The last seminar of the semester. Presentations. Due to the constricted schedules of our seminarians, all twelve us were to present. Normally, class runs two and a half hours, a long time to talk about political sociology. To accommodate the large number of presentations, we planned to meet half an hour early and end an hour late, thus extending the seminar from two and a half to four hours long.
The plan was to keep each presentation (Powerpoint, please) to 15 minutes. With five minutes for Q 'n' A after each presentation, all of us could fit in. Upon arrival, we delighted to see that the prof brought a cart full of juice, pop, tortilla chips (the "plain" looking ones were spicy!) and cookies.
There were some technical difficulties, exacerbated by the fact that no one in the room had ever had to set up the computer/video presentation equipment. Plus we needed a key to the cabinet. We looked at our fellow seminarians email inbox on the screen as they went through their email for their presentations.
The first few presentations ran a little long, and it became clear that we were not going to end on time. The prof was really getting into the Q 'n' A. After the first two hours had passed, one of our astute if sometimes quiet seminarians noted that there were still seven seminarians to go. It was suggested that the presentations could be edited a little. One presenter demanded her full allotment of time, since had rehearsed her 15 minute presentation; it lasted 45 minutes, with Q 'n' A just about an hour. Then she left. If all of us had rehearsed so well, it would have been a 12 hour seminar without breaks.
We decided to chug on rather reschedule another meeting. Those among us who had children to rescue from day care or other pressing commitments bailed. During the breaks, we stopped getting "goodies" off the cart and stretched instead. All of us at one point or another stood through some of the presentations, to get off our cans for half an hour.
It was eight o'clock when when the other most locquacious seminarian began her presentation. She wanted to go last, but Quiet Insightful surprisingly held on her to the "clean up" position in the order. We had heard about her project all semester. We were ready for a long one. She asked us to cut her off after 20 minutes or so. We did not: she had been so patient to sit through all of our presentations after all.
She rambled. And rambled. And rambled. She was tired. Like us, she had been in seminar for six hours. But now she had to perform. As her presentation went on, she slowed noticeably. Her presentation ground to a slow almost imperceptible halt. Then Other Locquacious was surprised to learn that there was another presentation to go.
Quiet Insightful demanded to go last because it was her last day at the U. Her presentation actually prompted quite a bit of discussion; Quiet Insightful had volunteered with the campus vegan activists. This brought up a lively philosophical discussion of whether the Genesis gives Man dominion over the beasts, and whether or not that implied that we should be eating them. By the time discussions ended on her presentation, it was ten o'clock, and all of us were fairly wiped out.Posted by webs0080 at May 13, 2004 7:19 AM