The Webcomicker

Who watches the watchmen?

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

An evening with Jorge Cham

An image promoting the lecture series by Jorge Cham, creator of Piled Higher and Deeper.

So, I had the opportunity earlier this evening to attend a lecture by Jorge Cham (now you can go check out his website and match the date of this post to find out what school I go to!). This was the sort of thing that I wasn't going to pass up on, since I'm kind of out in the middle of nowhere here and I don't really get the opportunity to go to many conventions. So if a webcomicker is coming to my town, I'm not going to miss out no matter who it is.

So let me preface this post by saying that prior to the talk I'd never really read PhD. I'd heard of it before, and when I saw the flyers going up around campus I checked it out briefly to see what it was about, but I didn't really even give it enough of a perusal to, say, learn who the main characters were. So I went in cold for the most part.

And I've got to say, I was pretty impressed. The first thing that struck me was that the lecture hall was PACKED. The official capacity for the room is listed online at 263, but there were so many people standing on the fringes and sitting in the aisles that I'd wager we had closer to 300 people in the room. The second thing that struck me was that when he asked how many of the people in the room were grad students, 99% of the people in the room raised their hands. There were like 4 undergrads and 3 "miscellaneous", with everyone else in the room being grad students. PhD, of course, is a comic about grad students, so apparently Jorge has his target audience nailed. So this gave me a good impression right off the bat.

As for the lecture itself, it was brilliant. He had the audience cracking up the entire time, and really demonstrated that he has a deep understanding of the trials and rigors of being a grad student. He has felt our pain, and he wants to help. That's why his talk is called "The Power of Procrastination". Underneath all the humor and satire, Jorge really communicated that it's important for us all to get away from our work, to step back and really enjoy life as opposed to constantly being under the gun. I think a lot of people could benefit from taking his words to heart (Not me personally, of course. I already know the fine art of procrastination. It's one of the few things that keeps this blog running.).

After the talk I stuck around and bought both of his books, then stood in line for him to sign them. He stayed and signed books for a good hour after his talk was over, and even though I was like the second to last guy in line he still took the time to talk to me and try to get to know me a little. I had him sign my books to Gilead Pellaeon, but he didn't recognize the name, so apparently I'm not that cool yet, but that's ok. Now I intend to devour the books in the next few days and then catch up in the online archive and add it to the reading list.

You really should go check out the speaking tour page at PhD, and if Jorge Cham is going to be anywhere near you I highly recommend you go check it out. It will be time well spent.


At 11:07 PM, Anonymous shank said...

time for an "I told you so"....:P


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