Friday, November 03, 2006

Friday Morning Post Flow Blues

Ok, ok, it's clear that m thoughts and work are starting to swell, and that is a good thing! And the thought of writing a new book is something I am actually looking forward to, although the last one took so much hard work and time. That said, all of that hard work was competely worth it. I have my own thoughts on what it means to work, pace and the like... let's just say it is something that it is contingent on the project at hand and is similar to my thoughts on cooking (yeah, I wrote COOKING!).

So, The Flow Conference was quite inspirational for me. I don't think every conference should be like this, but I can honestly say that I wouldn't mind if it was every other conference. All of this had to do with the format, which I think my friend Derek gets just right when he notes,
The idea was to open up the usual conference panel formula (i.e., four 20-minute papers, followed by about 15 minutes of discussion) to allow for much more interaction. For the most part, this worked well, with most sessions that I attended having active, engaging discussions for most of their allotted time. However, some panels had too many “official” participants (one that I went to had eight), which sucked up a bit more time and attention. It took almost an hour to get through the panelists’ statements a couple of times on panels this size. So, in future, I’d cap the number of participants per panel at six, and more strongly suggest the 2-3 minute time limit on their statements; again, let’s get to the discussion.
Yeah, well, I klind of agree, even if my presentation clocked in at around 5 or 6 minutes. If you have 6 people going 5 minutes it will clock in at 30 with an hour and a half of discussion. Ideally. I was at one session where a person took around 15 minutes to present. Heck, tack on 5 minutes and you got a standard paper presentation at larger conference, which is what you do not want for this kind of conference, which was supposed to "flow" and, for the most part did. I now my own panel just rocked and rolled in a really rhythmic and smart manner, all of which was due to the right mix of particpants and the format. A real rarity.

But now it is Friday, almost a wweek since the conference and while I am resting my mind a bit, I am getting amped up to write and begin a new book proposal, grading and, well... see Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan. Nice!

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