This summer, seminars have been a bit of an awkward bump in the work routine for me. After spending all week on the job, I feel I am less likely to be really engaged during seminar on Friday and often just sitting and listening for much of seminar was a bit tedious (although not too bad). I really liked the days when I could get up and do something or interact with the speakers and my peers.
For me, the most enjoyable (maybe not the “best”) use of seminar time would be how it was described as being last year, with reflections and discussions of what happened in my job or outside of it over the past week. It would take a skillful framing of the discussion to keep everyone engaged (maybe have a discussion led by students, and make all of us responsible for getting everyone to participate?) , but I think that I would gain a lot from having to consciously rehash everything that I do and explain it to my peers. The blogs do an OK job of that, but I feel I can’t really do justice to the things I have experienced in this medium and they often do not fit neatly in to the topics of the week.
In addition to a component of seminar where we have a chance to share our own experience, I think that continuing to have organizations come in and present is a good idea. It helps to be able to see what is going on in different areas of non-profit work and around the city.
My reaction to the interdisciplinary design part of the seminars (if that is how I should refer to it) was that it didn’t really help me too much; I think that maybe it just needs to be run for a couple of years to develop a more focused set of activities that will contribute to peoples’ projects that occur during this program.
Overall, seminar wasn’t amazing but wasn’t anything to complain about; I would probably just have slept if we didn’t have to do anything on Friday.