Thursday, March 17, 2011

Thursday and Ladies' Night

This was my first full day in New Orleans.It was a beautiful, warm, sunny day--particularly appreciated by someone from the frozen north;-)
It started with the plenary from Alistair Pennycook who reminded us that there are many varieties of English, and that there are some particularly interesting local variations on English, some of them originating in Australia, and that English is really a "bastard" language. It all makes it very difficult to define what English is and emphasizes the need for context in understanding the local variations that occur.
Volunteering at the Electronic Village is always interesting and a good way to meet up with old friends and meeting new ones.
In the afternoon, Claire Braden-Sisken presented on her project--putting writing assignments online--and the discussion revolved around what can and cannot realistically be accomplished with computers. The concensus is that human tutors are needed to provide appropriate feedback for some, particularly higher order, assignments.
After that came a workshop with Vance Stevens; we worked on developing google docs and putting them on the web. It was a very useful, hands-on demonstration. By the way, Vance looks good in a suit!
Vance during his presentation

We were lucky to get a reservation for La Cochon--it is St. Patrick's Day and New Orleans is in a party mood.  Claire, Nina, Laine, Mary, Dorinda, Jane and I were the ones who turned up for dinner--it turned out to be a ladies' night apart from a cameo appearance by Tom Robb who saw us in the restaurant.
Laine, Mary and Dorinda--red-eyed devils!     

Claire studying the menu.

Jane, Veronica, & Nina.

I'm off to read the program booklet to see what's on offer for tomorrow.

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