TITLE: Remembering the Answer a Few Days Late AUTHOR: Eugene Wallingford DATE: February 04, 2009 7:44 AM DESC: ----- BODY: I need a better memory. Last time, I wrote about being surprised by an interview request. But more than a year ago I read about a similar problem and one solution:
As a science journalist, I can tell you the best thing to do, as an academic getting interviewed and wanted to guide the interview somewhat, is to have analogies cocked, locked and loaded.... [R]eporters go nuts for pre-thought-out analogies/explanations because it's quotable material, and could in fact be the center of the article.... So cranking them out before you speak with someone is a great way to maintain some control of what reporters quote you on.
As in so many things, preparation pays off. Of course, this isn't quite the same problem. Talking about one's own research or teaching is different than talking about department business or someone else's project. But that is one of the responsibilities that comes with chairing the department -- speaking about the wider interests of the department. The bigger issue here is, how to convert what I read into learning. The passage above stuck out enough that I filed it away for eighteen months. But it doesn't do me any good sitting in a text file somewhere. -----