Russian is 85% More Fun than HTML

I was going to blog about one of two new delightful conspiracy theories I’ve discovered in recent weeks (I’m not telling what they are.  I may need blog fodder for another Time Vampire.)  But something else has been eating up so much of my time for the past three weeks that it needed to be blogged.

HTML coding.

Does it seem strange this should be something eating up my time?  It should.  I’m a folklorist!  I minored in dance.  My computer requirement was fulfilled by a course that consisted entirely of building a webpage on Microsoft Frontpage.  This is Cammy’s area of expertise (actually Cammy can program in much more advanced languages, that’s not the point).  So why am I doing it?  Because at the moment, it’s my job.  And I’d comfort myself that at least I’m getting paid, except I’m not getting paid.

What I’ve been doing specifically, is formatting a bilingual ethnopoetic transcript for display on a WordPress page.  And while in so many ways WordPress allows for easy copy and paste from MS Word, it does not deal well with such transcripts.  So I’ve been painstakingly fixing the html code line by line.  All the while reminding myself that if I wanted to do html code for the rest of my life I’d have gone into a field that pays a hell of a lot better than folklore.

And yes, html is very easy to learn (though I would argue, difficult to master). And googling is very helpful in problem solving.  But it seems like this should be something for which there is a quick fix.  And I’m going to posit that the reason there isn’t is because it would involve two worlds communicating that don’t like/know how to communicate.  To completely generalize and stereotype:  The sorts of people who work with ethnopoetic transcripts are often also the sorts of people that are… let’s say intimidated by computer coding (it reminds us that we’re stupid, when we’ve spent all that time getting degrees to fool people into thinking we’re not.)  And the sorts of people who write computer code, rarely have occasion to encounter ethnopoetic transcripts and therefore don’t really understand why they must be formatted the way they are (general advice of the internet to me: Don’t format it that way.  Me:  It has to be formatted that way).

So instead, I spend weeks in my office (jamming to my headphones because it’s summer and there’s no one else in the building except the ghost of Richard Dorson) fixing code line by line and thinking “I speak three languages.  And none of them are helping me right now.”