Sunday, March 30, 2008

I'd like a LADIES PhD, for I am a LADY!

I've just gotten back from a three day workshop in Geelong for new PhD students. It was...interesting.

One session was on presentation skills. An expert on presentations gave a talk on what makes for a good PowerPoint slide, how to use body language, how loud to speak etc. It was very polished. However, it fell apart when she went to use me for a hypothetical example of a 'seated presentation'.

"For example," she starts, "if this lady here who uses a wheelchair were to make a presentation..."

I'm horrified and stunned. Did she just call me a lady?

"...I'm sorry...umm...gentleman?" she tries. A long awkward silence ensues as she stares at me questioningly.

"Hi" I eventually let out in as low a tone as I can muster, unsure of what else to say.

"Yes! Gentleman...ughh...well, the point is that presentations can be made while sitting as well!"

She continued the talk and avoided further eye contact.

What I find interesting is that there was one important presenting tip she failed to mention: while a dimly lit room may help the audience to see the PowerPoint projection, it makes it difficult to see the audience!

As for me, I'm planning on growing a beard.


Lee said...

Well, as someone who has gone through life with a gender ambiguous name, I can sympathize!

But I seldom get mistaken for a lady in the flesh.

Anonymous said...

LOL, great story.

Ah you see i have the opposite problem. As you know i am extremely hirsute however i also have a bizarre voice box that can one day sound deep and booming and the next like Doris Day on helium (my voice box was scratched during an op). There have been a number of times that i have answered the phone and the person has said "hello is this Mrs Kerr?".

I feel your pain sister.

Mark said...

Thank you Lee and Anonymous for your sympathetic comments.

Anonymous said...

You are hilarious!!! I had a good laugh and particularly liked the comment about her avoiding any further eye contact. Write more, Dear Sir!

Erk said...

Oh crap, Kram! I hope you spoke to her afterwards!

I was going to say to get some tattoos on your arm but I see a lot of chicks with them now as well!