The Adventures of the Ninja

Today’s post is called “The Adventures of the Ninja” which really means sorry for the radio silence and here’s what happend in the meantime. And I think I’m not exaggerating when I say “It has been quite a ride!”.

Let’s start at the beginning. The story of me not really being able to blog regularly due to third-year PhD sprint stress has been slowly starting back in Mainz in 2020 (where I was a DH fellow at IEG). However, the general PhD-related stress level only got worse on my subsequent Innsbruck fellowship (Ludwig-Boltzmann-Institute for Neo-Latin Studies) and the weeks leading up to both the submission of my PhD thesis in late May 2021 and me leaving for my fellowhip at the Science History Institute in Philadelphia in early June (the visa process was quite something, to say the least…). Anyway, I ultimately arrived in Philadelphia and was feeling pretty burnt out to be honest. (I have written down some of my post PhD submission fatigue experiences elsewhere.)

In early September, I returned to Europe only to be jetsetting between visiting my parents, visiting colleagues/friends in Greece, shortly returning to Graz to prep and pass my defense (and redecorate the whole appartment while procrastinating on prepping the defense) and finally taking a – if I may say so – well-deserved surfing trip to my usual spot in Portugal.

Now that I’ve returned, I’m happy to annouce that I scored a relatively long-term contract back at my “home institution”, Centre for Information Modelling in Graz. As you might know, I always was and still am in Academia mostly for the free food and the academic jetset (I doubt that’s ever going to change..). Also, to do things justice, we might also have to add alchemy stuff to the mix, too. But despite being mostly in it for the traveling it’s still nice to have a (super supportive and great DH-wise) home base you can return to every once in a while. Still, the wandering is not likely to cease anytime soon, unless the pandemic continues to be on the rise. Little did you know but I actually have the vagabonding in a name in my family tree (it’s something between what I googled is the meaning of rolling stone, troubadour, Wandervogel and so on). I’m excited to hopefully meet many of you at some conference or on my fellowship travels if the apocalypse allows for it!

My future life goals include buying a van and having a life. Whew, that was a lot of private information in one post on this blog. Usually I try to keep it short in the personal info department but since I’m noticing that more and more people actually actively follow my blog (I’m honoured, friends and fellow Ninjas!), I felt that you deserved this update after my extented period of radio silence. So there you have it. I will be teaching a lot as part of my PostDoc, so you can expect some more DH teaching content here. There are so many blogposts and tutorials I have been wanting to write for ages (basic stuff such as the simple but essential intro to XML!). I’m also looking forward to reflecting more on teaching and getting creative with some new LaTeX templates (I will probably get going on some planner templates because so many people are selling custom planners nowadays and why should you buy one if you could just make your own using LaTeX?! And also, the Noob is asking for it too 😀 ).

Armed with all of this info, you might be able to understand why I really needed this extended summer break (from work, home and this blog too). I’m fortunate that I was able to take all these trips and holidays and my Philly fellowship which was an exciting experience. It has been a privlege (and I continue to be privileged given that I have obtained a relatively stable job for now). So I’m feeling relaxed and in the mood to make promises – specifically, that I will honour you with my presence on this blog more regularly once again in the future.

So that’s it for today. Thanks for all the fish!

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PS/Rant paragraph (feel free to skip): Anyways, I’m also happy to ensure you that I am allowed to call myself Dr. Ninja already (in case you’re German and have been wondering since that’s been known to happen). I wasn’t able to find sources on this but my limited life experience seems to indicate that actually, German Publikationspflicht is quite the outlier internationally. I just wanted to clarify this and use my platform here to rant (skip this paragraph if you’re not into that). Also, I’m allowed to shit on German culture as much as I like because I’m secretly German, thank you very much. Sorry for the rant but I’m so embarrassed by the country I was born in many times (in all different sorts of contexts). In the academic context specifically, I feel the very German feeling of Fremdschämen all the time with regards to German academia (which seems to think its the center of the world). Dear Germans, please consider that other countries exist. Those countries are under no obligation whatsoever to do things as they are being done in Germany. If you’re being rude to people because they “dare” use their Dr. title without having the thesis published, check your self-importance. Not all countries do this – surprisingly, there even are German-speaking countries other than Germany who, too, are under no obligation to do things as they are being done in Germany. By calling people out without any awareness of these matters, you are not being “a good citizen”, you are demonstrating that you’re rude, self-important and don’t really know that much about the world (and/or what’s going on outside of Germany). Rant over. Sorry but this was necessary – I’m super embarrassed every single time my Austrian friends tell me they’ve been yelled at again by some ignorant German about using their title while not having the thesis published. Feel free to pass this info on to anybody who needs it.

I like LaTeX, the Humanities and the Digital Humanities. Here I post tutorials and other adventures.

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