The communication science workshop at class reminds me of the various acting warm-up exercise I did when I took an acting class in high school. The drills require individuals to coordinate and communicate with other people in the room, but also serves as an icebreaker by doing ‘silly’ things.
One of the first exercise we did in class was to describe our current research. This is a skill that I have refined over the past few years as a PhD student. I remember when I first started my PhD program, I would try to describe my department, program, and current work ‘correctly’, only to see a blank stare from the person I would be talking to.
“Genetics, Bioinformatics, and Computational Biology” is a lot of big words. Furthermore, “Interdisciplinary between Mathematics, Statistics, Life Science, and Computer Science” is also a lot of words to describe department.
I’ve cut my introductions down to a short sentence, that is open to more questions, and gives me the ability to cater the detail in my responses depending on the questions I’m being asked.
“I study social networks and how things like diseases spread in them.”
The class was fun and a good mental change from daily graduate school life.