Tag Archives: apologies

how not to give a talk, aka how to not give a talk

I missed, last night, what promised to be a great event at Iona College: JOYWAR: Intellectual Property and the Myth of Originality an Evening with Joy Garnett. The evening lecture followed a day-long symposium on Authors, Inventors, Imposters and Thieves: Perspectives on Intellectual Property, with a number of interesting talks, and it kicked off an exhibition of Joy’s work.

So why did I miss it? Because I thought the talk was tonight (Thursday), instead of last night (Wednesday), even though the materials which had been sent to me earlier this week clearly labeled the talk as happening Wednesday night, and even though I had checked my materials multiple times to verify timing, address, and so forth.

Is this a (much premature) senior moment? A bizarre side effect of prenatal distraction? A deep-seated character flaw now revealing itself after fifteen years of giving talks and not missing them?

Frankly, it’s inexplicable to me how I was able to make such a mistake, but Joy and the coordinator, Dean Delfino, were remarkably gracious in response to my mortified apologies, and assured me that “these things happen.”

Friends observed that almost certainly everyone had a good time without me, and Joy probably had plenty to say that couldn’t fit into an hour, and that I will certainly never, ever do this again. That’s for sure. And of course Joy was really the star of the evening, so the evening, I’m sure, can still be counted a success. But I had a killer talk on “sins of the myth of originality” that I was excited to give. Oh well!

Anyway, my apologies, again, to Joy and Dean and the guests at Iona College.