Monday, 8 November 2010

We've Only Got 12 Minutes to Save the World ....

And so they came ... to a place known as Edinburgh, birth place of Michael the Strange, son to Doreen the Nag.  Guided by the almighty Stones, they arrived. 
This was the location of the Nuffield conference.  2009 scholars each do their 12 minute talk.  We drink beer, but only after dark. I talk to some very interesting individuals.  A few people laugh at my jokes (.... and my flies weren’t even undone). 
The talks are intriguing.  There are some really good ones.  I imagine doing mine next year. I nip out to purchase additional underpants.  Later, I picture getting asked an aggressive question.  I nip out to get more handkerchiefs.  Then, I worry about what to say and envisage myself getting all emotional.  I nip out to pick up extra valium.
What struck me were the good ones.  One chap was a natural orator, used no notes that I could see and was incredibly lucid.  One guy was clever, original, with a wit so sharp you had to say “ouch”.  Another though was probably the most entertaining.  He talked on a controversial subject but was very funny and unconventional.  I heard later that his talk split opinion - a few were disapproving.  Apparently it wasn’t serious enough!!  I guess this disappoints me but maybe this is my first brush with stuffiness and as such it is a navigation point.  I might bring my target of 24 jokes in 12 minutes down in slight compromise ... and even incorporate at least one fact.
I noticed many were really professional, they were very controlled emotionally ... this is obviously a sensible thing.  I panic about when its my turn ... I think of embarrassment and a weird hybrid of Gwyneth Paltrow at the Oscars and Kevin Keegan getting mad with Sir Alex ... expressed through a 12 minute talk format about first generation farmers .... I’m nipping out again - and this time, I’m buying in bulk.

1 comment:

Rona Amiss said...

Great Weekend Michael even with the Scottish music! I'm looking forward to your talk when you try and control all that passion, but who dares to mention the revolution.