My First Lecture

Settle down, class. And simmer down, now.

I was recently invited by the university to give a lecture on the use of multimedia in communication, as part of a weekend lecture series sponsored by SPSBE. I agreed, with the caveat that it must begin sometime after noon. I got 2:00, so that wasn't bad. The large auditorium, ornate compared to what I'm used to for my film classes, features velvet curtains and paintings of people who look like they were in The Godfather.

There was one more feature of the auditorium that I noticed after entering further—a balcony. I couldn't pass on the opportunity to lecture from there, so up I went.

The balcony stunt got a laugh, so it was a good way to comfortably ease into my talk, all of which I did from above. Gotta keep the students in their place, you know? My extreme altitude also helped to take attention away from the fact that I was giving a lecture at Johns Hopkins while wearing a Late Show with David Letterman t-shirt. I was told that it was a very casual event and that the fact it was being given by an undergraduate was part of the appeal of the program. Still, I felt a bit underdressed, especially since I forgot to work in the point about how I was showing what not to wear, even if one is giving a presentation in which the audience mostly watches a screen.

I don't know exactly I was saying here or why I looked so angry, but it's a funny picture. I might have been saying something about the danger of writing a presentation based on a slideshow driven by PowerPoint or other applications.

After taking questions, I went downstairs and talked to some of the attendees individually. While attempting to illustrate a point about information overload in a visual aid, I was able to incorporate my "MW" monogram into some foreign writing that was already on the board.

Overall, I really enjoyed the attention, the balcony, and of course the chance to help some people out with multimedia in communication. I thank Hopkins for letting me speak, and would definitely do it again. Next time I won't wear a t-shirt.

Special thanks to Bill for sitting through the lecture and taking the pictures of me.

Posted: Saturday - September 24, 2005 at 03:25 PM