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Hard drive failure

Thursday, July 23, 2009.

Today my macbook's hard drive failed out of the blue. While researching Clement of Alexandria, I heard the computer start making a ticking sound. Suddenly the computer froze. I rebooted it, only to discover the macbook 'gray screen of death' (which has a flashing file folder). Several hours of diagnosis later, I concluded that it was in fact the hard drive. Several more hours later, I replaced the hard drive and began to restore my files. Fortunately, most of my files were backed up in my email and on my external hard drive, but I did lose some photos, PDFs, and programs. The lesson here is, as always: backup, backup, backup.

I just hope the HD failure was not due to something serious.

New Releases

Wednesday, July 08, 2009.

Amazon can be an effective tool to quickly discover new and upcoming book releases.
Follow this link to see the latest titles on early Christianity: Amazon new releases.

Preparing Conference Papers

Saturday, June 27, 2009.

As I was editing my upcoming paper, I found another helpful article on preparing conference papers.

Claremont Graduate University:
Meet length and time requirements. This is extremely important. If you have 20 minutes, do not, repeat, do not go to your panel with a paper exceeding 10-11 (double spaced; 12 point font) pages in length. Going over your time limit will not make you popular with the other speakers on your panel (or your audience). The general rule is two minutes per double spaced, 12 point font page, exclusive of citations. If your discipline uses footnote references, it is helpful to transfer them to endnotes to make your paper easier to follow as you read.

Follow the conventions of your field and the conference. If presenters are expected to read from a prepared text (often sent to a commentator or chair prior to the conference), stick to the text. Make sure everyone on your panel has a copy of the version you will present. It is acceptable to make changes after you submit the paper, but be sure you let the commentator or chair know about the changes to your paper. Unless you are a very accomplished extemporaneous speaker, it is extremely preferable to read from a prepared text rather than speaking from notes or an outline alone. This prevents you from leaving out important information (your thesis, for example), from wandering around, and from going over your time limit.

Presenting Conference Papers in the Humanities (Claremont Graduate University)

Here's another tip: keep your sentences short! If you're reading a manuscript, it's tempting to use long sentences because this is how many of us write. Keep in mind, however, that most people speak in relatively short sentences, and that most of us are used to listening to sentences that make a single point. A good rule of thumb is to revise sentences that are over 40 words by splitting them into two shorter sentences. Most sentences should be about 20 to 25 words long. Also, use the active voice as much as possible! This gives your writing energy.