My solo went well. #1 son starts school today. I got the syllabus turned in. The IT guy from church arranged a meeting with me. #1 daughter returned safely to Cowboy Land. I rearranged the kitchen for greater efficiency.Client #4 is, as she puts it, rompin’ and stompin’ with her newly improved website — she passed the one order per day mark over the weekend, after years of languishing at an average of one order a week. I made a sales pitch for Client #2. I did a bit more hand hemming, moving the lavender linen tunic slightly nearer to FO status. I completed another unit of Rosetta Stone French.
So, even if I don’t have that fall transition perfection that I expect — and maybe the truth is that I always just expect it, rather than actually getting it — things are going pretty well. I need to move both my health and my housekeeping to a higher level of priority. I might ought to pay more attention to my husband. It might be time to develop some goals for my freelance work beyond survival.
Nothing wrong with survival. It’s just not an inspiring goal.
Now here’s something surprising that I did yesterday: I opened PowerPoint.
If you don’t know how much I dislike PowerPoint, then it shows that I have more self-control than I think I do. It’s not fair of me, because it’s just a medium, after all. I’ve seen some enthralling PowerPoint presentations. Okay, I’ve seen one enthralling PowerPoint presentation. And one that was quite interesting, except for the PowerPoint slides, which were merely decorative. Typically, PowerPoint presentations are boring, slow, and punctuated by technical problems.
I think this may be because people feel that they have to get 15 or 20 screens into their presentation. If they were writing on the board, they wouldn’t go to the trouble of erasing and rewriting 15 or 20 full boards, would they? The effort involved forces you to limit your writing to things that people might actually need or want to see. With PowerPoint, it’s the opposite: the effort is not so much in making the screens as in initiating the process. So people feel that they’ve gone to all that trouble, and ought to go ahead and make more screens. Enough that it will be worth the effort of opening the program and setting up the projector.
Then, having spent time making a PowerPoint presentation, people feel that they need to use it repeatedly. And probably email it to people, too. Whereas the simple fact is that a PP presentation is a slide show. Art history? Absolutely. 15 screens of graphs showing the difference between first and second world countries? Probably not.
So why was I fooling around with it?
It is years since I’ve been in the classroom, apart from teacher workshops and classroom visits, which are in some ways performances rather than ongoing teaching. I am aware that PowerPoint is now the Done Thing in classrooms. If I hadn’t known it before, the faculty meeting would have alerted me to the fact, as there was a great deal of discussion about it, mostly of the “There wasn’t a projector in there when I looked last week” “Well, maintenance said it was ready” variety. I don’t want to be hopelessly vieux jeu in my new classroom, do I?
I asked #2 son about it. He said that his teachers use it, but it seems to him that they are just showing their stuff because it keeps them from having to remember the information. It isn’t always relevant to what they’re doing in class, he said. Some are adept with it and some aren’t. He doesn’t think I should bother. It is, in short, just another medium.
Today I have a meeting with Client #2 and a new client of his whose website I’ll be writing, a few errands, and a tutoring appointment. I’ll plan my class for tomorrow and see what I can do about learning the new software the IT guy from church recommended to me. And I’ll get some housework and exercise in.