I recently had the opportunity to present a talk at something called Ignite Baltimore. Scheduled a few times a year, Ignite has proven to be extremely popular. I discovered that not only had the event sold out, but people arrived early for a pre-event reception in a sprawling lobby filled with animated people conversing.

The format is this: Sixteen speakers each give a five-minute talk. During each talk, twenty slides are each shown for 15 seconds, and the talk has to be built around this constraint. During my Ignite event, the topic of talks ranged from musings about what magic is, to how to revitalize Baltimore, to mine on motherhood. For me, giving a presentation was an opportunity to experiment with using a different kind of language than I use in more academic presentations, and to experiment with a mixture of words and visual imagery.

Here’s the YouTube video of my talk about what it means to be a mother. It’s also about the idea that we exist as whole, integrated people, not isolated bits of hormone, brain chemicals, stereotyped behaviors, stimulus-response connections to the environment. The imagery is unfortunately blurred, but I hope you can make out enough, and I hope that what I say is of interest.

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