Thursday, December 04, 2008

AU 2008 Last Full Day of Classes

I knew this event would fly by. It always does and this year was no different. It seems like you just get here and it's time to pack your bags and go back through airport security again.

I attended what I thought was going to be a beta discussion on AutoCAD MEP, but instead it really was just a demo. The room was freezing cold and even with a heavy sweater I was shivering. I had hoped for more. I had also hoped to meet the product manager, but that didn't happen.

I went to my room and loaded up on night time cold medicine and went to bed at 7:00 Wednesday night. I thought about not getting up this morning and sleeping until time for the class I'm teaching, but finally convinced myself that I needed to have some breakfast and attend one of the CAD Standards classes I wanted to hear.

I won't mention the class name or presenter, but it was not even close to what I expected from the description. There were no handouts left when I got there and there were people sitting all around the room on the floor. There were plenty of available chairs, but they were all in the middle of rows in an island of people surrounding them.

A lot of people left throughout the presentation, but I was determined to see it through. The speaker was a very good speaker. I could only hope to reach his level of speaking ability someday. His slides were terrible. They were all black background with white text and everyone was filled with text. There were no images or breaks at all.

What he was talking about was interesting, it just wasn't at all what I came to hear. I sat through the entire presentation and he never 'got there'.

I like to sit in on classes, even if I think I know the material, just because there is always someone with a different outlook and there's often a chance where I look at things differently or learn something new. So don't let your attitudes stand in your way of learning at AU. Whether you're a student or a speaker, allow yourself to hear things you 'think' you know and see what you learn.

I also like to hear how other speakers present. In this case, the speaker was very good at public speaking. That gave me inspiration. His slides were terrible, which made me more appreciate my own approach of less slides with more space and images on each slide. So that was helpful to allow me to see 'what not to do'.

My class isn't until 5:15 this evening and runs until 6:45. That is very late. I'm curious just how many people will actually attend.

So many classes on CAD Standards talk about all sorts of topics, but for those people that work alone or have only a few users in a small office, there is NO information on how to create a template and in effect a CAD Standard. That's what my class this evening is addressing. I'm attempting to fill a gap in information and will not be relying on PowerPoint slides, but instead on walking through AutoCAD and actually changing settings and creating a template file to be the start of a CAD Standard.

With the new evaluation system, there are no doubt some improvements to be made. I have not been able to evaluate the classes I have attended from the comfort of my own laptop, but have had to go to special computers in the registration room to provide my evals. With this extra effort, people aren't as likely to do this but there is an incentive of one free pass to AU next year for each time slot class reviewed.

Speaking of next year, AU for 2009 will be December 1-4 and will not be at the Venetian, but at Mandalay Bay instead. Same city, but at least we will have some different scenery.

No comments: