Trying out my hand in taking formal classes

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For the last 3 days I have been taking formal Free Software training sessions. On Tue I presented a Free Software Training Seminar at Rajagiri College of Social Studies (Kochi) for the MCA students there. For the next two days I taught a Basic Computer Awareness (using Free Software) class at the Police Training College at Thiruvananthapuram. Having just come back from the Freedom Walk campaign, I seem to have started building a liking for formal training opportunities.

I have always enjoyed talking about topics I like to talk about but most of these talks have been restricted to people I knew. During the Freedom Walk campaign i have had enough and more opportunities to address public audiences of different numbers and of varied interests. It turned out to be a good platform for me to try out my public speaking skills. I had always been reasonably confident that I would be able to address public audiences but the opportunities I have had to do so since I completed schooling was very limited.

The irony of the situation is that while at school I was not so much of a public speaker as (I think) I have become now. I am yet to hear from my audiences :). And to add insult to injury, I used to display an array of interesting(hilarious) mannerisms while on stage during my school days. My mother used to get me signed up for all kinds of elocution and recitation competitions whenever she could force me to take decisions. I stopped yielding to that by around class 8 bidding adieu to all opportunities for public speaking after that.

The classes during the last two days was a very good experience for me as I had a hall full of people who barely had any idea about Free Software and who barely showed any interest in getting any more than they already had, if at all they had. The class concluded today with lot of positive feedback about the class. The challenge for me was to connect with the people in the class and I think I did mostly. There were still cases of people dozing off but there were none of falling off chairs.

The experience of sharing knowledge was a very rewarding one especially when there were gleams in the eyes of the people who received it. Interacting with people through questions and answers was also a good experience because you had to answer the question without boring the rest of the class. After class people turned up to thank me and that was also a gratifying experience i.e. whenever I felt that they were doing it from deep down. Again the classes also gave me an opportunity to sneak in a little bit of my message about being the change one wishes to see in the world.

I think I am going to give a hand in doing this more often. Being in the Free Software community I think that these kinds of training opportunities are going to open up left and right given that we have a wave of Free Software conversions happening in Kerala both in the public as well as in the private sector.

happy to know abt your lectures :)

couldn't contact you during my vacation in kerala :( no excuses.

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