Ner (djner) wrote,

  • Mood:

presentation, a rap, and the Oak Ridge Mayor

I am not going to guarantee that I'll be able to write in a coherent manner as I got to bed about 12:30 or so and had to get up about 5:30. I'm not used to having five hours of sleep. This is not good, especially since Holly will be here soon, and though she knows that I'm practically dead, I'd at least like to be slightly awake while she's there. Perhaps I'll have to take a nap.

So the presentation went very very well. Everybody who is anybody in Oak Ridge showed up it seemed, and as more and more people got there, I got more and more intimidated. I never am too worried about public speeking. I don't have to fret about people looking at me, and I don't even have to imagine other people or people without clothes on. This is not to say that I am not nervous. Today was not an exception.

All nervousness aside, I did my presentation and told everyone how it is that I've been able to make chemical engineering accessible to blind people. This is such a foreign topic for most people who do not work with me on a daily basis that when they see some of the tools that we have developed, they are amazed. I approach the topic by looking at not how amazing it is, but by telling it how it is. I got lots of good questions, but the one that topped it off happened this way:

Question: So how has Oak Ridge been as far as accessibility? How has the town treated you.
Answer: Well, it's been pretty good to me. Everyone's been very friendly, and I've been able to get around pretty well using the Oak Ridge Transit. I think there are some people from the City Council in the audience today right?
Reply from a guy standing right near me: Yep, there are, in fact the mayor is sitting right in front of you. I'm the mayor, lay it on me!

I shouldn't have been embarrassed, but man was I. I'm just glad I didn't say anything too nonpolitically incorrect or bad about Oak Ridge, and I'm glad I've had a good experience, because I promptly gave the mayor my report of how things were here. I guess I can look at it this way, I'll be able too tell my kids that I made an a$$ out of myself in front of the mayor.

I got to meet lots of people afterwords, including the mayor who talked to me for a bit. I even got to meet one of the main plant managers and answered some of his questions, and I also met the president of the local community college here and tried to help him out by talking to him about accessibility issues and JAWS.

I'm just hoping that I was able to make an impression with some people there because if I can change at least one person's mind concerning what a blind person can do, then my job will be done. If I can get a job out of the deal, then that's definitely a positive thing.

After the ETEC presentation was done, Bob and I finalized the Oak Ridge National Labs one for Monday. I feel pressure for the next one, especially since I'll be presenting in front of lots of PHDs and technical people, but at least I know for sure the Mayor won't be there this time. What a neat experience.

Well, I've probably better go. Too many typos are creeping in due to lack of sleep. I just hope I don't say something completely stupid when Holly's here. At least I do't have to meet her Mom while in this state. That, could be disastrous.

Edit: I meant to mention, my rib is still slightly painful, but is definitely much less painful. I brought a pain pill today with me just in case, and I didn't hhave to use it. Yay!

  • a short update

    The plan is to go to the beach this afternoon, but I'm not sure when. We don't have too much special planned besides that, but it's the last full day…

  • the NER Crotch Sand Index and deer near the house

    I'm not sure what the plan is today, but we have done what, in my opinion, is the perfect vacation activity, slept in and veged out so far. I think…

  • welcome to the jungle, for real.

    Well, we made it, finally! Everyone's up right now, but we're not doing anything so I'm writing. We got here last night, after several delays and…

  • Post a new comment


    default userpic

    Your IP address will be recorded 

    When you submit the form an invisible reCAPTCHA check will be performed.
    You must follow the Privacy Policy and Google Terms of use.
  • 1 comment