Patrick C. Keaveny

The Wordy Coder

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Getting it all Ready…

Musings | Tech

My presentation is next week.

I sat down with my teacher, Dr Reed, director of the CS section at Creighton and my teacher of three years, a few days ago to discuss my presentation. Although it’s a presentation on the internship I did over the summer, I feel more like Steve Jobs presenting some new, hip idea that could fit into the small pocket of my jeans.

After I finished going through the script with Dr Reed, he called one of the professors over and said “we need to get everyone, design students, cs students, journalism students, everyone in the department to come to this.” When he said that I got really excited. At first I just thought this was some presentation for mostly Dr Reed and maybe one freshman student who had wandered in thinking it was a class. Now I started to feel like this was more important than a typical presentation. In Dr Reed’s eyes, this internship and what I learned at the internship represents the “kind of student we look to create.”

When I sat down tonight to start working out the powerpoint, I started to feel the pressure. At this point I’m a lot more nervous about it all. What if I get something wrong? What if I say something that isn’t true by accident? What if all this stuff is exciting to me, but not to anyone else?

The hardest part at the moment is relation. Why should anyone care about this stuff? Sure, talking about how the various courses in the department helped me in various ways at this internship, but why does that REALLY matter? Who, other than teachers, is really going to care about that? I’d say my goal at this point is to ensure that everyone present will be interested in it. I want to make sure everything is true, but I also don’t want people falling asleep when I start talking about ColdFusion structs, or different types of Python scripts. At this point that’s the hardest part.

I invited my philosophy teacher to come, who admits to being completely inept at technology. The thing I keep focusing on through all this, surprisingly, is not whether or not my CS teachers who will be there will be interested, but whether my philosophy teacher will be interested. If I can get a man who would rather hear about Aristotlian categories and Aquinian virtues than CF Structs and web design to actually be interested and excited about the subject matter, then I think I will have accomplished something truly astounding. The only question is how.

In one part of my presentation I talk about how I felt learning how to solve large-scale programming problems gives me the confidence to problem-solve in other areas. I think if I can solve this problem, I’ll be happy. If not, I’ll have to humbly eat my words straight out of the box. Let’s hope it doesn’t come to that.