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Orientation Reflection: Day 3

September 3, 2013

lisa hammershaimb


Day 3 promised to be a bit of a step back in intensity. As a cohort we were beginning to be comfortable together and see each other as real, multidimensional teammates rather than anonymous competitors. The profs— through their personal stories, jokes, and casual demeanor—also managed to climb off their academic pedestals, and become real people with all the crazy quirks and joys of new friends.

Through the morning and afternoon, we heard more from the Athabasca faculty, took many more notes about groups to join, sites to visit, and how to become our own librarians of a vast personal catalogue of research readings. The day finished with an early close and a communal troop back to the hotel.

In the evening, I met with R + L for final presentation prep. We talked through our slides, divided up who would speak about what, and decided last minute to create and bring in an animation of a pizza (because what academic presentation is complete without an illustrated pizza getting created right in front of you as a metaphor for how community happens? : )

But there was one snag….about a month earlier I’d come up with the stellar idea of not just giving people a boring printout of our slides, but giving them a super dynamic and interactive booklet with which to follow along, take notes, and hopefully give our group even more bonus points for creativity. I designed it all and it looked pretty hot on screen but I hadn’t had a chance to produce it before coming out. In my mind, Canada has printers. Canada has Staples. No worries….right?

Hahaa…if I learned anything from my MFA, it’s that print production is indeed a fickle mistress in the States. This booklet extravaganza taught me that the same holds true in Canada. This evening began what could be called “the tour of Edmonton sponsored by Staples” as I began the trek to see just who could print the booklets in a way that stayed somewhat true to the design. Ahh graphic design….such a great way to learn patience…and apparently research mall culture no matter what your locale may be!

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