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Doug Ball wrote:


> As a follow-up, I would like to report that the presentation came off well
> (i.e. my public speaking abilities came through).

Doug was very worried that he wasn't a good public speaker.  After two
students from the department of English students mumbled their
presentations--
one of them, poor girl, had a twenty-five minute paper that she
endeavored
to scrunch into fifteen minutes, was not only a "low-talker" but she
spoke
so rapidly and with so little intonation that the whole thing was a
little
bit like white noise.  Doug took great confidence and gave a great,
witty
paper.  And I should say that it was the linguistics students who talked
within the allotted time period.

No, the world wasn't ready for Doug.  Response was, in a word,
underwhelming,
but then these students were there primarily to support their buddies.
Professor Peck saved questions to the end, and thank god he did... Doug
would
have had no questions at all if Mondo Trasho (eighteen minutes) and Low
Talker (twenty-minutes) were followed by a question period.  This
procedure
is often followed at professional humanities conferences.

Doug got his best questions out in the hall, where a fellow classmate
(so I overheard) asked him how often he revised his language and how
extensively.

Peck asked Doug if inventing a language allowed him to understand
English
better, to which Doug replied that Latin performed that function for
him.
I asked the other linguistics student (who gave a talk on Mandarin) just
how difficult it was for English speakers to master a tonal language
(since
she demonstrated how difficult it was for Mandarin speakers to master an
intonational language).  She said she hadn't tried it yet.  I asked Doug
if he had thought of making Skerre tonal, to which he replied that it
had difficulties enough for him to master.  I asked him if mastery, at
least written mastery, was a goal for him.  He said eventually.  I
didn't
want to snow the Q&A period with breathless, selfish questions of MY
STUDENT, and after that attention turned to Low Talker's remarks about
Willa Cather's cross-dressing.  All in all, a strangely grouped session.
But this was the first "annual" Council for Undergraduate Research
Conference held, and it needs a lot of work.

Very proud of Doug, who held his own, cracked some jokes, enunciated,
took his time, had handouts and overheads, probably the most innovative
paper there, and was well within his allotted fifteen minutes.  As is
courteous and professional.  Issytra gives you her congrats.

Ynnehil Doug!


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SALLY CAVES
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Niffodyr tweluenrem lis teuim an.
"The gods have retractible claws."
                                from _The Gospel of Bastet_
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