My train is heading North-East, full of happy people, returning from their vacations in the Sothern parts of Russia. They must have gotten used to hotter days and nobody minds the heat and lack of air conditioning in the compartments. Well, it will only be one short night. It will actually be even shorter due to the one hour time zone difference between Izhevsk and Yekaterinburg.
Back in Izhevsk I spent two days in the youth camp of about 120 youth and young adults sleeping in a tent and teaching under a tent (made of a parachute with slight modifications). My worries about being able to keeping their attention for two days of two-hour presentations turned out to be completely unsubstantiated. Both sessions were received very well and were followed by dozens of questions and comments showing how interested and how engaged they were all the time.
The camp leader later told me that both the format and the material was so new and so important for them that he could have wish a better conclusion for the whole camp: “You charged them with so much energy and enthusiasm! I am sure this will something they will remember our camp for. Thank you for taking the challenge.”
To be honest, I also learned a lot from this experience. First, that an open air presentation with very primitive accommodations work just as powerfully as one in a fully equipped classroom. And secondly, that the camp is an ideal setting for the follow-up conversation and continued discussion because I am not rushing to the next event but staying with the group for the rest of the day and even overnight.
Speaking of the “overnight” – two other people in my train compartment already turned off their lights and I should probably follow suit. Good night!