Tuesday, February 7, 2017

When the Network Goes Down

Yesterday was a day of irritations, but thankfully, most of them were minor.  I got to the office to find out that with Friday's network updates, our computer systems were scrambled:  we couldn't get onto the network (which meant no Microsoft Office or Excel), the computers couldn't send things to the printers, that sort of chaos.  Ordinarily, this might not matter, but we're at midterm, so several instructors had to scramble, since they arrived assuming they could print midterm exams before class.

We didn't get network access until afternoon.  But I tried to think about what I could do.  I got a lot of faculty files checked; I'm now in the part of the process that has me looking at each document in the file to make sure they all say the same thing.  You may or may not be surprised to find out that people put wrong graduation dates on a form or that they think they got a BA in one subject, but the transcript words it differently.

I assembled a binder of faculty development and inservice days.  We got other tasks done:  strategizing about hiring decisions, for example.  But it's surprising how discombobulating I find it to be cut off from all my files.

In the late afternoon, I strategized with the librarian from the Ft. Lauderdale campus.  My school needs a library assistant, and we talked about the ideal candidate.  We also talked about how much we love books, and about the jobs that let you be around books, but without time to read them (she had once been a manager at a Barnes and Noble).  All night, I dreamed of hiring someone for the position.  Now I will need to launch some of those actions in waking life.

Most days at work, I feel that everything is going smoothly, that teachers and students are taken care of, that the work of learning is happening with solid scaffolding underneath.  Other days, like yesterday, I have a glimpse of how easily it could all start to fall apart.  And yes, I'm also thinking of networks and how fragile a net they really are.

But let me not think about that.  Let me keep taking steps each day that will get us closer to a successful accreditation visit while ensuring that the important work of education stays on track.

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