Yesterday we held the first ever “5-slides seminar contest” in our department. Stacy’s account beat me to this, but I was busy figuring out how to clip and edit and upload video and slides from the whole event. I’m not sure if it really captures the essence of it, but I find myself giggling throughout the whole thing.
The premise was that five of us would each create a 5-slide presentation, but then we would each have to present someone else’s. Not knowing anything about others’ slides, or even whose we were going to present until the moment before, it was a huge risk. And it was wonderful and hilarious, and as Stacy agrees, a testimonial to the people we get to work with everyday. Who knew that a physics seminar could make me laugh so hard that I was wiping tears. I guess others knew, though, as this was the best attended seminar of the year, including people from other random classes and a bevy of biologists. One student came up to me after to reveal that we were coauthors on a psychology paper last spring.
I think that the joy we find in our work, teaching, and even the in-between-classes-hallway interactions comes through in all this. And, I think that’s the secret. We love what we do, we don’t take ourselves too seriously, and we get to bounce ideas off one another that are ridiculous and crazy, just to have someone say, “yes, we should do that.”