Unexpected Connections

Brian Irwin

Rococco Chair by Thom Gill.

Rococco Chair by Thom Gill.

For the past few years I’ve had the pleasure of being a session chair. While this may not sound like a great pleasure, I have always found it interesting. One of the best things about being a chair is that it prompts you to think of some good questions about the presentation (in the rare event the audience is lacking any), which really gets you to think about the presentation and what you don’t understand. Another thing that happens is you have to think of the connections between sessions, particularly when questions are at the end after several presentations. I remember one session where both presentations touched on simulated work experience and it was quite easy to see the connection: the lecturers even started talking of a joint cross-disciplinary work experience they could do. Other times the connection is more abstract, such as student engagement, where each lecturer may be doing something completely different but there is a connection around the underlying goals and philosophy taken. I find these connections fascinating as often they are happening in a cross-disciplinary way only because of the conference and the opportunity it provides. Keep an eye out for them this year and they can help you think about how to relate something to your practice that at first doesn’t seem as relevant.