I'm a big fan of brevity. Of course, sometimes I will wander around a story I'm telling just to make sure I'm getting all my facts right and remembering it correctly. Or, it's possible I'll go off on a random tangent, or let someone else do the same. This situation is totally fine when you're with a friend in a social setting. However, this weekend, I was seriously reminded of times it is NOT okay to do that.
I have two professors this semester. One is clear and concise and straightforward, almost to a fault, and we get a lot of information in her one hour lecture. The other is not so much, and we take two hours to hear what could often be said in one. I understand that a lot of his lectures are done with a live audience, so he takes more time to interact and discuss than the other. However, yesterday, I was tired, I had things to do, and I wanted to finish my lecture before going out for the evening. So, when he gave us an example query of "homeschooling", he proceeded to actually ask his audience their opinions about homeschooling. This was completely unrelated to anything, and I wished I could fast-forward. I would have if I knew which minute he got back on track. I also didn't get to finish my lecture yesterday, but I'll do that soon.
Last night was our ward's annual Thanksgiving dinner and Talent/No-Talent Show. There were several great acts, but a 15 minute piano recital piece, a random on-stage jam session, major technical difficulties, and a host of other things did not make for a quick evening. I think the whole show was just over two hours. Everyone was either very talented, or quite humorous, but it could have gone better. Dress rehearsals should be mandatory, even for ward functions.
Tonight, the Mormon Choir of Washington was performing at a "Why I Believe" fireside, where a Mormon prominent in the community speaks. It's really a cool thing, and I love singing in the choir, so I was happy to be there. Senator Orrin G. Hatch was the speaker, and he made some excellent points. Then, he expounded on those points. And made tangents to those points. And told needlessly detailed (however neat) stories. Firesides are usually done within an hour. Sen. Hatch spoke for over an hour, making the whole event about one hour, forty-five minutes. Add that to the fact that I was sitting on the stand in a hard chair and was up until 3 AM the previous evening, and I was done with the whole thing very quickly. A filibuster if I ever saw one. I hope someone was touched, but I ended up just being grateful that my house and my pajamas were only five minutes away.
On Friday, when I was speaking a middle school career day, I had 30 minutes to give my presentation. I was done in 15 one session, and 20 in another. This gave me lots of time to bribe the students to ask questions, but if I'd been able to, I would have just dismissed them. It's a nice break sometimes when things like that are informative, and over early.
Some people just need to learn when to stop.