Archive for June 12th, 2009
One pretty significant part of doing research is presenting research in the hopes that some people will give you money in order to allow you to do more research. Presentation skills tend to be oft. ignored but incredibly essential part of any research project. For the most part the team on the ground has been doing most of the presenting and discussing as they meet the people who will be using our work. This week however I was asked to give a short demo of the Braille tutor for a special guest that would be coming in this Friday, no idea of length or my audience, just that I would be presenting to someone in business. So, I asked Brad for his notes amended them slightly, and prepared for all intents and purposes to give a short demo to the guest. Quickly this expanded to giving a quick overview of the iSTEP program so my demo evolved into a spiel and a demo. Then I learned my audience grew from 1 business man, to an audience of about 20.
By Friday the only thing I really only knew I’d be doing is presenting to 20 individuals involved in business. I even had to ping someone 30 minutes before the presentation as I hadn’t yet received information about the place to present. Upon meeting the group who was touring the facilities and asking how much time we had to present we were notified that it’d be 3 minutes. Erin assisted me by breezing through the information about the iSTEP program and I amended the demo to touch on learning dot placement, learning letters, and the animal sounds game before trying to move them along. It was an interesting exercise in thinking and adapting on my feet. It’s a skill I’m sure the ground team is utilizing everyday and something that’s going to be valuable in the later game when we wrap up and try to show of what the iSTEP program can do as I’m sure this isn’t the last time I’ll have to talk about the program.
Today I got to visit Uhuru school and meet with the headmaster for the blind section. Bea and I interviewed him about needs, desires, strengths and areas for improvement for the blind school. We learned a lot, and are really excited for where we can go with this project. Uhuru is very different from the Mathru school, and as a result the Braille Tutor will play a different function within this school, but that’s the challenging and exciting part: thinking of something new. The best part was having the headmaster play with the tutor. He laughed, and really enjoyed it. It’s great to have his enthusiasm to feed off, and he’s been a fun guy to work with.
Bea and Timi have been working really hard this week, traveling basically every day, but the information they’re getting is going to guide the tech progress through the next few weeks. I think we’ll be seeing a lot more tech work in the coming weeks. I know I have a lot of work coming up, so hopefully Bea and Timi can get a break while the tech leads and floaters gear up for more.
It’s Dan’s birthday on sunday. We were planning to go to Zanzibar, but we’re pushing that off for one more week. Instead we’re going to have a cookout and then hit the beach!
My complaint is that the Lariam (anti-malaria pills) I’m taking has been giving me some side effects. I’ve been having a hard time sleeping, and when I do sleep, I wake up often from strangely vivid dreams. It’s tolerable, but not fun. Still, as Dan has pointed out, it’s better than malaria, so I’m gonna keep taking the pills.
Lastly, as requested, pictures of my haircuts. Thanks to Timi, who did a fantastic job. I actually had two, first a real haircut, and then because it was still too long, a buzz cut. Shortest I think I’ve ever had my hair.