Virtually Queer and a Bit Confused

For my final project in my Literacy and Learning class, we did a Poster Presentation in a virtual setting, the OS Grid. I’d never done this kind of poster before, and I found the process more difficult than I expected. It took a while for me to figure out why that was, but I think it is the unfamiliarity with the process. By grad school, you have pretty much mastered the art of the 10 page paper. Well, ok, maybe not mastered, but writing a paper is something you’ve done a lot by that point, and you know your own paper-writing process. For example, I start off by writing an introduction that is total rubbish, and then doing lots of quoting and paraphrasing that sound forced and like I’m just quoting and paraphrasing. And then I go back and rephrase and add my own conclusions, and then I go back and rewrite my introduction and conclusion so it all feels cohesive. That’s what I know I’m going to do when I have to write a paper. I know what the final product is going to look like.

I also know I’m going to need peanut butter m&m’s, cheetos, and lots of Diet Dr. Pepper. Sometimes Rockstar lemonade– it depends. But yeah. But with this I did all kinds of research and then started at a blank slide for a long time thinking
“……soooooo…. now what?” I had to figure out how to convey my ideas visually in an interesting and effective way. I had to figure out how to boil enough information to fill a 10-15 page paper into a few bullet points. I had to make the text flow in an obvious way.

In short it was a lot harder than I thought it would be.
But I LOVE the way my poster looks.
And I LOVE LOVE the topic of my poster.
Which is, of course, queer kids.

We got exactly 2 minutes to talk.
I talk a lot. A WHOLE LOT. So having to boil everything down to 2 minutes– that was hard too.

Then we had 8 minutes of answering questions.
That part I was less awesome. Mostly because I didn’t anticipate the questions I was asked. I anticipated a whole lot of other questions, but not those. Since this will be my capstone project for my GRADUATION FROM LIBRARY SCHOOL I now have some things to look into and some information to find that I was less than stellarly equipped to discuss. (Now watch, they won’t ask any questions about THAT either. humph.)

There were little quirks about the virtual setting that I thought were interesting. Like how I felt the need to have my avatar facing the avatar of the person I was talking to. Or how there wasn’t the cues of body language to indicate when people were done talking. Or how all my awesome hand gestures that always accompany my talking were missed.
Or how no one could see that I had put on my flannel shirt and doc martins specially for the queer occasion. (I like to think that my gayness reverberated through the virtual world anyway)

I have a lot of feelings about the question answer part of the session that need some more time to percolate. (I love that word) So stay tuned.


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