Friday, June 4, 2021


For a shorter work week with a Monday holiday, this week has been remarkably exhausting at work.  Yesterday was exhausting in a different way than Wednesday.

Yesterday we had an 11:00 virtual tour with a representative from the VA unit that deals with financial aid.  Obviously, I wanted it to go well, since I want our students to get all of the money that is due to them, particularly our veterans who have gone through so much to be eligible for those benefits.

But there was so much that could go wrong.  We spent Tuesday and Wednesday trying to figure out how to get any mobile device to hit the wi-fi so that we could walk around the campus to give a tour to the official.  We were not having any luck or any tech support.  People kept asking, "Don't you have an iPad or an iPhone?"  I didn't get any further help when I said, "No we don't."

Happily, one of the FA people from the Ft. Lauderdale campus was coming to our campus yesterday, and she had an iPhone.  Her iPhone could operate, but she spent the morning trying to find a computer that would let her get to her desktop.  We're supposed to have a system and a server that will let us access our work files on any campus when we log in, but it wasn't working yesterday.

As we got closer to the time of the virtual meeting and tour, the internet started acting erratically:  slow loading websites, dropped calls, the kinds of things that make me expect the whole IT system on campus to collapse.  But happily, the technology held together, and I was able to do a virtual tour by holding an iPhone and remembering to walk slowly and turn even more slowly.

A few hours later, I drove across the county for a different kind of tour.  We went to the only venue that's open for graduations and other types of performances.  I had been there before for some kind of ceremony, but it was hard to imagine how it would work for graduation.  It feels more like a conference space in a hotel than a performing space.

Move in a stage, and voila!  The ballroom becomes a graduation stage.  It's strange how so many of those venues look the same.  I spent the whole tour trying to remember when I had been at the building before.  Was it the Reading is Fundamental breakfast?  An Art Institute fashion show?  Some luncheon to honor a colleague?

The place also felt familiar because of the wallpaper.  In the late 80's and early 90's, that wallpaper would have suggested grandeur and royalty, wainscoting printed on a wallpaper instead of a more expensive installation, wallpaper suggesting velvets in burgundy and forest green.

It will do for a graduation.  I'm not clear why people would choose to have their wedding there, but most people's wedding choices make no sense to me.

I drove home taking note of neighborhoods and apartment complexes, a different kind of tour.  Yesterday I saw a house on our street go on the market, the first on our block to list for $999,000.  In 2019, it sold for $745,000, and from the looks of it, it hasn't had any upgrades since.  It was a beautiful house then and likely still is, with lots of gorgeous upgrades.  But $999,000.

I hope they get every penny.

These are the tours I'm taking these days, tours of listings and neighborhoods and the questions of "Is now the time to sell?  Are we at the height of the market?  And if we sell, where do we go?"  It's a whole different sort of mental tour.

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