use Perl Log In
Day Three of University of Perl
Wow, what a fantastic day! Flew from Seattle to Los Angeles, walked on Venice Beach, and had a great dinner. Oh, and checked into the ultra-fancy hotel. Ok, small pleasures.
I spent the entire day with Damian, more or less. We had breakfast, flew to LA, went for a 7 mile walk around Venice Beach, and finally had dinner (with Dan Klein) before heading off to bed. The man is incredible. He didn't saw off his own head from the boredom of talking to me, and he was interesting the whole time. And he is in incredibly good shape: I was helped by being used to walking at high altitudes, but Damian had no trouble keeping up my speedy walking pace (and in fact handled it better than I did).
We talked about teaching, what we do right and how we could do better. We talked about the classes, wondering why the signups for his Practical Extraction and Reporting classes have been so low, even though it's a killer class with all the data extraction clue you could ever want, from regexps to recursive descent parsing in it (all we could think of is that the title wasn't sexy enough: perhaps it needs to be "Client-Server Active Parsing with Proactive Regular Expression Synergies"?). The classic marketing problem: while we can talk to people who *did* come to the tutorials, we can't ask folks who *didn't* "why didn't you like the sound of this class?". We talked about marriage and country life and the pain of trans-Pacific flights.
I'd been told that Venice Beach was the home of all the freaks in LA, but I think that must only be on the weekends. On weekdays they're apparently holding down 9-5 jobs, as our 4:00-6:00 walk didn't turn up many weirdos at all. Well, except for the guy painted silver pretending to be a statue. And the guy with the afro riding rollerblades while playing the electric guitar (he had a portable amp slung around his shoulder) was pretty cool. By the end, though, my feet were pretty sore and I was looking forward to dinner.
The hotel is very fancy. Huge white feather bed, a chair the size of a couch, and a pretty impressive view. The rooms for the talks are nice, although we didn't get net access. The Seattle hotel had ethernet in the classrooms, while all we'll get here is a phone line. Oh well, can't have it all. The luxury of this is quite overwhelming to this random bloke from New Zealand.
I'm knackered after the walk, and have to get some sleep. I'll write again tomorrow after the first day of classes here.