Reflections on classes

Source: Clipartpanda

Source: Clipartpanda

I attended a four-week lecture series sponsored by our local hospital on the primary body systems. It was very interesting. Medical topics are intriguing. I could have been successful in that field if I didn’t have to touch people or come in contact with someone else’s body fluids. I can barely stand my own!

The attendees were a mix of high school students interested in the medical field to octogenarians with nothing better to do and all ages in between. It was interesting that 99% of the questions came from the octogenarians.

I learned some things other than the topics and I will share them with you.

People who come to a series sit in the same seats every week. I didn’t. I bounced around. The first area where I sat was very smelly. I thought it was the whole auditorium (from a large collection of people who have those body fluids) but as it turns out, it was one very stinky guy. Didn’t sit near him again! (Yes, he came to every lecture! You could smell him walking down the aisle.)

Instructors still use PowerPoint. That’s not a bad thing but they READ the PowerPoint word by word. I can read it myself. My suggestion is to use cryptic slides where you verbally fill in the information. Otherwise I am way ahead of you and crafting my grocery list.

There are stupid questions. Don’t let anyone tell you there aren’t. If I’m at a medical class and I can answer your question without any medical background, it’s stupid. Perhaps all I need is a shingle (except for those doggone body fluids).

While we’re on the questions, people came to ask questions about their medical conditions. Really? You pick a public forum like this to ask if your scrotum is hanging properly. There are office visits for that. (I’m thankful there was no display of said scrotum. Perhaps I could have gotten an opinion on my boob scar.)

One participant wanted to start a conversation on whether a medication (which did not relate to the topic at all) she was on was more appropriate than its competitor. Fortunately the speaker shut that one down (kindly).

Blue streaks in hair doesn’t work for everyone. Don’t get me wrong. I admire older women who have jumped on the pastel bandwagon but it doesn’t always work. In addition to the colorful streaks you have to occasionally wash your hair so it isn’t greasy looking.

Snacks were provided. Most weeks it was cut up fruit or salsa and chips. The classes ran from 6:30 to 8 p.m. There was no need for refreshments. Every week I saw a plate of food flying across the floor. It was a carpeted auditorium. People are not civilized enough to eat there without spilling (and getting the chairs sticky, ick!). Besides it’s 6:30? Didn’t you just eat dinner? The auditorium is across from the cafeteria. My suggestion is to eat there first.

This was my third series. They are informative and enjoyable (except for the body fluids and smelly people) and I look forward to next year’s classes.

 

38 thoughts on “Reflections on classes

  1. I give you props for sitting through the whole thing, especially if the speaker was reading through each and every slide. That would be a little bit like pulling teeth. Not sure I could have sat it out all the way through (pun intended). But hey, you got to see some colorful people, hear some odd questions, smell some smelly stuff, and even got to snack on unnecessary snacks. Almost sounds like a trip to the mall, but with chairs and snacks. LOL

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    • The information was interesting or I wouldn’t have done it. Between slides there were anecdotes and stories to make it worthwhile. I avoided the snacks. They weren’t worth the calories.

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  2. I don’t know how you sat in the room as the speaker was reading the slides. That makes me crazy.
    Why is itthat people have a need to ask question simply to hear themselves speak when they already know the answer to the question they’re asking.

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  3. There is nothing worse than a speaker who reads their slides. I say either go with little cartoons or overarching themes, or ditch the a/v altogether. As for classmates, pasteled, smelly, and/or stupid, where do these people come from? The ones who think the whole lecture is about them. The ones who ask big convoluted questions just to hear themselves talk and prove how smart they are. A good speaker knows how to shut those people down. With something more creative then “let’s take that offline” although that is always a last resort. Ugh. I always liked to heckle idiots in my audience. You know, turn things around. It’s amazing my career as a speaker was so very short lived, huh?

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    • I bet you were an interesting speaker. When I taught I kept to topic. Time is too limited for rabbit holes. Outsmarting smartasses was always fun. I was at a class where I guy opened and read a newspaper during the class. There were about 15 to 20 of us. The instructor called a break and asked to see the paper and never gave it back. There is always a technique. Where did those people come from? I think they were bused in from somewhere. Really though they are among us!

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  4. I too wonder about such classes. Every now and then I succumb to the ads inviting folks to attend. I always hope I will learn something. And I must say I have been disappointed – even in the provided snacks when I’m not hungry – and I can’t remember learning a single thing. It’s much more fun to serve on a jury. 🙂

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    • The series is about specifics and always interesting. Most of the sessions go deeper than the superficial in some cases I have to google things afterward. The snacks are a waste. It just adds to the dirt and it doesn’t replace dinner. I served on one jury and it was the most boring thing I’ve ever done. The only thing I learned was that lunches at courthouses are 2 hours long; you sit through the entire trial and just as you are ready for deliberations some sort of settlement or plea bargain or something ends it so it was an incredible waste of time.

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    • Don’t be fooled about the jury thing! I had to sit through a two week medical malpractice case filled with technical witnesses talking about bone fractures or some such crap. Judge kept admonishing us to stay awake. We were trying, but you know, the buzz of the lights and the warm room and zzzzzzzzzzzz

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      • Fortunately mine was way shorter than that. I don’t know how people stay sane when they are on juries that are weeks long. I had a friend that sat on a grand jury. It went for 12 months. Can’t remember if it was once a week or once a month. She loved it.

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        • My only experience with a jury was a local dispute over “farm use” tags on a van that was not being used for farm use. Our foreman/woman was a retired social studies teacher. The men on the jury would have fined the perpetrator $75 but the women on the jury won at a $100 fine. It all lasted about two hours and was a great example of how the justice system works and a quick study in human nature. Not sure I would want to be on a jury longer than that – especially after hearing some other eye-views. 🙂

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  5. Ugh. I just came out of a meeting that was the opposite — everyone had to give their opinion on one woman’s child’s stomach pain. Apparently she could have anything from Celiac’s disease to constipation and could be cured by something called “Yum-yum Probiotics.” Maybe. Or maybe she just hates school.

    Everyone likes to talk = double meeting time.

    The German in me wails over the inefficiency.

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    • We are both so….GERMAN! There was a staff meeting that always had what I called a “cocktail hour” before they started talking about real stuff. Sports results, TV program discussions, anything but business. I always threatened to come in after the cocktail was over. (No they didn’t serve anything stronger than coffee!)

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  6. Presenters reading their PowerPoint slides word-for-word and audience members asking inane – or, even worse, inappropriate – questions… that drives me nuts! Messy food and smelly people… yikes! I imagine you weren’t the only one rolling your eyes (or moving away from the human cesspool).

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  7. I’m with you on the touching and body fluids thing, Kate. My mom was a nurse but I never spent a nanosecond thinking about following in her footsteps.

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  8. Wow… people are *still* reading word-for-word from Powerpoint slides? I really thought/hoped that ended in the nineties. That’s so lazy!

    I once spent an entire happy with a friend talking about whether smelly people KNOW they’re smelly or not. People were looking at us. We were in our twenties. To this day we still bring that up occasionally.

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    • I wonder if you get immune to your own odor. Everyone has one but most of us keep clean enough so you can’t smell it. I think I can tell when I need a shower (usually after working outside) but this guy was either oblivious to it or perhaps it was his jacket that stank. Some people never wash their outer clothes. A whole happy hour? I bet it was hilarious. When I worked I had to counsel an employee who smelled…badly. As for the PP, I couldn’t believe it either.

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