ConversationMy topic choice: Student: Hi, Professor Williams – I'm here for our 1:30 meeting. Professor: Hi Michael. Thanks for being so prompt. That really makes a difference when I have so many students scheduled back to back. If only there could be more than 24 hours in a day. Student: (Laughs) I know what you mean. Professor: So, what's on your mind? Student: Well I'm here about my topic choice. Professor: For the upcoming oral presentation? By the way, how do you feel about speaking in front of the class? Student: Well I'd have to say I'm most comfortable writing papers, but I'm not nervous about doing this presentation. It'll be good public speaking practice you know. Professor: Exactly, and certainly, it's a skill that is always useful. Student: Mm-hmm. Yeah, so the assignment was for us to talk about a current environmental solution? And I found so much eye opening information while researching. The only problem is, I don't know which area to go with. Professor: Okay well, which areas most interest you? Student: Well I've spent a lot of time exploring the concept of wind farms. You know, using wind as a source of energy. Professor: Mm-hmm, go on. Student: Right um – lots of stuff on that you know types of wind farms and different designs, how they've been set up, how to get the most out of them. Professor: Okay, and what's another choice? Student: Well, it's a tie between wind farms and mushrooms. Professor: Mushrooms!? Hm! Tell me more about that! Student: Well, there's a species of mushrooms that produces chemicals that can eat away at toxic waste – from petroleum products, pesticides and other harmful pollutants Professor: Yes, I've read research about this – but actually Michael it's the fungus beneath the ground that affects the harmful pollutants. That's an important difference Student: Oh ri-right that's what I meant – I'll explain it more clearly in class. Professor: Keep it simple. Something like – just like trees produce apples, it's the fungi that produce mushrooms – and it's also those fungi that produce the helpful chemicals. Student: I understand – it's just so amazing that something low cost and already there in nature could solve such a large pollution problem caused by humans. Professor: It is intriguing. Wind farms affect _____ too, but I think most of your classmates will already be generally familiar with that topic. Whereas they might not have heard of this. Student: Okay. Thanks Professor Williams! Professor: Btw, what's the growing period for this species? Student: Ah it only takes a month to grow. Professor: Great! The university has a greenhouse that's sometimes available for research projects. Why don't you stop over there one afternoon, speak to the manager and ask if he'd let you use a small area of the greenhouse? Student: Okay. Professor: You could try to duplicate the results of the study! Student: In the greenhouse? Professor: Yes! You have three months until the end of this semester. It might make a strong final project!