Cluster

I’ve been teaching at IU for more than 5 years but never in all that time have I experienced anything like what the last week hath wrought. It’s been rather chaotic! On Saturday I was assisting an Excel workshop while we offered a Photoshop workshop in another classroom down the hall. About 10 minutes after we started class, the Photoshop instructor slunk in the door and high-tailed it to the back of the classroom. In a desperate, breathy whisper she explained that there had been a tremendous mix up and for some reason Photoshop was not on the machines in the other classroom. I’m sure you can surmise the potential difficulties posed by trying to teach a Photoshop class in a room of Photoshop-less ‘puters. The machines in the classroom I was in DID have Photoshop on them and the other classroom’s computers had Excel on them so we decided to switch classrooms. Although unorthodox, the Photoshop class was an all-day affair and several participants had driven pretty far to take it, so we needed to do whatever it took to get the show on the road.

It was VERY funny to watch the classes switch. Some of the people were barely awake while others looked irritated or smug in the final confirmation of their Phildickian suspicion of the evils of technology. The instructor and I giggled nervously, apologized profusely, and explained that nothing like this had ever happened before. I suggested everyone think of it as a field trip but needless to say, my comment was met with few chortles…and 3 people threw tomatoes.

Within moment of settling down in the new classroom, we realized that although the computers did have Excel on them, it was version 2007. I may have mentioned that we’re upgrading to Office 2007 in the fall. In the meantime, we teach our Office workshops using Office 2003. The class materials are of course filled with directions and screen shots relevant to Office 2003 so we couldn’t switch it up at the last minute, especially after advertising that we were teaching version 2003. Aside from that, Office 2007 is a pretty dramatic departure from previous versions of Office – it has a completely different look and feel. There was just no way we could continue in that classroom. I tapped danced backward out of the room and scurried down the hall back to our old classroom to explain the new problem to the Photoshop instructor. After some hemming and hawing, she decided we should return to our original classroom and continue as planned. In the meantime, she called Oakie, who rushed to the scene to help out. (She’d apparently been involved with the Photoshop and Office 2007 installations.) Oh, what a mortification it was to explain to the class that we would now have to priss back down the hall to the first classroom. If looks could kill, I’d be DEAD – I was metaphorically pummeled with increasingly weary, disdainful stares. “Our bad,” I chuckled and herded the participants back to the home field. Fortunately once we got settled in again, class went smoothly and the students were very understanding.

Last night’s foofaraw requires far fewer grafs of explanation – the bottom line is that I got the dates mixed up and forgot I was supposed to teach. I have never done that and once I realized, felt TERRIBLE. The assistant and several others were worried something awful had happened because I would never just not show up for class. I explained the situation to my supervisor who was SO nice and understanding but I still felt awful. Thankfully there were only 5 students in the class so the assistant gave them materials and sent them home. We’re rescheduling the class for next week, which hopefully I’ll be able to remember.

The latter may give you an inkling of how scatterbrained I am right now. I really, really need a vacation. I have plenty of vacation time saved up but we’re in the midst of a huge project at work, so I feel bad about taking time off right now. Still I’m in desperate need of a break. I’m taking Friday off and probably another day next week, so hopefully that will tide me over until I can get in a solid week of proper slacking.

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One Response to “Cluster”

  1. Kriss Says:

    Oh, My, Miss Mymsie Pie . . . you DO need a vacation.

    The whole classroom mix-up bugs me a little, tho. Why was it a big deal for these people to get their butts up and move????? Ugh. Don’t you just want to tell them to put on their big girl panties and deal with it?!?

    I hope you do something fun/relaxing on Friday. Like swim in the pool, followed by a movie, followed by a glorious evening of sitting on your butt doing absolutely nothing.

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