Monday, 6 August 2007

I'd rather not be here ...

I got home late yesterday afternoon. I didn't want to be home but I couldn't put it off any longer.

I went to work this morning. About half of the paperwork in my pigeon hole belonged elsewhere (including the round filing cabinet), so I was able to reduce the pile very quickly. I thought I had a lecture at 10 am but was delighted to find that it had been shifted to 11 am. Things were going well.

Then I found out that the bulb had blown in the projector in that lecture theatre. Apparently, the problem had been reported last week but it was taking some time to fix. (A blown bulb is a common problem, so why didn't they have one on hand? Well, that would be an unused asset, silly.) So, I printed out the 150 Powerpoint slides (it was a long lecture) to photocopy onto transparencies for use on the OHP (which, as far as I knew, had a functioning bulb.)

Now this was within 20 minutes of the start of the lecture. It was a bit tight but I could copy some of the text and pictures ...

Well, I could have copied them, had the photocopier not been left jammed* and, once having been unjammed, had it not refused to pick up the slippery transparencies from the bypass tray.

I contemplated standing at the front, holding up the photocopied slides and discarding them one by one like Bob Dylan in the clip for 'Subterranean homesick blues'.

In the end, I had to give the lecture without any visual aids other than a white board and a blue marker. And I think I managed it. I'm no great fan of Powerpoint for Powerpoint's sake but it can be useful in lectures, especially for images (of which there were many).

They had better get a projector bulb quickly ...

Yep. I'm back at work.

* Thank you, whoever did that. You're on my hit list.


Shorty CreeKI said...

Welccome home anyhow

Tracey said...

Wasn't me! But you did remind me of a haematology lecture I went to in the early days of AIDS. Our lecturer had just returned from San Fran and a big conference on AIDS and wanted to show us his slides only when he put them into the projector they were his holidays shots. Was he ever red-faced! We enjoyed them though. Sadly, a few years later, he died of AIDS. A lovely bloke. That was the most memorable lecture of my whole science degree.

I've enjoyed your trip photos. Made me quite green!

Sherrie said...

That's the problem with fabulous road trips. They end.

Funny, though. Last week I was visited by my favorite college professor (the man who taught me how to draw, now retired), whom I hadn't seen in at least 10 years. We had some rueful laughs over his perpetual problems with technology. Didn't matter if it was the first day of term or the middle of finals... projector bulbs INVARIABLY rolled over and played dead only for him.

(sigh) Welcome home.

Sherryl said...

I know how you feel - trying to get back into work mode when it's the *last* thing you feel like is a woeful experience. So bad it almost makes you wish you'd never gone away, so that the pain wouldn't be so bad. I've just been on a planning retreat. And it was actually quite positive. Hope the glow persists past Monday (and the photocopier in my area that will also inevitably be jammed).

Snail said...

That's the first week over and it's been quite frustrating. I was driving home the other day singing along to Cold Chisel's 'Bow River'*, which was the song I played over and over the first time I headed north. (And have played on every long trip since.) I was very tempted to miss the turn off home and keep going.

*YouTube link

bioephemera said...

Oh dear. I remember a morning during my first year of teaching, when after staying up past 2am to finish an exam, I found the photocopier had been jammed. I discovered this when I ran upstairs 30 minutes before lecture to copy an exam (which I could not laser print, as I normally did, because our IT department had broken the printer network settings that morning). I was actually forced to cancel the exam. One of my students put on my end-of-year eval that it was "unprofessional" that I did not have the exam ready for them. Grrr!

But as for your lecture, although it smarts to lose the prep effort one has put in, I love giving "chalk talks". I'm sure it was very good. :)

Snail said...

Gawd! They complain if you give them exams, they complain if you don't. You can't win!

Well, four weeks into semester and the projector still doesn't work. We're now running a book on the date of repair. The smart money's on mid-semester break. (Another four weeks. Not that our semesters are 16 weeks long but ... ya know ... "two-thirds of the way through semester break" doesn't roll off the tongue so well)