Current Status

Day from Hell not as bad (Day 2 out of 19)

I should explain the Day 2 out of 19.  We have 19 days - 3 weeks -- before Christmas break.  I have to do technology inventory and get all new equipment in my lab by then.  Well, the equipment comes on the 17th.

Today wasn't as bad, but I decided to take out the huge chunk of non-working network cable.  It was on the floor in the way of my students.  I also decided to remove the extension cords.  I am a smart child, and since I couldn't get the cords to go through the "speed bump", I decided to chop off one of the ends and pull it through.  Again, being smart, I cut them off at the plug, knowing they weren't plugged in. 

So I brought a set of wire cutters to school and preceded to chop.   The extension cords were a bit difficult but got there.  There were about 30 network cables in the harness, so I had to chop them one by one.  I started, got about 10 done and thought, huh, wondering if I am gong to disconnect my phone.  Sure enough it was one of the first chopped. 

Thus, I had to stop at Home Depot and get telephone cable on the way home.  Not sure how much so got two 50 foot cords and a coupler.  But at least now I can put my phone where I want it.  Closet sounds good, smirk.

On of my favorite department members sent me an email with a bunch on numbers on it.  He teachs subject that should be able to do spreadsheet, so I sent him his inventory back and told him to fix it.  He then put a request for network ports to be repaired, and it's on my desk.  I'll put a ticket in AFTER inventory.  Even ran into him in the hall, told him his inventory sucked (not in that many words), and when he asked about the ticket said, "oh, sorry, I have to have the inventory done first."  Hasn't worked yet, but we'll see.

Second floor is finished.  I've got half of the portables.  I am hoping my student and I can finish portables tomorrow and start on the first floor.

So 17 days to go.


Day from Hell (Day 1 of 19)

I got to school having trouble breathing, partly because of the inventory, partly because of the new lab installation and the meeting after school and partly because of the 8:00 am emergency meeting.

Emergency faculty meetings from this principal are never good, and I was expecting bad news.  They alway means someone is leaving, usually for a promotion.  It also means we aren't getting a replacement any time soon.  By the way, we've averaged about 3 per year getting promoted out of the building, so it really wasn't unexpected.

My principal is now Superintendent of West ISD.  Somewhere around Waco.  You see, his dad was super in a small district and he got a lot of really good opportunities because of it.  He'd told me at summer school years ago, that this is why he was working towards the Super certificate.  I did do some major work on his final project.

So I'm glad he went out and got what he wanted.  BUT he was one of three good principals we've had.  we had one bad one and one evil one. 

By the way, someone sent the new guy to tell me that the evil principal was coming back as intermim.  I need to find out how sent him and kill them.  I also need to teach the new guy to stay out of my room, I don't need the extra stress now.  I won't actually kill them, but I will think evil thoughts their way and they really bad things will happen.  Sorry, but this has happened to a lot of people.  I figure the new guy is innocent and doesn't know better yet. 

So that's my first couple of hours. 

Oh and by the way, if anyone reading this is in on the conspiracy to keep me from eating during the day, would you please stop?

4th period I worked on the inventory and found out one department chair told her people to send the inventories to HER.  I wouldn't have a problem with that if

a) she told me

b) she had given me the science department inventories within a reasonable time period, but as of right now their inventories are not in my email and that is 1 week and 1 day late.  And a month after I asked for them initially.

<snarl>

She probably sent the new guy to me.  Don't worry, I'm already thinking evil thoughts her way.

Got through the afternoon meeting (please, I can read, don't read your freaking handouts too me), but my biggest question which had been asked in advance had not been addressed until I asked it at the meeting <sigh>

Even got to agility class in time to walk the course.  BUT after I got to the second class my feet were freezing and I couldn't run any more.

And that's only the first day out of 19!

The next three weeks are the weeks from hell as I do

a) the inventory

b) get the new equipment installed

c) surviving without a principal


Fixing other people's computers

I hate fixing other people's computers.  They become yours.

I even have the Think Geek shirt and sticker that says:  "I will not fix your computer".

