And the students are piling in...

Student Day has begun!

I thought, before the outcome of my own speech clouds everything in euphoric sparkles or deep angst (can you tell I overdramatize my public speaking neuroses?) I would get in some of the details of lovely Auckland and the Student Day here in New Zealand.

First of all, it’s being held in the Sky City Theatre – for those of you in Seattle, imagine that it’s being held in the Intiman or the Opera House, somewhere close to Seattle City Center. The theater, like the one in Amsterdam, has an overall theme of one of my favorite warm colors, maroon, so even though everything else unnerves me, the theater itself is nice.

Yesterday I was there when they drove the SmartCars around onstage and we were setting up the computers and big video screen projector. You know how the folks in this part of the world invented bungee jumping? Well, that was all I could think of when three stage guiys narrowly saved one heavy suspened project from becoming metal shards (and crushing seats below), and then when a guy was lowered on harness to adjust it, since the rope swinging wasn’t doing the picture quality any good.

Mostly I think I’ve driven organizer Paul Lo to distraction – but then, multiple things are mutating. I’m not going to use the Internet – I need to just blaze through this preso quickly so I can get to the “money” question – they fill all questions out correctly and have the chance to win the big Xbox-related prizes.  I have not tested the mike. I have not tested the mouse. All my usual good luck shadow tricks have not been invoked.

From a student standpoint though, it’s not going to matter. Everyone presenting here (except me of course) is an old hand and our sessions are relatively short – 30 minutes. When I left the threater to go blog this, students were still piling in who had not registered. I suspect we will be overcapacity and turn folks away if we are not careful. The theater holds 700 and I think close to 1,000 people registered or showed interest.

The other thing I realized looking at these students was, well, they are young. At various – let’s face it – ALL of the phases of my life I felt young, but these guys. Well. They move different than me. Their body fat percentage is no doubt what mine used to be. Their attention span darts all around. Thank God we have fancy cars parked on stage and big flowing monitors. Thank God I am wearing black. Black is cool.

However, what  is really cool – is that  it’s a free event, they get swag, in my case they get a preview of what I’m actually saying during a regular track at TechEd – it’s a good thing we are doing here.

I just hope I don’t have to bungee jump to prove my points.

PS Yes, the 9 Guy is with me. More will be revealed when we get to Australia, but as before, he's giving the talk with me perched in my shirt pocket.