The Pencil Guy: Hourann's illogical blog

ASCILITE day 3: it works if you press the right button …

Wednesday 8 December 2004 at 9:39 pm

Note to self: learn to press the right buttons and unplug the right cables when setting up gear in lecture theatres. Stuff tends not to work if you don’t (not that I’d ever make a mistake like that, of course …).

Yet even though all of us tech staff stuffed things up quite a few times over the last three days (like when one of the projectors died yesterday, or the time that every machine in the computer lab set aside for delegates suddenly froze), someone still saw fit to congratulate us at the final speech today. We were even each given a bottle of the “special” conference wine! Perhaps everyone was just in a congratulatory mood, what with it being the last day and all.

Also presented at that speech were a bunch of other prizes, for what the committee thought to be the most impressive papers. But they failed to include a special prize for coolness, which I’d have awarded to the group of committee members (Perth academics, all of them) who decided it’d be nice to sing something at the conference dinner last night. Coincidentally, they also decided to use my venue for their lunchtime rehearsal yesterday; while I sat in shock, they belted out a somewhat modified version of “Home On The Range”. I was actually reasonably impressed — for a bunch of non-musicians, they were able to hold a tune pretty well, and it wasn’t sounding at all bad by the end of their rehearsal. I never knew that there existed academics who could sing!

Even more amusing, though, was their attempt at an encore this afternoon, at the end-of-conference function while everyone was lapping up the free beer (man, this ASCILITE mob are a bunch of borderline alcos …). Suffice to say, the singing group that had me so amazed yesterday was, er, a tad underwhelming when half their members were sloshed :-)

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