3.055 docent work

Wednesday 01/26/2022

The main event today was a meeting of volunteers at CHM to prepare for returning to public access, now tentatively scheduled for 2/17. There were 25 or so regular volunteers in the room (plus another 7 or 8 on a big Zoom screen) and we are a very definite demographic, I doubt if anybody in the room was under 75.

The meeting was chaired by Kate McGregor, education (I think) director, from her remote location of… Homer, Alaska. She said a lot of things about how to design a docent tour. Mainly she inspired me to take another look at mine. As I said the other day, reading through the old script took over 1:15 which is just wrong; tours should be comfortably under one hour.

However, I make 6 stops, to make 6 major points about the progress to the “Revolution” of having a supercomputer in one’s pocket. I should not be talking for more than 5-7 minutes at any stop, which comes to 42 minutes plus at most 5 minutes of walking time, i.e. well short of 60 minutes. So my task between now and next Wednesday when I lead my first tour in 2 years(!) is to edit that script down to the essential points, so no stop takes more than 7 minutes to read.

But it was fun seeing all the docents again, two years older, and checking out the PDP-1 and the 1401 systems. One docent, Dave Bennett, lost his wife last fall and confessed to having a hard time since. “So much to do” on the one hand, and “lonely” on the other. I guess I’m fortunate in being less gregarious. I have more than sufficient people interaction just walking the halls here; but I wasn’t particularly lonely in 2019, either, check the early blog days.

Stopped on the way home to buy coffee. Picking up my supper, talked to dining supe Gloria who wanted to tell me that we don’t need 3 volunteers handing out trays, a point I had already come to on my own. Will cut it back to 2 per shift next week.

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