On the road

I’m on the road delivering training seminars for people who might contribute films to SciCast. It’s fun, knackering, and simultaneously exhilarating and discouraging.

See, we’re still having problems getting people to actually show up for the seminars. Yesterday 8 out of 12 showed, with one disappearing part-way through (apparently once he’d discovered that all the competition information was on the website, and the deadline is early January, which he declared ‘impossible’). Hardly a great turn-out, and we clearly need to rethink the tone and approach of the publicity material we’re putting out.

I’m also continually astonished by the lead-times necessary in education, in that you have to be very precise — it’s basically two terms. One term is too tight to do anything with, and three terms is far too far into the future to think about. So you need to start talking in the autumn for stuff that’s going to happen in the summer, and that’s roughly your only option; other terms are far too busy. But of course, the autumn is the start of the new year, so that’s busy too. Gaaah.

All of the above said, yesterday was a blast. Lots of enthusiasm, some terrific comments and thoughts, and it’s tremendously encouraging to see people get so fired up and enthusiastic about SciCast. Monday’s workshop in Newcastle wasn’t as good, but only because I talked too much — ah, the perils of debugging training formats. Luckily, the bit that felt high-risk worked wonderfully, which means I can use it with more confidence in subsequent days — which in turn means I can cut my prattle. A good thing for all.

So, yes, right — I’m in Norwich now. All’s well, I’m just not being very interesting today. Sorry.

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