quaint little rutted bucket

Thursday, June 23, 2005


We had a report for one of my majors classes this morning... and it sucked. I don't know if it was my plain incompetence, or the incompetence of my groupmates, or perhaps the incompetent slides I prepared, but it was really disappointing. And to think our prof had pretty high expectations not only from the materials we had prepared, but also from the report itself.

I did mostly understand what we were supposed to report, except for the context gap portion. That part was really frustrating. But I can confidently explain the other aspects of our report, including the big picture.

One of the glaring problems with our presentation was that our slides were packed with text and no visuals. That was not something our prof was expecting. But really, neither my English speech class last term--all the presentations I prepared for class contained fairly wordy slides--nor even my prof in educational technology told me that slides used in presentations should be visually oriented and contain only a few, if any, textual statements. They let go the way I prepared my slides. No comments, no feedback at all. And I received fairly high marks in both courses. So all along, I thought I was doing well.

Apparently, I was not.

The thing is, I prepared that thing. I spent time and money on that thing. I spent countless hours poring over the source material over and over just to make sure I could understand, share and explain what I understood. I do things not just for the sake of doing them, but doing them well. That is something I hold much belief in. And all of sudden earlier, things break down in the middle of my presentation. It was, in a word, really depressing.

I don't know who to blame. Or if there is even anybody/anything to blame other than myself.

My overt enthusiasm soon turned to frustration after our prof pointed out that our slides were wrong. I was already grovelling under intense pressure of the big booboo I made, but I hung on in there. In a stroke of divine intervention, the overhead projector's lamp decided to rest. I willingly went out of the class, perhaps unconciously to relieve myself of the pressure I felt, to get chalk and just do this the old fashioned way, to show that I did not come to school just to lamely read stuff. I dunno what motivated me to do that, but at that point, all I wanted was to save face and salvage whatever I could from something that was akin to a slowly-unravelling train crash. I couldn't care less.

I found myself blanked and lost. "I couldn't do this anymore," I heard myself saying. But I still tried to explain things. Not really well, but at that point, really, who cares.

I tried to collect myself to end this thing properly. I summed it up, taking the major points I have highlighted from the text and presenting a table that contained a checklist that could be used to compare tasks against. It ended relatively well, but I felt at that point that everything I was doing was futile. Our prof was already peeved.

I tried to explain the rationale behind the activity, even if it did not jive with the explanations offered by my groupmates. Again, I couldn't care less if it became evident that we weren't really a group at all. I just wanted the entire thing to end.

And it did. That was when tears started welling up. I just faced the window, pretended to be looking out far into the horizon and the skyline. It passed: not a tear shed, but there still was a part of me that would've liked to go away, far from that place, and just let the tears flow.


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