Return of the eLearning| July 20, 2011
This week I returned to eLearning course development with a vengeance. I have three weeks left at IBJ. Three weeks to turn information into educational slides, record my voice, and download them successfully. Thankfully, I've worked out most of the issues with the recording software that were responsible for more than half the time I spend on Theory and Theme of the Case, so the work goes pretty quickly now. I keep bouncing between Opening Statements, Closing Statements, and Cross Examination - it helps me maintain a unified design between all the main courses. The unified design also makes it a lot easier to fill in the information. The only real differences in appearance are the colors - I'm using a slightly different color scheme for each topic - and the fake client.
Bastille Day in France just over the border
Each elearning course uses a simplified case file to illustrate the principles as they are taught. In the first elearning course, a previous intern had already written a scenario about a man accused of robbing a shop. For the Opening Statement course, I took a slightly more dramatic turn and wrote an attempted murder / aggravated assault case. (It's very thrilling) Yen, my fellow intern, volunteered her name for the new client. Though I think I'm going to alter the last name: I have accepted the fame of having my voice internationally known as the narrator of IBJ eLearning courses, but Yen might not want to be known as the girl who "allegedly" stabbed her boyfriend with a kitchen knife.
Me in front of Voltaire's house on Bastille Day
All the interns want to be fake clients now. It was inevitable after they heard me record the thrilling story of Yen's attempted murder. So overall, work is progressing at a much quicker pace, thank goodness. I am trying to find a couple of clips of actual opening statements, etc. I'd like to find examples from Cambodia, India, or some of our other countries, but most of the clips online are from the USA. So if any of my avid readers have sources for trial transcripts or video footage, feel free to send as many as you like to firstname.lastname@example.org. Until then, I continue the search.
Last Thursday was Bastille Day in France. Geneva is about twenty minutes from the French border on three sides, so a bunch of the interns and I took a bus over to the Chateau de Voltaire (Voltaire's house) where they had grilled food, baked goods, and lots of people. They had reconstructed Voltaire's voice on a computer and had him introduce the fireworks. It was pretty cool. The fireworks, though, were amazing! They set them to opera music and they went on for at least a half an hour. It almost made up for missing the fourth of July.
View on my walk to Hergiswil
This past weekend, I visited Lucerne in the German speaking part of Switzerland. I'd been told that it was a beautiful city and a pleasant place to hike or go sight seeing. It actually reminded me a lot of Geneva, except the scenery was lovelier because the mountains were much closer to Lucerne than they are to Geneva. I got on a bus to Hergiswil to see a famous glass factory and museum. As it turns out, there's quite a variance between distance on a map and distance in real life. I could have taken the train directly to Hergiswil - the train station is actually right across from the glass factory. But I chose to take the bus which didn't have a stop in Hergiswil, but one of the stops looked to be quite close. I got off the bus and started on a pleasant walk alongside the lake.
Two hours later, I arrived at glass factory. Apart from a slight sunburn and blisters on my feet, I actually enjoyed the walk. If you have to get lost, it's best to do it in a place as lovely and safe as Lucerne. There were dozens of people rollerblading and biking. I also got to use my - albeit limited and newly acquired - German skills to ask "wo ist der Hergiswil Bahnhoff?" (where is the Hergiswil train station) and was answered in English with a polite, "Hergiswil? Hmm. I don't know."
I did enjoy the glass factory. There was a small museum with all these cool contraptions made out of glass: musical pipes, a funnel with marbles, a working glass blower, etc, etc. They also had a glass labyrinth which I entered without really knowing what it was - I hadn't walked all the way to Hergiswil to spend one hour there. But they gave me gloves and fuzzy shoes and then send you in this revolving door which you can't see into and you come out in this dark room with flashing lights where the walls are all made of glass. There must have been mirrors around the perimeter because you could see yourself reflected in all directions and because of the lights and the cleanliness of the glass, you could not tell what was wall and what was space. There were a few people in front of me, which made it a little easier to navigate, but then they all got out and I wandered in circles for fifteen minutes of increasing desperation. It was really cool - though I did run into the wall at least six times (never get cocky in a room with glass walls). I enjoyed looking at the beautiful hand crafted glass. After that I wandered back to the train station two minutes from the shop. I briefly reconsidered reenacting the opening scene to The Sound of Music in a field up the mountain about twenty yards away, but the train came early. Besides, the owner might have objected.