It’s been quite a long time since I’ve had to sit through an entire day of classes. The first all-day session of this class really tested my learning stamina, or more specifically, my listening stamina. The lectures were a mix of congratulatory fluff (“we’re the greatest information school in the country, or should be!”), which I could have done without, and really great content on the history of communication technology. I have to confess that I was nearly brain-dead by the end…
...which was a perfect time for us to meet our small group members and work on our technology problem exercise and subsequent presentation (she said, sarcastically)!
To be honest, this work session went much better than I expected. As far as gender and cultural divides go, they seemed to have little effect. The striking differences showed up in expertise and language use. Our conversations took a lot of time because the Information Management folk have a very structured vocabulary for project work, which they threw around with great speed, and the rest of us (me especially) had to ask for clarification quite a lot. Thankfully, despite these language barriers (hardly the ones I expected!), I think we designed a decent project and will probably have a halfway decent presentation to do.
I was surprised at how I feel less intimidated all the time. There are so many smart, smart people in all of the programs, but I never realized how many presentation and communication skills I have developed over the past few years. I suppose I assumed that everyone can do this effectively – not true! (At least, they can’t yet – I couldn’t always, either.) And a good deal of project management skill also rubbed off on me inadvertently.
It’s nice to be surprised by your own competence!