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Day Five of University of Perl

posted by pudge on 2000.10.10 8:58   Printer-friendly
Nathan Torkington continues with his daily journal of the University of Perl.
Friday was the last day of the first week of tutorials. I had the morning off, so took the opportunity to sleep in after the late night of conversation over dinner. There's something about being on the road, though: no matter how comfy the beds are, they're never as comfy as your bed at home. All the trainers agreed with that when we talked about it over dinner.
Michel's XML class went well, and got him a set of excellent evaluations. At Seattle he'd found that half the students were new to XML, so enjoyed the first half of his class, an introduction to XML. The other half of the Seattle class had already known the introductory XML stuff and so were frustrated at the lack of Perl in that first half of the class. Michel went back and compressed the introductory XML to half its former size, and added more XML-and-Perl material. Result: lots of happy students.

That's the great thing about teaching again and again in a row like this: we can tweak and adjust our classes as we go, learning each time we teach it. I found that my mod_perl class went smoother on Friday than on Tuesday, simply because I was prepared for the questions that the students would ask. I ended just a hair late, finally managing to end before Damian.

Damian and I went for a walk around a different block, this time. We actually saw suburban dwellings, right beside the airport. I had friends in Wellington, New Zealand, who lived right by the airport, and I still don't understand how they can do it. I mean, they are able to mentally tune it out, but the loud noise surely must take a toll on your hearing. We passed a car yard and admired a Mazda Miata. Damian even knew the model number (MX-6, I think). He may look like a mild-mannered Australian academic, but under his hood he too feels the Need For Speed like the rest of us.

Six of us had dinner, three of the O'Reilly conference folks, and three of the tutors. Michel, Damian, and I left early to go to the Theatresports. Well, we thought it was early. Turns out the Theatresports was in North Hollywood, and I'm guessing the airport is way south. We spent over an hour in traffic in that taxi, jerking along in stop and go traffic. Damian isn't used to this kind of driving, and had to take a little walk to clear his head (and soothe his stomach) when we finally got there.

The Theatresports was excellent! Wow, I haven't seen that kind of fast-thinking creativity in ages. We saw them improvise a 90 minute Shakespearean play based on ideas from the audience. The second show was traditional theatresports, competing teams improvising scenes with audience help. Both flabbergasted us. Michel, Damian, and I enjoyed it immensely: www.theatresports.com if you're in (north) LA.

We got back to the hotel after midnight, and poor Damian had to fly out early the next day. Saturday I flew home and was *very* glad to see my family again. The tutorial crowd next get together in a week's time for Atlanta and New York. See you there!

Nat

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  • We passed a car yard and admired a Mazda Miata. Damian even knew the model number (MX-6, I think). He may look like a mild-mannered Australian academic, but under his hood he too feels the Need For Speed like the rest of us.

    The Miata [miata.net] is a great car, especially for those of us who feel the "Need For Speed" in a great back-country twisting mountain road!