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December 4th, 2006

I worked all day on my paper and the presentation about it that I had to do tonight.

I got to class early by close to an hour, hoping the room would be available to make sure we could use the projection system during class to present my PowerPoint slide show.

To my surprise and delight, my friend and cohort Jenn, was already there and had just gotten it to work with the help of her husband on her cell phone. Ain't technology grand?



It was unbelievably fucking cold in the classroom tonight, and not just because I had shorts on. Just before class, several people came over to make sure all of the windows were really closed. They were, but it didn't matter.

After about a half hour into class, Jo said something about it being freezing in there, and asked if we could turn the thermostat up, if it works, and the professor said, "Oh, I don't think we'd better do that. We might come in here in the morning and find everyone sweating to death or something."

People just looked at him, like, "What?"

I said, "And that would be worse than them coming in and tripping over our dead, frozen bodies on the floor?" Laughter all around.



After an hour of excruciating note-taking from the board as is per usual, and a five minute break, we finally started on our paper presentations, with nowhere near enough time left in the class for the 10 minutes each that we had been allotted.

"Let's get started, and keep the presentations to 8 minutes maximum, as that's all the time we have for them," prof says.

Needless to say, people went over, and we were already behind schedule by the time I volunteered, and I went fourth. The three presentations before mine were okay — they just talked — so didn't use the projection system, which the prof had turned off, after all our work to make sure it was on and working, so that we could see the board to copy his fascinating notes.



I put in my flash drive, and when the contents showed up projected on the wall, someone laughed really loud when they saw the file name Sounding Gay.ppt I think they thought it was some extraneous file I had on my system that shouldn't have been seen.

They stopped as I hovered over it and clicked on it to bring up my presentation entitled, "Data Collection: Contribution to the Linguistically Perplexing Phenomenon of 'Sounding Gay'."

I gave my presentation, rushing, and nervous as all get out, but at the end, the class broke into applause. I was shocked. There had been no applause for the three presentations before mine, so that's why it took me by surprise. And it was the linguistics majors, over on that side of the room, who started it. Very rewarding.



Of course, our three-hour class ran over by 15 minutes, and right before the last person presented (starting at 9:00, when class officially ended at 8:45), prof says, "We've reached our last presenter, and we're over time, but remember, don't leave when she's done, because we have our class (semester) evaluations to do before you can leave."

People just looked at each other. No comment.



After class, I took a moment to thank Erin and Danica for all of their help on getting me jump-started on my paper, and they graciously said they really didn't do anything.

Erin was particularly excited about my research, and said that I should sign up to present it at the next linguistics conference. She said, "You have a corpus of data that is fertile for other researchers in the field studying this topic."

"Yeah, but I really don't feel like I 'concluded' anything from it, I mean to stand in front of a linguistics audience and talk about it."

"You should do exactly what you did here. Eric (the prof) was riveted with your work; you were the only person in whose work he was so interested that he didn't even look at his timer while you were presenting. An audience of people interested in this topic at a conference would be the same way. Just present it the way you did, saying, 'These are the limited conclusions I drew knowing what I know, but I'm interested in where you (the audience) would take this, or what you might be able to do with the raw data, which I'm willing to turnover, along with contact info of 85 people who said they'd be willing to participate in further research on this subject."

I left there pretty jazzed about the whole thing on the one hand, and on the other hand thinking how pathetic it was that I couldn't tell the prof was enthralled in it, and he didn't say anything afterwards to make me feel he was, and it's even sadder perhaps that I went up there with no idea myself that this was good work.

I hope he really did think it was good work, because this paper is 40% of our grade, and I desperately need a high grade on it to cover the two B's I have on two of the other 20%s (the mid-term and our "short paper") and the 20% that's going to be our final exam next Monday, which I'm sure is going to be another exercise in complete confusion and frustration.



Once home, I worked for two-and-a-half hours on Service-Learning work, analyzing the data from "Session 3."

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