30 September 2014

First lecture!

Standing up in front of a room full of people and telling them about something scientific: I've been doing it for many, many years. When I was a student pretty much every module we did in years 4 and 5 involved us presenting our findings to our fellow students. And from my PhD time on, I've done plenty of presentations at conferences. That's a completely different audience; you tend to get THE experts in the field in front of your nose! I remember once presenting at EGU and seeing Laurent Labeyrie on the front row - he's quite a big cheese. It made me a bit nervous! And that got worse when the convener invited the room to ask questions, and immediately his arm shot up! Luckily I had an answer to his inquiry.

I've also done presentations for job interviews, and lunch talks, and I did a research seminar here in Bangor only weeks after I started the job. So a lecture, that would be the same, wouldn't it? But no... to me it is not. And when term was about to start I got a bit nervous. I mentioned before, in this post, why; mainly because I was module leader on a module, and that means you're responsible for the whole shebang. And I'm new here! How do I know how everything works.

So as I said, I was a bit nervous. The Friday before term started I made the website live. And then I rehearsed my first two talks a bit. And made sure I got to the venue early! I do pretty much all my teaching in Bangor itself; that's some 20 minutes on bike away. I had been in the building of the first lecture before, but never in the room. Let alone that I knew what time the building would open, if the room would be locked, if I would manage to work the projector...

All ready to rock!

Then the students came in. 37 new faces. It should have been 43, but hey, this is university. I thought it was a fine number! And at 9 sharp I started. And it went well! I had 30 slides. If I am not careful, I can do two per minute. I now clearly had to do two minutes per slide! So I tried to take it easy. When I was a student I also appreciated lecturers who spoke calmly. And I thought I managed quite well. And in addition to that, I got some reponse! I asked them why they thought there were hardly any ice shelves in the Arctic, if they had heard of Lake Agassiz en what it is famous for, what they guessed the albedo of sea water is approxiomately, and all that kind of things. And sometimes an answer came! I was quite enjoying it. And when i was done after 45 minutes (oops, not slow enough) I felt good, and looked forward to the next lecture the day after. A good start of my lecturing career!

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