As the cherry on top, none of my co-workers in lab really knew much about "Genomic Approaches to Multifactorial Disease" either--and they all happened to be very busy last week, so they probably couldn't have helped me even if they did--so I ended up giving a practice lesson to my friend T, who is a fellow writer, not a scientist.
So, there T and I are, practicing in my office, and I'm throwing out scientific terms and diagrams and methods of statistical analysis, when he raises his hand and says, "I think you should show and not tell."
It took me a second to understand where he was going with this, but then I figured it out.
See, I had been giving a general outline of genomic approaches to multifactorial diseases to him without getting to an actual example, like the study of high blood pressure, and he said that, for him, the example would make everything clearer.
The whole experience reminded me that almost every message we communicate to someone else can be organized in the form of a story...and techniques that we use to tell an exciting story can also be applied to any messages to make them more exciting.
When the time came for me to give my actual lesson, I organized each part of my lecture to come out like a story, setting up a question in the beginning, going through the thought process of how to solve that question, and then building to the climax where the question was answered. It made for an engaging discussion, and I had multiple students come up to me after the lecture to say how interesting my talk was.
This has all reminded me that the skills we learn as story tellers can be applied to so many things outside of our fiction writing. I think I seem to be a more interesting person in general because I've learned to share details about my life more in a story form. It's a matter of organization, setting things up so that there's a beginning, middle, and end. It's a nice tool to carry in our back pocket for anytime we need it.
And! It's December 6, just a few days before all of our Notes From Underground stories are due! I'm excited to see what we end up with. Already, we've gotten some great stories, and I can't wait to get them published and available for readers!