April is a busy time of month in the university calendar. In the North American system, there are four weeks left in the year. Seniors are desperate to graduate. Faculty want to post grades to hit the road.
In the middle of all this is a deluge of events that will have you saying hi to the same set of increasingly wearied faces.
On Sunday I was the center of one of these events as a speaker for a joined session of three classes. During this time, I had the rare opportunity to repeat a talk about a 7 year old research project. I say rare because usually presentations are a one shot deal that we lose sleep over and then forget about.
This talk, about a chapter I wrote many years ago, arguing that Qatari women’s use of Facebook is both unique and liberating, is the third time I have been asked to speak to these first year writing students. Repeating this talk the past three springs has allowed me to perfect both my message and interaction during the session. The first time, I woke up some students in the back who were asleep. Last year I connected with quite a few of the participants who had follow up questions for me. This year, I was able to offer an overview of three related projects I’ve completed since that initial one.
As I told the students that afternoon, when I wrote that article, I was biologically young, and also early in my years a scholar.
7 years later, I”m able to tell them about the many projects I’ve worked on since that first investigation.
Gender, social media, and Qatari society persist as my areas of interest. Through repetition, I have been able to improve and even perfect talking about my work.
What have you noticed as unintentional themes in your life? Do you wish you would have had another go at a particular task? Persist! Someone will notice and the most important person may be you.