My Date With 18 Sociology Professors

My Date With 18 Sociology Professors

About two months ago I invited a small group of Sociology professors to read though the rough draft of my upcoming book to give me feedback. It was so amazing being able to see how their brains worked.

This group of educated men and women was the boost I needed when it seems as if I had run right smack into a concrete wall named writer’s block. This grand meeting was 3 months in the making, lasted for 2 day, and has given me a lifetime of memories and a new outlook on life.

This blog may seem like random thoughts, but just follow me. Outside of what I learned this was a great was to get great input on my book.

I mailed out invitations to 30 professors within a 1 hour drive from the venue I had rented. I explained in the invitation that no monetary compensation would be given, but breakfast and lunch would be served each day. I received 18 RSVPs. On the first day after the welcome, a short presentation on HIV was given by a Disease Intervention Specialist (DIS) from the local health department. After the DIS spoke I had scheduled three HIV positive individuals to speak to the professors. I chose three people with different upbringings and from different socioeconomic backgrounds.  There was a restroom break before the 2nd HIV positive speaker. After the final speaker I scheduled an in-room lunch break. Lunch was served buffet style and smooth jazz was played in the background.

After lunch I spoke to the professors about my upcoming book explained to them that the invitation stated that each day would be from 8am-4pm. However, day one would actually end in the room at 1:30 and the rest of the day would be for reading.

I then gave each professor a copy of my book and each signed confidentiality stating they would not copy the book, talk about the book, etc… I gave each of them red ink pens and told them to write questions or thoughts in the books.  I then explained to the professors that they could stay in the room until 4pm or take the book home and read it. I then let them know that day 2 would start at 10am, but they could come into the room at 8am for fruit, muffins, bagels, coffee, and orange juice.

Most of the professors had finished the book before returning. Three finished the book in the room the second morning. At 10am the professors took a small break and then returned to ask me questions. At noon a lunch was given with John Coltrane playing in the background.

Now this is where it gets interesting. At 1pm, I asked the professors to act as if they were in a book club and I would give the questions. This is where I got to see how the minds of Sociologist really work. They would break into discussions and theoretical arguments that would have drained the thinking power of an average person. I am so glad I have it all on video.

At the end of this great gathering, one of the professors asked if he could add my book (once completed) to the “suggested” reading of his school’s sociology department. I said yes.

That is a great way to get feedback on your book.

Upcoming dates to remember:

Twitter Chat Days – 4/25/14, 5/26/14, and 6/26/14.

Book release date – 6/27/14


Name of book: The Story Within – A Scrapbook of the Eradication of HIV/AIDS in the US



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