Tuesday, April 12, 2016

On not being a buffoon (for now)

Finding out that a classroom technology glitch was Totally Not My Fault counts as a major triumph these days, which suggests just how low morale has fallen around here. We're not getting raises and we can't replace some of the valuable people who are leaving and changes to our health insurance are kicking me in the checkbook , but by golly an IT person told me I'm not a complete idiot and I'm ready to jump in the air and let out a whoop.

Yesterday when I fumbled around in front of my first-year writing class failing to get a DVD to start running, I assumed that I was just being a technological idiot. I've never had problems with that DVD before but that classroom is the only one I use that's equipped with Apple products, which always make me feel like a tech novice. Why is that icon bouncing? Where did the document I opened disappear to? How do I switch to a different DVD player? It's difficult to maintain my sense of authority when I have to ask a callow 18-year-old, "Where's the slot for putting in the DVD?" 

I found the slot, but the computer kept rejecting my DVD. I fiddled around for a while and then sought help from students, who were similarly stymied. Finally I realized that if I saw another error message I'd have to start throwing things out the window, but I didn't want students to see that so I let them go ten minutes early. Yes, I allowed a tech glitch to utterly derail both my lesson plans and my ability to adapt to difficulties.

And then I tried to get someone to care about the problem and heard that no one else has had any problems with that computer so probably it's just me being an idiot. IT paid a visit to the room this morning and had no problem playing a DVD and thus confirmed that yes, when it comes to technology, particularly Apple products, I am an utter and complete buffoon. So when I asked the IT person to meet me there and show me what I was doing wrong, and when she suffered the same problems I'd encountered, and then when she admitted that she had no idea how to fix it but had to go back to the office to do some research, I felt vindicated: Yes! I'm not a total moron! 

Now if only I can get someone to put it in writing so I can add it to my Vita!

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