Take it as a learning curve

We had a seminar the other day at school. The speaker was sponsered by a publisher and what I did is simply passed on the words to the administration. I didn’t pay much attention to the fact that the dean put both my collegue’s and my name on the seminar enrolling system at first. However, I started to have that sick feeling AFTER the seminar.

The reason? Hmmm…there are a lot of them. I figure the experience proofs that 1. NO,I’m certainly not as smart and quick as I thought I am. 2. I should have  trusted more on my intuition.

Preparing tea and sometimes even snacks for the guests seems like a custom for most seminars. I always categorize this preparation as part of the job description of the administration at school, which is why I felt a bit odd when the rep. from the publisher rang me.

She said she rang the dean and ask if there are hot water pots at school since they’d like to bring some tea and coffee for the speaker and audiences.

Surprisingly, the dean said…"No."

Of course the rep. found the answer a bit funny and unusual. But then since that’s how the dean replied, they wouldn’t bother to prepare the refreshments.

And I was stupid enough to let it go without organizing this myself before the seminar starts.

Maybe it’s because my knowledge for this is "it is the administration who should be hosting and organizing seminars"?!

Of all the seminars I’ve been to, the deans are always the moderators of seminars. And honestly I have 0 experience in organizing this occassion.

After I learned that the dean didn’t prepare to talk and do all other "customs", I realize that maybe I’ve made a mistake here.

Maybe preparing for the seminar is not in their job description? But then who’s reponsible for that? Me? I thought I’m only passing on the words?!

I felt extremely uncomfortable afterwards and discuss this with W and my parents. Here are some reflective thoughts from our discussion.

1. If your name is on some public arena, you are committed yourself to this occassion. Organize the preparation yourself even if it is none of your business. Why? Because it is YOUR name on it! And since I’m not someone with influential background, no one would volunteeer to help. The best help is from yourself!

2. If you have overheard the negative reputation of the speaker, don’t be afraid to say no to the sponsor even though it is a free service! This speaker has a pretty good credential and most EFL teachers in Taiwan knew him. Neverthless, being famous doesn’t always equals to good quality. I’ve been to one of his speech some years ago and that one really wasn’t impressive. However, I failed to bring up my concern and experience to the rep. simply because I felt a bit uncomfortable about bargaining with her.

Organizing a seminar concerns both the organizor and the audiences’ time and money. if I want to initiate a seminar. I should look for the best speaker and the most appropriate topic.

Well, the rep. later told me that according to her experiences, the administration at our school does "act funny" in organizing the seminar. And I finally get over this odd feeling after a few days. W said take this experience as a learning curve, "You’ll be full alarmed next time when your intuition senses something different!"

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