Friday, May 9, 2008

Shorty wanna be a prof

I realized this afternoon that I have eight days to get ready for my second lecture for my sister's colleague's class in Georgia. I've been working on my lecture on how architecture and culture have influenced each other over the past 250 years in the U.S., but I'm still kinda-sorta behind. My PowerPoint slide presentation needs some more and difference images on it, and I still need to thin out my presentation. I've gotten it down to 1 hr 26 minutes with only a little class participation, and I've got to thin it more. One, I don't want to bore/lose my audience; and two, my throat gets hoarse every time I practice the lecture. On the one hand, if I just read the notes that I have, which are in outline form, I might be able to shave off some time, but then the presentation wouldn't be near as interesting. At this point, I think it's time to email the outline to Linda Lou and have her give me some suggestions.

But Lawd, how? How do I thin out nine pages of what I think is super-duper culturally and architecturally important? Do I chuck the parts about Phillip Johnson and Louis Kahn? Do I throw out the parts about Catherine Beecher and Harriet Beecher Stowe's The American Woman's Home, which started the concept of domestic science and home economics? Do I ditch the bits on Neoclassical Colonial architecture, thereby losing the stuff on Thomas Jefferson's Monticello? Argh! I feel like I've thinned it down, but it's still too long. I keep trying to think about what should the kids know, but that's where I start wrestling with teaching them names and pictures versus concepts. Again, argh.

So, the final countdown begins. I left work a couple of hours early and thinned it to the nine pages I have now. I'll give it some heavy work this weekend. Perhaps I just need time to make it clean, comprehensible, and comprehendable.


Miss Kitty said...

Send it on to Linda Lou; she's a great editor. I know because she picks apart my own conference papers when I ask her for help. Once you send it to her, don't look at it again until she calls/e-mails you. That way, you look at it with fresh eyes. Or maybe you two should schedule a two-day guest lecture? Stranger things have happened.

And small kittehs want to meet their Aunt Pixeh.

Xtine said...

As someone with -zero- exposure to architecture, I vote that you go for concepts, with a name and picture or two for each, as examples.

You say Neoclassical Colonial, and I have no idea what you're talking about until you name Monticello.

PS: I'll be in Denver soon. It might be just because it's on the way to Colorado Springs, or we might stop. I thought you read my blog, so I asked for highlights of things to see if we do stop :-P

The Wandering Author said...

Now, that's a lecture I'd love to have a chance to sit in on! An hour and a half isn't long to cover 250 years, in my opinion.

As for getting hoarse, I tried to find a link for you, but I'm not sure which shopping sites to trust. Google: Thayer "two trees" (with the quotes). If you don't like maple (or those are the priciest ones), any of the throat lozenges with slippery elm will help.

I've used them myself, and they do work, even on sore throats. Caveat: I like the Two Trees and the Tangerine; I hate the Cherry as it tastes like medicine, and while plain Slippery Elm isn't too bad once you get used to it, it tastes somewhat like sucking on a hunk of (unflavoured) envelope glue. Depending on your tastes, keep that in mind.