Avoiding Boredom

Wednesday 7th May 2008

So I’m trying to revise something, and need to go through some powerpoint slides, from some lectures. I don’t have the printed notes, so I got the file from Blackboard. It has animations and stuff, so I googled a way to strip them all out in one.

I came across this instead, and it amused me. I’m half tempted to send it to a handful of lecturers because they could really benefit from it. Especially the one who takes this module.

Last year, we had to give a presentation as part of one of our modules, and it was this lecturer who marked mine. This lecturer just dumps everything he says on the slides, and reads from that. Making him largely irrelevant. He criticised my presentation because there wasnt much written on some of the slides…

Death by Powerpoint. I really wish more people knew how to present properly. They just use it because it’s there, it doesnt actually add anything to their talk. If anything it detracts, because you just read the screen instead. Another bugbear: handouts that are just slide printouts. That’s just laziness.

I’m meant to be revising accountancy (well, more vision than revision). I’d rather be outside in the sun. Sigh.

Posted at 4:15 pm | Posted In: ProcrastinationRandom



Wednesday 7th May 2008, 5:08 pm

Yes! Yes! On all counts!

(Apart from the accountancy, possibly. Enjoy! On the plus side, ‘vision’ has some novelty value over ‘revision’… depending on why it’s ‘vision’, anyway.)


Wednesday 7th May 2008, 6:01 pm

“This lecturer just dumps everything he says on the slides, and reads from that”

That’s why it’s vision. When it’s a toss up between dull lectures and staying in bed, the latter wins.

Oh, and the Accountancy is actually fairly bloody interesting! This module (“Introduction to Economics, Law, Accounting and Management Science”)is actually a lovely surprise, I thought it’d be magnificently dull. No doubt I’ll change my tune when I get to the management science part of it, though.


Wednesday 7th May 2008, 8:32 pm

I’m really confused about what your degree actually involves – law? accountancy? architecture? design? management? maths? economics? physics? computer science? Jack of all trades? I’m sure there’s some civil engineering in there somewhere. (It would help if I actually knew what civil engineering was…)


Wednesday 7th May 2008, 10:24 pm

Civil Engineering ftw! It’s like normal engineering, but we’re all much nicer…

Nah, Civil Engineering is concerned with the design, construction and maintenance of basically any sort of infrastructure; so strucures (buildings and stuff), roads, railways, drainage + sewage, bridges, geotechnics… Lots and lots and lots of things.

Actually, rather than “infrastructure”, I think “natural and built environment” is probably a better term. Meh

Stuff the degree involves then is “obvious” stuff, and by that I mean maths, structural analysis (“if this beam has this shape, what load can it take?” and so on), soil mechanics, hydraulics, etc. The design module I’ve mentioned here before involved the design of a steel portal frame building (think warehouses, or those big Tescos. It’s all the same basic structure) and an office-type building in reinforced concrete.

The reason for the other modules (so accountancy, law, computing, management, economics, etc) is all to do with the Institution of Civil Engineers (or ICE. We have the coolest professional body EVAR! And also the oldest, iirc). Most Engineers ultimately end up in a management role, either running their own business or running a site or an office or whatever, so the ICE (and employers) like degrees to include stuff which is relevant to that rather than just the nitty gritty of getting things to stand up.

I really like the variation, it has to be said. It’s good to learn about loads of different things, not just doing sums all the time.


Thursday 8th May 2008, 9:03 am

Yeh know what bugs me a little? When people use powerpoint in their presentation but just end up reading from the slideshow. I see little point. Surely PP is there to help and aid your presentation not merely BE the presentation.

It gets me bothered a little because it’s clear they’ve just not been arsed.


Thursday 8th May 2008, 3:05 pm

I really hate people who just read from the Powerpoint too. They’re ignoring the obvious fact that I can read faster than they can talk, so I spend most of the time really, really bored.

Also it means the slide suffers from having too many mother-fucking words. It just looks ugly as sin.

Anyways… accountancy? Rather you than me, mate.


Thursday 8th May 2008, 3:58 pm

I hate people who use PowerPoint full stop because I (and most other mathematicians that I know) work best off hand-written notes – and you simply can’t write fast enough to get down slides and think about what you’re writing at the same time. I can maybe understand it if your material contains a lot of diagrams, but in that case, why not put the relavent diagrams on properly constructed handouts that people will print out anyway?

That’s never an excuse in Maths. Lecturers who use PowerPoint with us are just plain lazy.


Thursday 8th May 2008, 4:28 pm

Yeah, maths lectures should never be done with Powerpoint. Chalk + talk ftw!

I don’t hate people who use pp full stop though. Some lectures are genuinely better for it. Anything not maths based, for starters. Also hydraulics and structural mechanics have both benefitted from powerpoint. Yes, the lecturer could draw the diagram, but there are lots of them to draw. It’s just easier to have them ready-made. Also the lecturers for both those subjects used it properly – lots of gaps where they wrote stuff in (two lecturers used tablet pcs for this, which was rather snazzy). Also, they gave us proper handouts, not just slide printouts.

I love how this entry has more comments than the previous one…


Thursday 8th May 2008, 4:48 pm

Like Callan’s ‘Nationalism’ post where most of the comments centred around line breaks.

Never let it be said that the Youth of Today is politically apathetic!

Write a comment: