About Me

undergrad RN
I'm a twenty-something Canadian student. After stumbling through a few years of college, I finally managed to get into the nursing school of my dreams, where I hope to graduate in 2012 with a nursing baccalaureate degree. I want to offer an honest look into how a modern nurse is educated, both good and bad. Eventually I hope to compare my education to my day-to-day career and see how it holds up. Whatever happens, it should be somewhat entertaining. Find me on allnurses.com!
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Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Group angst

It's been a week and some since I last mentioned the ubergroup that I was assigned to for my Discipline of Nursing presentation. My views have somewhat changed since then. 3/4ths of my group is still rad (myself included), but there's one person who just can't seem to get her shit together. We're presenting on Monday and she still hasn't given me her content for the slides... she kind of sort of had something for me this morning (that, ahem, looked like it was written this morning) but she took it back again saying she had to work on it. Les sigh.

We just met up for our semi-last group discussion, went over the slide content, and made some adjustments. Everyone was awesome about thanking me for putting together the presentation. It was really nice of them, but I'm a huge control freak so I took that on purpose. I hate it when people are using Powerpoint like it's the first time and fill it up with ugly transitions, clip art (or distorted clip art, aaargh!), and strange audio clips. Not many students have discovered that Keynote is, like, light years better than Powerpoint will ever be, so my presentations always look bitchin' even when it's straight out of the template and took me an hour to throw together.

I went a little above and beyond on the Keynote (as I am wont to do)  and found a fun hack for pulling video off of YouTube and importing it directly into the slideshow. Honestly, considering how much Apple and YouTube are in bed together, you'd think that would be a thoroughly integrated feature. Actually, it's a huge pain in the ass. The program works pretty well though, it automatically finds the .flv Flash video file from the website, downloads it, and re-encodes it as a .mov Quicktime file, which is compatible with Keynote. It's nothing you couldn't do yourself with a little know-how and a Quicktime Pro subscription, but it saves time and money. My only complaint is that the audio is lost. For my presentation, I used a b&w video of railway workers in the 30s and played Woody Guthrie's "Union Maid" intro over top. It goes very well and I'm happy with it.

One point I was re-iterating with my group again and again was that slideshows alone do not make good presentations. How many times have we watched presentations where the group just gathered around and read off the slides with their back to the audience? How effing boring is that? I can read for myself, thanks. I REALLY pushed my group to come up with something creative to have as filler. We left this task to the slacker because he seems fairly creative. Surprise, no content! So now we are just like every other group with a slideshow that we will read verbatim. Hopefully he will come through with something fun by Monday morning. If not, I'm going to try and add in some additional fun content to the slides so that it's not completely lame.

I just put in an order for a new iPod touch/Macbook (which is no surprise to those who follow me on Twitter!) and I'm hoping to have the new computer in time for the presentation on Monday. Two days ago it was in China, yesterday in Anchorage, and today in Tennessee (um, ok..?) so it should be. My old iBook doesn't have a remote so you have to hit a key to change the slides, and it runs so s-l-o-w-l-y that sometimes my transitions don't happen when they are supposed to. Here's hoping, anyway.

Other than the whole group project thing that is consuming me, I made the mistake of going away to a house party out of town last weekend. I don't drink often (last time was last year, I'm pretty sure) but I was in the mood to party. We all had an uproariously good time but what it did was waste the one day I have to recharge my batteries. We were up all night and then I went to work on Sunday, and straight into the school week from there. The extended hangover/sleeplessness killed my study drive and I spent Sunday and Monday's study time doing absolutely dick all. Watched TV and ate a tin of smoked mussels... that was pretty much it. Result being that I am behind on all of my readings and I had tons of work to do on this presentation anyway! 

I'll be glad once this is presentation is behind me. I'm pretty stoked that we are going first, so that all of this shit wouldn't be piling up right at midterms or something! It's always harder to get something done when you have all the time in the world to do it. Well, that's true for my procrastinating self, anyway.


WardBunny said...

The inability to work Powerpoint astounds me daily. It's not exactly complicated! I have to admit being hailed as a god for putting half a dozen slides together does still feel good though. And I never have to do it again.

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Thanks for your thoughts :)