Inspiration took a break

Time for a throwback on last week’s class. This time we had a long session, which means a three hour long marathon. Apart from the fact that I almost starved (I’m always hungry), it was quite an amusing marathon. Mrs. Derudder called of ill 15 minutes before the start of the class and Mr. Dupont stood in, being totally unprepared. He started telling an anecdote about a British pub where improvisation nights were being held. Sometimes they just started up a random powerpoint presentation and picked someone of the audience to present it, pretending he or she made the powerpoint.

This set the tone for the rest of the class: many anecdotes and fun trivia. The serious part of the class went really well, so Mr. Dupont succeeded! He really gave us the impression he knew everything about that powerpoint! The subject was ‘writing a personal statement’. The class not that difficult and I think I really understood the essence of a good personal statement. By the end of the week we will have to hand in a personal statement of our own, an application letter for a major. I’m really curious about that feedback!

PS: not a really long blogpost, but it’s one of those nights inspiration took a break…

The torment of academic reading

Last week we discussed research papers. Off course, this wasn’t new to me. After almost years of studying I have read dozens of research papers, which I consider to be the most annoying part of the whole academic research process. A lot has to do with the complexity of most research papers. Some papers are written in such a boring way that the urge to sleep hits me every time I start reading, which is a shame. I think that a good research paper is written in a clear, comprehensible way without altering the content of it. However, those research papers are rather rare, certainly when they already are a bit outdated.

They really should introduce a second peer review committee to investigate the readability of all academic papers. Scientific reading would be so much fun if the authors would add more color to their writing, throwing all that difficult jargon overboard and choosing the path of intelligible articles.

So, about last week. It was actually an interesting class. Not that I learned that much, but it offered a different perspective on the structure of a research paper. As a reader you don’t really watch the different parts of an article, like the introduction, body etc… but unconsciously you expect a certain structure. So, before actually writing a paper ourselves, it’s actually not that bad to draw out a bit on this.

I look forward to next week! :)

Week 4: presenting an infographic

So last week we learned how to present an infographic, which was quite fun. I have to admit that I’m not really a gifted speaker. The moment I’m in front of an audience I completely start stressing out, which results in stammering, stumbling over words etc…

I think a lot has to do with the fact that I’m always overprepared. I know that presenting isn’t my highest strength so I try to stick to my original plan as much as possible. However, learning a presentation by hard and stressing out is probably the worst combination ever. In fact this whole thing is one big contradiction. I’m actually pretty good at improvising. I’m not a world class actor either but I do appreciate behaving in some theatrical way, without having to worry about content or a script, though for some reason I lose this ability when presenting something ‘serious’ to an audience.

Back to last week. At the end of the class we had to present an infographic to our group. It went rather well and I got positive feedback about the content of my presentation, but again, my group members told me I was not relaxed enough.

This certainly remains an important point to work on!