I’m back in my hotel, after the workshop at NUS. The workshop went quite well: it was an excellent group, and we got some very good ideas and scenario work out of them.
For me, these things are exhausting. Not only does each one require several days of prep but they demand a full day of being ON, which is pretty draining. In the room you have to be hyperactively engaging, listen carefully to everyone, draw people out, convince the skeptics, synthesize the conversations, etc., etc.. Plus beforehand you’ve got to think like an events planner (should these tables be moved? do we have enough water? will the air conditioner make too much noise?) and roadie (how do I move these tables?).
And before that, you’ve got to plan out every step of the day– not so much with the expectation that you can operate the day with military precision, but to give you a clear enough sense of what you’re doing to make it possible for you to successfully improvise when something unexpected happens (like when you’re scheduled to restart at 1:30, but the waiters only bring out the main lunch course at 1:20).
Even for me, who was described by a college housemate as having two emotions, on and off (she later added a third, strobe), it requires a lot of energy.
But I really like doing these workshops– not because they’re easy, but precisely because they’re hard work, and several different kinds of work. The technology for supporting them is changing rapidly, and there are some huge opportunities to do interesting new things. And a good workshop has some of the best of teaching, which I think I’ll always regard as the noblest of activities.
I’m going to rest up for a bit, then go have dinner at a Japanese restaurant in Chjimes.