#100DaysofDH – #happynoob on the move!

Okay, since Sarah aka Ninja finished her 100 Days and worked out her best strategies to keep her working attitude and focus (you can read about this here (100-Day-Challenges and visualizing the process), or here (her Ninja-post on the challenge), and here (Article-Challenge with our template), as well as here (her wisdom on the 100 days)), she made it clear that it is my turn now. After all, my LaTeX-Ninja wants me to learn all the fabulous things of DH.

I decided to go through this under my code-name “happy noob” (which can also be found in social media -Twitter and Instagram – as #happynoob). So. My 100 Days of DH. I started on Dec. 7th, Monday, right after my party weekend (party, because I defended my thesis). I love working on my stuff, I use this to calm myself down – do nothing at all never works out the way I want. That’s why I also turned my brain to Spanish again. And langugage learning needs a different kind of brain activity, so I am relaxing in my own weird mode of feeling perfectly at ease with my free time.

But back to our topic – what about my 100 days of DH, now being day Nr. 14 on official count (and for those following us/me on social media, yes, I miscounted the other day. But hey, I just got my PhD, I am not really reliable ;)). I began with preparations on my current lecture on digital classics at the University of Graz. This time it was all about R and the humanities. I used R to get the statistics on my PhD thesis data right, so I thought, this would be a good idea to show it to my students.
Well – ever learned a technical skill and never practiced it well? Yeah, you know what I mean. I had to go back to the absolute beginning. I worked myself through all my case studies and created a set of data to work on with my students and an amount of tasks they should perform on that data.

The next topic on my agenda: QGIS – again. Still. Whatever.
Maps are a very important tool for an archaeologist. I gave you one book review on Map Design in QGIS and I am now in the possession of another good course book on QGIS 3.X, so that report may follow soon. I have to work on some maps for a project, or at least – the main issue is that we are working now on the print version and we need our maps and explanations to be good, precise and done nicely. And a good layout. 😉 So, it is an enjoyable work to do. All the data is fixed and selected, I am really just clicking myself through the software and prepar nice looking maps. Can be easily done sitting on the couch, watching TV, listening a podcast (one of my new hobbies recently9 or listening to some good music.

You can follow my 100 Days of DH on Twitter (@epigrammetry as well as @AstridSchmolzer) and Instagram (@epigrammetry). I am using Sarah’s template on organizing my days – a little bit styled for my own needs, to be honest – and I am doing good so far.

 

But my rules for my challenge are a bit different, so let me explain:

  1. I am not forcing myself to sit everyday at my desk and starring at my laptop to code or whatever.
    Reason Nr. 1 for this self-care-related outline – I just finished a PhD. There are days that I spent on the couch or in bed, my brain being a mess for at least half the day. And my regular mood can be described the best with “tired”. Not just as an adjective. It is basically an emotion, I cannot describe it any better, sorry, folks.
  2. Coding, mapping, … reading. Yes, reading. There is a lot of information material on various DH-Tools. Currently, I am concentrated on QGIS and map layouts. But I also found some online libraries on R – so, as soon as my work with QGIS is done, I will skip back to R. Or I will read some other books on DH. I am getting tired very fast in front of any screen. My guess: Everything is stress-related. My brain is cooling down and relaxing after on of the biggest fights of my academic career so far. And offline reading helps me to relax.
  3. Digital source criticism – if you ar studying or working in a typical classical discipline, you know that you have to revise your sources, no matter if inscriptions, ancient literature or archaeological material. Who wrote/did it, do we know why and when? What about the cultural and social or political environment of the sources? Where has it been found, who found it when and how was this finding documented?
    Doing this on a usual analog work-base is nothing unsual. In fact, I guess most of us are not really thinking about this step anymore, because it is an automatic skill we have learned.
    But what about digital sources? What about data? With the DH becoming more and more useful tool and working method as well as a discipline, we need to think about this.
    I decided to look into some recent papers on that topic – reading, you remember. But still connected to the topic.
  4. As being your #happynoob, I am very strict in my feelings on DH – I need the D-part, but I am actually trained H – in my case, archaeologist (read about this here). I am always trying to find out how to use DH methods or tools for my research. So, I will learn and teach myself how to use certain features or tools, but I it is not my main interest or focus to gain absolute expertise.
  5. I use this challenge also for a glance around myself in the virtual world. Where are organisations, departments etc. which are working on/with/in DH and its methods and theories? What are their main interests?
    Just to get a feeling for the discipline. Also not a usual step to take in a challenge, but I think it is a good way to start working on something new.

 

Okay, these are my five rules and outlines for my challenge. Next stop: Christmas break. And I am so looking forward to it. 😉 Well, but then, who isn’t?

I wish you Merry Christmas and a lovely time with your family and/or friends – stay safe and healthy, and enjoy the Christmas cookies!

You may read our last post for this year next week, where we will give you an overview of our crazy 2020 and some hints for our plans in 2021. 🙂 Stay fierce!

Astrid <3


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