouraged between the students. Albeit I will have to continue working diligently on becoming more comfortable with this new coding language; however, I feel as though the Pollock team has left me with the necessary tools to do so. I would recommend the course to anybody interested in doing digital editorial work, and/or interested in exploring new coding languages in a comfortable and productive learning environment.
Not only was the course a great collaborative learning experience, but I also enjoyed the opportunity to meet many EMiCers outside of class, and catching up with people I met at last year’s TEMiC. I come away from this experience not only feeling more comfortable with the concept of creating a digital project, but also as though I am part of a close community that is very supportive of its members. While I am sad that this was the last time DEMiC will happen, I am happy to have met so many interesting individuals, and to have learned from them. The course has only heightened my excitement for TEMiC next month where I will have the opportunity to gain more theoretical knowledge on sound archiving, and where I will be rejoining my fellow EMiC friends. For those who will be at TEMiC next month, see you soon! For the others, I look forward to crossing paths with you sometime soon!
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