An Afternoon at the Improv

Things got off to a rough start today. I had dutifully prepared my syllabus and a 45 slide keynote presentation to work from, and made the last minute checks of the roster and room assignments last night about midnight. When I got to the room at 1pm today, there were a lot of students waiting for a different class; I started setting up, nonplused.

Then the other teacher arrived. I checked the room assignments, and mine had been changed—to a non-existent room torn down over the summer. I assumed, then, that I had been reassigned to the mystery computer lab I hadn’t bothered to locate/visit yet. I stationed some of the students from my upcoming class outside the door of the room, and climbed the flights in search of the new room. Found it, and by some miracle most of the students had located it too. I then ran back up the stairs to collect the rest of them and get started.

The room was like a long hallway. I really had to shout to reach the end of it. Computers, yes—but the projector wasn’t hooked up, and there was no screen. Even if it had been working, the back row would have needed binoculars to see it. I fiddled for about two or three minutes, sweating profusely in the 90 degree room, and then just shut down all the hardware and improvised. I had planned a 25 minute film, an interviewing activity, and covering the syllabus. I accomplished everything but the film, though I am still hoarse from the unintended monologue. People seemed to like it okay. Next time, I’d prefer to do my act without the wrangling or the sweating.