my AmLit presentation went well (yay)
Last night I gave a presentation in my AmLit class. Unlike my theory class, we were able to choose the subject of our presentation. So each week someone gives a 20-minute overview/introduction to the author and work we're discussing during that class. Standard fare—a general overview, nothing too terribly earth-shattering. I picked Jean Toomer
because I hadn't read Cane
before nor had anyone else in the class except for two people. My reasoning was two-fold: I could get excited by something new (which I did), and if I screwed it up no one would know (which I didn't). Unlike, say, a presentation on Edith Wharton and Ethan Frome
or William Faulkner and The Sound and the Fury
...almost everyone in the class has studied those works at least once and knows something about the author.
One of the great benefits of working where I do
is that our creative director, aka my best pal's partner, aka a really frickin' smart person with a history degree from Stanford and both a great-grandfather and a great-aunt who were Pulitzer Prize winners, is that I don't have to use any
of the standard PowerPoint templates. Also, she knows things
(see previous description of brain and genes) and thus when I ask for her opinion about the content of my presentation, we can converse intelligently about it. She's awesome. Anyway, based on my outline of sections, a handful of images, and a brief description of the time (Harlem Renaissance) she came up with a really cool template that uses various pieces of Aaron Douglas
paintings as backgrounds. I dropped in all my content and it looked great projected on the wall. I have a copy here
(PPS, 6.8MB) if anyone cares to see. No, we weren't graded on the actual ability to make a PowerPoint (it wasn't even required, just suggested, but most people used it) because if we were I wouldn't have asked my friend to make me a cool template, since that wouldn't have been fair. But the thing sure did look nice and made me
feel better about the presentation, so hooray for that.