Have you ever found yourself sitting in a meeting with that growing and uncomfortable feeling that you should have had something prepared? That, unfortunately, was how I spent my morning… trying to look cool and engaged during those well-polished presentations of industrial research and development partners, while all the time realizing that the order of presentations around the table was rapidly… approaching… me! UGH!
Its not like I made some critical error, overlooked some important instructions for the meeting, or didn’t think to prepare – it just never crossed my mind to put together a presentation of my own. The thing is, there are some cultural differences and nuances in the translation between English and Norwegian that sometimes lead to problems. In this case, the meeting schedule distributed to us this morning had changed slightly from the one sent to us two days before the meeting.
The old schedule had two hours of presentations by industrial research partners.
The new schedule had two hours of presentations of industrial and research partners – Yikes!
Adding to my confusion, I had spent the week working with my colleague at SINTEF on ideas and a framework for his presentation on our work package. That was scheduled for the afternoon. The idea of me leading a short presentation regarding my own research hadn’t been brought up!
What did come up was a discussion on our decision support tool that will “advance to the next level” our capacity to predict the best locations for seaweed cultivation.
Very cleverly, my colleague dreamt up a new name for the tool using the following, well conceived, logic:
Start at “Seaweed” à or in English, “C-weed” à advance to the next level à “D-weed”!
He surprised me with this new name proudly displayed across the top of his new decision support tool framework.
I didn’t have the heart to say anything to him, but as hard as I tried, I couldn’t stifle that awkward giggle...
While I felt a little guilty about that later, he did in the end spend some time on Google and perusing the Urban dictionary trying to understand my reaction.
He decided to change the name to “Dynaweed” for the presentation, and it was received spectacularly.
So you may be wondering how my own presentation turned out? Well after sweating for two hours and praying to the clock gods to speed the hands of time to conveniently leave none for me, it turns out that presentations were, indeed, only supposed to be led by our industrial partners (whew!) Never needed one in the first place!
You just can’t make these things up.
In fact, I was surprised to learn that we live rather close to Hell. It was a short bus ride to just south of the Trondheim, Airport. The conference hotel in Hell was rather nice, actually, with a lovely lunch buffet.
The next time someone says that they won’t do something until Hell freezes over, feel free to use this picture to your full advantage.