Re: peanut butter and jelly - revisited

Subject: Re: peanut butter and jelly - revisited
From: "Marjorie Hermansen-Eldard" <meldard -at- zzsoft -dot- com>
To: <sharonburton -at- earthlink -dot- net>, <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Wed, 10 Nov 1999 09:42:52 -0700

. . a few of my colleagues used a little twist on the PB&J exercise at their "Take Your Daughters to Work Day" activity. It brought down the house. Here's the gist of "Alien Brownies." The purpose: to show the girls what technical communicators do; and, more specifically, how important well-written instructions are.

They (TW, editor, illustrator) wheeled in a baker's rack filled with the possible ingredients, untensils, etc. for making brownies. They were the aliens (complete with those funky antennae headbands).

Next, they chose four or five girls from the audience to assist the "alien" bakers (they all wore aprons).

The rest of the audience were the tech writers. One older girl was chosen to actually write the instructions on a white board. The MC (usability specialist) helped "guide" the process development--almost like a project manager.

The "aliens," who "pretended" to be unfamiliar with how things work here on earth made the whole process truly hilarious. . .

Even things as simple as selecting tools, choosing the right ingredients (they had both motor oil and vegetable oil on the shelf), gave the "technical writers" (the audience of girls) fits! My favorite part was when the aliens just dropped whole, raw eggs into the mixture and stirred them in. Measuring, opening containers, and mixing were rather haphazard most of the time as the "aliens" tried to follow directions being shouted at them from the audience.

After about 15-20 minutes of hilarity, a brief wrap-up talk detailed what the girls had seen first hand--the vitality of clear, consise instructions in any field--even cooking. It helped the girls better understand the importance of technical communicators in their world.

My friends then served pre-baked brownies to the girls as they left for their next session.

This was a fantastic activity to show how important good, clear instructions are--in any process. I've considered using this same activity at an elementary school career day I'm scheduled to participate in in the spring.

Kinda fun, huh?

Marj Hermansen-Eldard
ZZSoft, Inc.
Senior Technical Writer
meldard -at- zzsoft -dot- com

"Writing is easy. All you have to do is
cross out the wrong words."
--Mark Twain

>>> "Sharon Burton-Hardin" <sharonburton -at- earthlink -dot- net> 11/10/99 08:30AM >>>
I do this for the first night of my Intro to Tech Writing class. It is a
great ice breaker. But it is even better in that out of about 20 people with
some tech writing background, maybe 2 get it. I make the time short - 15
minutes to write, they can look at the jars of PB, J and bread but cannot
actually touch them. I tell them not to put names on the pages. Then I pick
them up, shuffle them, and pick 2 of the more outgoing people in class. One
reads and one makes. We eat the sandwiches. It is pretty funny AND you can
talk about audience, deadlines, clearly explaining info, task flow, order of
notes, lots of stuff.

Don't worry. It will work.

sharon

Sharon Burton-Hardin
President of the Inland Empire chapter of the STC
www.iestc.org
Anthrobytes Consulting
www.anthrobytes.com
Check out www.WinHelp.net!
See www.sharonburton.com!

----- Original Message -----
From: Melissa Fisher <mfisher -at- automatedlogic -dot- com>
To: TECHWR-L <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Sent: Wednesday, 10 November, 1999 6:40 AM
Subject: peanut butter and jelly - revisited


| The recent PB&J thread got me to thinking about a presentation I might do
in my
| own company. But I am curious - to all those out there who have done the
PB&J
| demonstration or something similar: has it ever backfired on you? Have you
ever
| had a group of people who "got it" immediately?
|
| Thanks for your input,
| Melissa Fisher
| mfisher -at- automatedlogic -dot- com
|
|
|
| ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^
| Sponsored by Weisner Associates Inc., Online Information Services
| Moving your documentation online? We can help with standards, planning,
| or training. Visit us at http://www.weisner.com or
mailto:info -at- weisner -dot- com -dot-
|
| Sponsored by Scriptorium Publishing. We offer highly effective FrameMaker
| and WebWorks Publisher training, consulting, and implementation.
| Visit us on the web at www.scriptorium.com
|
|
| ---
| You are currently subscribed to techwr-l as: sharonburton -at- earthlink -dot- net
| To unsubscribe send a blank email to
$subst('Email.Unsub')
| Send administrative questions to ejray -at- raycomm -dot- com -dot- Visit
| http://www.raycomm.com/techwhirl/ for more resources and info.
|
|



^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^
Sponsored by Weisner Associates Inc., Online Information Services
Moving your documentation online? We can help with standards, planning,
or training. Visit us at http://www.weisner.com or mailto:info -at- weisner -dot- com -dot-

Sponsored by Scriptorium Publishing. We offer highly effective FrameMaker
and WebWorks Publisher training, consulting, and implementation.
Visit us on the web at www.scriptorium.com


---
You are currently subscribed to techwr-l as: meldard -at- ZZSOFT -dot- COM
To unsubscribe send a blank email to leave-techwr-l-10115D -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com
Send administrative questions to ejray -at- raycomm -dot- com -dot- Visit
http://www.raycomm.com/techwhirl/ for more resources and info.





Previous by Author: Re: Peanut butter sandwiches
Next by Author: Re: Can an XML authoring tool import MS Word Docs?
Previous by Thread: RE: peanut butter and jelly - revisited
Next by Thread: RE: peanut butter and jelly - revisited


What this post helpful? Share it with friends and colleagues:

Sponsored Ads


Sponsored Ads