Motivating words from Arjun

  1. The evening setting off-campus is ideal as it induces a less formal mode of discussion and thinking.
  2. The best seminars are the ones where everyone comes prepared, having read the material, such that the same people aren't doing all the talking.
  3. The "leaders" of the discussion can aid greatly in this by preparing discussion points, questions, suggestions, whatever it takes to transfer the floor from themselves to the others. If it fails/flounders, the ideal is if the "leaders" take it upon themselves to draw out the less talkative of the group to contribute thoughts or questions.
  4. So, while the leaders are in charge of guiding the time this does not mean that the rest of us get off scott free!
  5. It's extremely helpful for both discussion and our own scholarship to have delved a bit more deeply than the article on hand. So, if unfamiliar with the literature, it's an excuse to get more familiar. Given how non-linear discussion can be, such "external reading" can be noted in your notes so you can remember to draw reference to it.
  6. Those of us prone to talking too much can be asked to shut up and give someone else a chance (I won't get my feelings hurt, promise)!!

Ok, pls. share your thoughts and I'm thrilled that we've got such an awesome group to continue the tradition of these evening seminars.

--September 12, 2008