Going into this project I am filled with anxiety and a little bit of trepidation. Not only because it is a huge chunk of my final grade but also, because I am completely computer illiterate. Knowing that I have been taking out of my comfort zone made for some short nights and restless sleep.
TAPor is the program I was assigned to work with to analyze Hamlet Act 3.4. As I am the type of person whom needs the most user friendly program to work with, and Tapor is definitely not one of them. My initial goal was to use the program to figure out if Hamlet can see the ghost of King Hamlet or, if in Act 3.4, he had a psychotic break and is on a downward spiral. My initial goal was quickly switched to, â€œ how to use this program?â€
My group and I had sat down to get acquitted with TAPor and play around to see how it all worked. I am sure TAPor could smell my fear because while everyone in my group were getting results, all I kept getting was error messages. It was funny at first until I did not have a positive result during this stage, then humor turned into frustration. The main thing I did realize during this play around stage is that TAPor has a ridiculous assortment of error messages and it is very rare to get the same one more then once. I banged my head against the desk and wished that the developers put more time into making their program user friendly, then devising a wide array of error messages.
I am not one to give up so I took a dayâ€™s break to clear my head and start fresh. Thinking that if I were not afraid of it, it would play nice and give me results. Boy, was I ever wrong. I continued with my original question of, is Hamlet actually crazy in the scene with a small hope that a days break TAPor will work. I enlisted my fellow group members to help me isolate words and themes to find patterns and yet again, all I seem to get was an error messages. From the dozens I have received I have compiled a few of my favorites that are worth noting.
With my lack of computer skills crushed and my large part of my final grade on the line I refuse to cower to a computer program. I stopped trying to isolate certain words to help me figure out my problem and started to see if any of the many tools would work. After what seems like days, TAPor cooperated with me! It gave me a list of words that have capital letters.
How will this help me, or anyone else, trying to analyze Shakespeare? I do not know, but it was a start on the right path. This was a small victory against a computer program that wants to make me sweat about a subjected that I have always loved and enjoyed.
Once I got my list of capitalized words, I could not help but notice that, while some people would think the interface was dull and lacking color, I liked the simplicity. It may have only been my reaction after days of struggling to get the program to work or if I genuinely liked the look. It is definitely way too early for me to decide at this point. Â But as I continue the daunting task of working with/against TAPor, I hope my progress improves and that I can proudly say I have mastered TAPor by the end of term.