Saturday, February 16, 2008

Drama Thursday

Every now and then, taking a shortcut leads me to a big problem I didn’t really need to have. Thursday was a case in point.

I arrived, a little late as always, to my first block class. This is already stressful to me. I have to drop my daughter at school before work and can’t really get here by the time they want me to. Most of the year it isn’t a problem. I had first block planning last semester and no first block this semester until last week. The driving instructor waits in the class with them until I get there, usually about 5 minutes after class should have started.

I went to turn on the incandescent lights, as I hate the flourescents, and the whole row on the right side went out, and one of the bulbs blew as well. Since this happened before, I knew what to do. I turned on the left side lights and stepped outside my door to the breaker box. I reset the breaker and three out of the four lights came on. I replaced the burned out bulb with one I had in my closet and then was able to kill the flourescents. In a way, I think I actually impressed the group by not panicking and fixing it immediately. It was about as impressive as I was going to get for quite a while.

The room was still warm, even though it was in the twenties outside, very unusual in Alabama. It is an internal room with no outside walls, so the heat from the almost thirty students does a lot to warm it up quickly. The air conditioner stopped working a few days ago, making the room uncomfortable. Especially to many of the students who seem to be unable to remove their coats for some reason.

I had turned the air off yesterday morning in case the condenser had frozen over. Again, not the first time that problem has arisen. Sometime during second block I got the opportunity to try turning it on again and it seemed to work most of the day.

But these were just preludes to the stress I was about to encounter. I went to my computer and attempted to log in. I say again, I attempted to log in. It was an unsuccessful attempt. So were the next several, subsequent attempts. I didn’t think it was the computer, as the other teacher had logged in under his name, but in order to make sure, I restarted the darn thing, muttering darkly to myself the entire time.

I also set up my laptop in order to try to get the journal PowerPoint up. Trouble was, I didn’t have the current version of the PowerPoints on the laptop. I felt like the weight of the top floor had fallen in on me. The students were behaving well, thanks to God for that! But I felt distinctly negligent in my responsibilities to them. Mainly because I was being distinctly negligent in my responsibilities to them.

I tried to log in to the desktop once more and had a thought. I used the official log in I was supposed to have been using for the past year and a half instead of the unofficial one I had been using instead. I logged on. Finally! All my desktop settings were gone, though, as I had set them up under the other log in. Not to worry, I just had to access the school server to get to my teacher files and all would be well.

I couldn’t access the school server and the teacher files. It was still set up to the old filename, as I had never updated this one. I went to the media specialists to get some help and was given the filename to look for and instructions on how to load it in. Also a short lecture on going in under the login I had been using and how that was something I shouldn’t have been doing, etc., etc.

Of course, I couldn’t get it to work in anything like immediacy. More like it took me several tries over a stretch of time to get it done. Which eventually I did. I got to my files and had the journal prompt up for the next class when they came in, but I wasn’t in a lot better shape mentally or emotionally. By this time I was hot and sweaty. I also had a severe headache--even for me.

After second block got busy catching up on any work they were behind on and working on the computers for those who were caught up, I ducked out a minute to the media specialists again to ask about the possibility of getting the info I had in the My Documents folder and desktop of the old login. At this point the other media specialist twigged as to what I had been doing and I got the long version of the lecture on how I shouldn’t have been doing that.

I was in the wrong. I know that. There was no way to argue about it. After she finished she let me know she’d call the IT guys and when they had a chance they could try to get the info for me. I went back to the room and to work. Within fifteen minutes the IT guy showed up and in less than three minutes had my info on the new desktop login for me.

From that point all I had to do was set up the programs and taskbar to the way I had them. Get the background back to a picture of my darling daughter. And try to deal with all the adrenaline that had been pumping into my system for the past couple of hours.

All in all, it was not a pleasant morning.

And here is the really galling part for me. None of this drama with the computer was necessary. If I had not been so lazy and avoided setting things up under the official login as I had been told to do, I never would have noticed anything different. But I took the easy way and it eventually caught up to me. Maybe I’ll learn a lesson from this. Or, maybe I’ll be like Peter Griffin, star of Family Guy. At the end of one episode after doing something stupid and winding up in the hospital his wife said that at least he must have learned a lesson from this. Proudly he looked at her and said, “Nope!”

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