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Wednesday, August 25th, 2004
5:42a - Second Day's Preparations


My classroom needed a total make-over yesterday (after things were in pretty good order other than the spare computers.) I had pieces of three computers sitting around, and one long table instead of two computer carts, which meant I lost 8' of my white board space.

Every time I tried to track down the tech person, nobody knew where he was. The closest I got was, "He was just here five minutes ago." Since I was an hour behind him, and "I've been looking for him, too," were also common responses, I figured five minutes was pretty good.

I kept waiting to be told what was going on, but, as usual, nobody said anything. I finally emailed the tech guy and told him about how we moved the carts up and back one at a time on a nearly daily basis to access the board behind it, and that with that table, I couldn't get at it.

I heard nothing. In another email, I mentioned needing a hub to get that many computers hooked up to be useful to me, anyway.

I got one terse reply, "I have a small hub."

Elation!

The librarian asked where the new AR books were. Finally, after school was out for the day, I cornered the principal on that one, and tracked them down to another teacher's room. (?) "Why were they sent there?"

"Didn't she order them?"

"Some. The rest I ordered. But they still GO in the library."

As of the end of our work day today, they still had not made it to the library... So I'm JUST SURE after the students've taken their placement test tomorrow, they'll be able to look over the new books, right???

Yesterday morning, I started to look over the hub situation. I have eight total plug-ins for electricity in my classroom. Two are so high I need a ladder to reach them. One is behind my desk, center front, and another under the bulletin board, center back. In the corner by the table? Zilch. Each computer cart had four plug-ins, so we could hook up monitor, computer, scanner, and still run one more piece of equipment, like a CD player, etc. At least once a week, that happened. I have a five socket power strip that the two computer tables were plugged into. If someone wanted to print from the scanner (after all, that's why things were being scanned, generally) someone had to squeeze 2' behind my computer to swap out the cords, red to the AR computer, blue to the scanner, then swap them back. Handy, right?

I again couldn't locate the tech person, so I emailed the problems, then caught a janitor coming up the stairs and drug him down to see what was possible. WE ended up MOVING a four shelf, 7' bookcase to the front (took three utility cartfuls to empty it), move the science table with the fridge on it a foot and a half closer to the door, put the TV cart in sideways for storage, but at least its cords are long enough to reach to face it into the classroom for use, whereas the others weren't. Then the TALL janitor plugged in the fridge and the science table, which left two low plug-ins for TV, VCR, and CD player as needed.

It was incredible. After four hours of messing, the main pieces were in place, but all the junk was sitting on every flat surface. I now have a hub, three working computers facing my desk so I can quickly see if they show any porn, etc. and hope I can still get a row of desks in front of them. (Did I mention, 27 desks are also crammed into the room, needed for one huge class of seventh graders, who are supposed to interact for 45 minutes straight with their BOOKS, not their classmates? We'll see how that flies!)

I doubt the fire marshall will be happy. If you are careful, you CAN walk around in there a bit.

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6:13a - Nice Surprise


As I took several new creations to the office to put them in the copy box, one of the secretaries was still there, trying to get the bugs out of the new computer system we'll be using for the first time this morning. Her husband was upstairs (he's the guidance counselor, but also has control of the program in use), so her high school aged son was home alone.

He called her to say he'd made supper, and he was upset because nobody was there to eat it. He solved the problem by BRINGING IT TO SCHOOL. Soon he popped his head in the door with a plastic plate with two meat loaf balls (he used a muffin tin to bake them in) and a mess of fresh garden green beans and asked if I wanted supper.

I had half a loaf of farmer bread (the kind I tear off and dip in the spinach dip, which is not at school yet) to go with it, and ice water. It was delicious.

Before I'd finished, he showed up again with one lone meat ball in his muffin tin and offered it to me. I put it in the fridge and will have it for lunch today, I think. With MILK, because the cafeteria will be working by then!

Random acts of kindness work for me!

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