Jun 06 2009 Published by under Uncategorized

Moderators, you have two tasks. 1) Introduce the speakers without butchering their names or their titles, too badly. 2) Keep the speakers on time. It's a pretty cushy job and really shouldn't be all that taxing, but I think we're going to have to institute an opportunity for our moderators to bow out if they feel those tasks are asking too much (sort of like when the flight attendant asks if you want to be responsible for opening the door in case of an emergency when you sit in an exit row), because those two tasks have apparently been overwhelming to a few session leaders today. When there are parallel session you have to keep people on schedule or else it screws up everything. So, Dr. moderator who let a "30 minute" talk run 42 minutes today, maybe it's time to hang up the moderator mic and stick with the lab job.

And Dr. speaker who talked 50% too long today, what the hell were you thinking? When you had spoken for your entire time allotment already and then launched into another study to illustrate your point I almost threw up. You see, no one is listening at that point. You could be describing cold fusion or your own genitalia in detail and not a single person would notice because we all checked out when it was clear you had no regard for your audience or the speakers after you. We just sat there watching the clock while you turned into Charlie Brown's teacher.

Finally, my fellow conferencees. You do realize that the session isn't over until after the questions, right? I know that the talks can be tiresome at times, but can't you wait two more minutes before loudly gathering your things and starting conversations with the people you met last night? If the undergrads in your classes behaved the way I have seen many conduct themselves today, you would be livid. Why are you so anxious to get to the snack cart to have the same cookies and weak coffee that we've had for days? If you can't respect the fact that some people actually want to hear the question and answer period, go shopping instead of coming to the talks.

And p.s. Wearing the conference shirt at the conference is like wearing the shirt with the band on it, who's concert you are at. It's like running advertisements for your hospital only to those who are forced to watch TV from your hospital beds. Don't be that person.

5 responses so far

  • Toaster Sunshine says:

    You get cookies?I knew I chose the right field!

  • Ink says:

    Indeed. What is up with the session blowhards who think they are keynote speakers? And you get conference shirts? Wow! We usually only get pens that work for the first two sessions and then run out of ink.I agree with your point on the concert shirt faux pas for sure. Not to mention your perfect example of other such asshattery. 😉

  • Mrs. CH says:

    Hahaha! These are classic - and each has happened at every conference I have been too.I especially like the people who wear shirts from years past of the same conference - it's like a human timeline.

  • Arlenna says:

    I HATE this kind of shit. Especially when people are scheduled for the 10 min talk and end up going half an hour. Or when the speaker is desperately trying to cram as much data as they can and has about 30 more slides than they should for the length of time they are allotted. If I am ever a session chair, I am going to use the buzzer like a GONG.

  • Comrade PhysioProf says:

    I am a very strict session chair.

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