27 Oct 2011 – The TIcking Clock
How many lectures have you attended where the speaker is totally oblivious to his/her allotted time resulting in a complete disruption of the schedule and cramped up the speakers to follow? citing time than I want to admit I have fantasised about different ways of evicting the discourteous person who is droning on and on. Perhaps a hook from the side? Noose from above? Water cannon? Occasional the speaker can be good or even great and entertaining. Even so, to blatantly ignore the time limits just drives me nuts.
Part of the blame must be placed squarely on the shoulders of the panel moderators who have a greater responsibility to the conference than just introducing the speakers and calling for questions at the end of the session. The good moderators insure that their panel runs smoothly and politely but firmly cut off those with verbal diarrhoea and an inability to tell time.
This year’s meeting added a nice tool; a countdown time ticking away in the lower right hand corner of the projected slides. Green turns to yellow at one minute remaining and at the end of the time the counter starts increasing in large flashing red numbers. Most speakers this year stayed within their limit. Even so, there were those who just didn’t get it. Coupled with most of the moderators who failed to do their jobs, I wasn’t able to avoid the aggravation completely.
Now, if we can just get an interlock so that anyone who goes more than 5 minutes over has his slides disappear to be replaces with large flashing letters saying “time up” I think the problem would be solved. Doubt that more than one speaker would need to be embarrassed to make the point.
Success! I finished the third repeat in the morning and the fourth over lunch time cutting my time from an hour per repeat to 30 minutes. Sitting down at 1800, i managed the last four repeats then figured out how to close up the cuff (hint – just grafting doesn’t work neither does binding off) and need to remind the designer to put proper instructions in her pattern (first row and last row don’t have the same stitch count which means ….).
After that, you should not be surprised when brain death hit. I happily wound the second ball of Cherry Tree Hill for the Taj Mahal before remembering that I need a centre pull ball in order to knit both halves at the same time.