However, one of my favorite people at my school called yesterday morning with a note of desperation in her voice -- her notebook wasn't working.  I suspected, but didn't say, that there was something wrong with the power supply.

She brought it by this morning, I plugged it into the wall and we had green lights, then we didn't, then we did.  I noticed that there was a little bit of a notch in the wire near the brick, and sure enough that is the culprit.

Even better news, it will get shipped next day air and she won't have to pay for it (but as she pointed out, built into the price).  However, it was $62.00 plus tax, and while Office Depot had a couple that might have worked, the cheapest was $80.00

Not bad.

Except I'll have to fix it again someday.

But we did have a nice visit!


I DID IT!

I've been careful posting because I've been up for an award from my school district.

I applied for and won the TI STEM Award.  I go to the Board Meeting on Thursday for recognization, and another opportunity in August.

But here's the good news!  It's $5,000 for myself, and $5,000 for my classroom.

One of the things I'm trying to do, is to go to the Carnegie Melon AP Workshop on July 7, then the CS4HS Workshop, and then Alice Workshop.  The means being away from my "family" for 21 days.

I've already decided if I go, I'm taking my truck and one of my dogs.  Twice I've gone to Carnegie Melon on the cheap, where I flew in hours before the workshop, had not transportation and worst yet, no dogs.

I will only take one.  So far, I'm looking at an Extended Stay of America hotel.  They did tell me that the traffic is bad because you have to go throuh a tunnel.

Another option would be stay on campus and find a pet sitter near the campus where I could visit with her in the evenings. 

I'm also going to get a Microsoft software subscription for my classroom.

I'm still shopping for everything else.


Cross Your Fingers -- Mine are

I'm up for a district award and tomorrow they are coming to my classroom to help choose who is going to be a finalist.  They are going to observe for 30 minutes.

It's a district, teaching with technology award.  %5.000 for me, $5,000 for the classroom.  I'm one of 12 semifinalist, and they are picking 7 finalists.

I have done a little shopping -- first, since some of the money is for staff development, I'm hoping to go to Carnegie-Melon this summer to three workshops in a row.  An AP workshop, the CS4HS workshop and an Alice workshop.

Other good things have happened lately, I got picked for my favorite summer project which is to write our district final -- this year for Visual Basic.  I've done Webmastering and PreAP in the past, and I've been wanting to do the Visual Basic for a while.

I'm also getting a chance to do some Kagan training.  We've got two days scheduled (and paid) for the two days after Memorial Weekend.

I'm also kicking around the idea of doing some web development for pay this summer, I looked at Monster and there seems to be quite a few short term contract jobs available.


Identity Theft

Seems it never ends.  We've been getting a letter, I think every other day, requesting that we pay a check we didn't write.

Of course, we're not going to.

I just keep sending out the same letters, to different people.  You'd think they would figure it out by now.


New Toy

I am playing with a Windows Smart Phone while waiting for the Treo 680 to come out. Things I like: the ability to do Windows things especially internet explorer. its official... Blazer sucks the weird part is that the blogging software cannot handle the keyboard well. my students who have seen it think I should keep it and dump the palm os FYI its a Cingular 8125

Replacing a hard drive

Today is a staff development day and since I did 17 1/2 hours this summer, I have the day off. Of course, I always do more than the required hours (22 hours).

Anyway, I have noticed that the hard drive in my home office system has been whining and this morning I woke up to a black screen and the drive light lit. When I rebooted, I got a SMART drive error, telling me to back up my data as the drive was failing.

I did.

So I hadn't planned this, though today is full of mundane errands, I'm replacing the hard drive. It's a Maxtor and I bought a new Maxtor -- 200 gig at $49 after rebate. Not a bad deal.

The nice thing is how much easier it is these days to replace a hard drive, I was dreading it, and still am, but all I am having to do is run the MaxBlast software.

And I can wait until the whining disk is out of the system!


First day back to school

First, I'm "officially" an old teacher. One of my former students is teaching in our building (French).

Second, I might start blogging for my students here -- haven't decided -- or I might start a special blog for them.

I don't think I have a big audience, but do you think it would be better to do a seperate blog or not?