Every year, Wartburg takes a day off from classes to host RICE day. During this time students from all departments on campus are able to present and share their learning and research. As a student who needed to attend a certain number of these for other classes, I figured I might as well change it up a little bit and delve into the presentations of those students who have different majors than myself. I knew going into RICE day I wanted to find diversity among the projects and presentations. I started off that Tuesday morning visiting the fine arts and communications building. Walking into one of the art rooms, I was soon surrounded by paintings on all of the walls. I was stuck in a daze at how incredibly talented these students are while also being highly curious at the meanings behind each piece of art. Most of the people who created these beautiful pieces were people I did not recognize, this alone made me feel guilty enough as I wanted to meet them all and share how much I enjoyed their art. Diversity was crawling out of every part of that room. All of these students who created their own pieces I imagine have a story behind what they chose to paint about. Some might come from a time of happiness and positive feelings, while another might come from a more negative time in their life. At the end of the day I found the most diversity in the art. I was able to recognize the differences each piece had whether that be through medium or background, but at the end of the day each and every one of those students were able to come together to share their story or feelings through art.
During this year of RICE day, unlike the previous years, I got the chance to present my biology senior research project: Capsaicinoid Concentration in the Carolina Reaper Peaks at 40 Days From Fruit Set and Declines thereafter. Don’t worry, this blog won’t be scienecy whimey since most of my audience is not going to be biology major. Which brings me to my point: diversity in audiences.
Although I’ve already presented my poster to the peers in my class, presenting during RICE day was a whole different experience. To sum it up the best, I’m going to use Dr. Bousquet as an example. Unlike other professors, before he listened to our speech, he gave us a parameter: time and target audience. We needed to be able to explain our research to a “high school history teacher”, “under 5 minutes”. Not only did we need to condense our information, we also need to explain it in simpler language to avoid science jargons.
Most of us speakers have a very comprehensive understanding of our research, but most of our audience have different level of understanding. Just like we each have different background in terms of culture and knowledge in diversity. Sometimes it takes a little extra attention and effort to accommodate the difference.