Wednesday, April 28, 2010

New York Times on Laura Bush

Caught an interesting article yesterday on upcoming 2010-2011 season speaker Laura Bush that I thought worth sharing. The article is an introduction/review of Bush's upcoming book, "From the Heart". Take a read when you have a moment.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Dr. Joe MacInnis Feedback

On April 6th, 2010 we hosted Dr. Joe MacInnis at the Sacramento Speakers Series. MacInnis, who was an last minute replacement for Dr. Sylvia Earle (her cancellation warrants no discussion for the health of all involved), was chosen to keep the authenticity of our current season and was to fill the role of underwater scientist.

Below is the collective feedback on the evening from patrons who attending the program.

PROGRAM GRADES (1 low / 5 High)
Overall Enjoyment 4.3
Lecture 4.2
Q&A 4.0
Lighting 4.2
Acoustics 4.1

87% labeled the evening "money well spent"

While the scores are still all in the "4's" which I find acceptable, they do represent the lowest scores of our 2009-2010 season. The patron quotes that were collected from our survey seem to mirror the overall program grades from above.

"It was interesting. He certainly has an amazing background. I wish he could have gone into a little more depth during the Q & A period, and I found it hard to decipher what we were seeing on the videos. If he could have used a pointer, it would have helped. It was quite awe inspiring to see actual videos of the Titanic!"

"Even though Dr. MacInnis was a substitute speaker, I was pleasantly surprised at his excellent presentation. One of the best of the series."

"I enjoyed Dr. MacInnis' comment about the audience taking time to continue to learn as I think that' why we attend the Speaker Series and it was nice to have the speaker acknowledge it. Made a real connection with me."

"I was disappointed with Dr. MacInnis' presentation. I felt he had a lot more to offer than he did. I would rather have heard about his role and what he's done rather than how wonderful a person James Cameron is. Dr. MacInnis' humor wore thin.The video clips were hard to see and understand and really not that interesting to me."

"We almost didn't attend the engagement as, quite frankly, we had never heard of Dr. MacInnis. What a mistake that would have been. Dr. MacInnis' delivery was superb, with an excellent mix of humor, science and real-life experiences. While different from the "norm", the use of video clips really worked. Maybe all speakers should be signed on the fly!"

From my own point of view, I found Dr. MacInnis quite interesting as a person on his own and wished he had taken more time to speak about his own life and accomplishments. The thought of taking a submarine down to the depths he reported is astonishing to me and I wish he would have explained more of the technology behind deep sea diving.

Although I yearned for more information on the oceans and the species that live there, it would be unfair to ask Dr. MacInnis to speak on the subject as it is not his field of expertise.

I am grateful to Dr. MacInnis for pinch-hitting on short notice and from the patron feedback we received I think he did an admiral job in connecting with our audience.

If you'd like to see photos from the Dr. MacInnis program, simply click here.