Thursday, September 16, 2021

Atonement and Tech Woes

It's Yom Kippur morning, so maybe it's appropriate that I woke up wondering if I had been too harsh, too insistent, too pushy in my recent interchanges at work when I made inquiries about timelines and our tech crisis.  We've been trying to make do the best we can, but I've also felt it's important for people above us and in the tech department to realize what it looks like on the ground.  I ended a recent message this way, after saying that I realize that IT has a lot of issues to deal with these days:

"But [I was told] that getting internet and computers for the classroom would happen by Sept. 3, and that hasn't happened yet. So we are building platforms out of boxes on tables so that the faculty member's daughter's laptop that she brought from home sits high enough to connect to the flat screen that we can barely move out from the wall to be able to use it with the HDMI cables that I brought from home. These are the mornings that I wonder if we're being filmed for some strange reality show."

This morning, as I lay in bed doing my self-assessment, trying to decide if I needed to atone, I reminded myself that I wasn't asking for that much.  At the bare minimum, we need the cords to connect the laptops that we're lugging from home to the flat screens so that faculty can use their teaching materials and show their students the PowerPoints and other resources.

When I lay there, wondering if I was too harsh, I reminded myself of the times I backed away from harshness:  in yesterday's meeting, when a colleague said, "You know, I always answer right away"--I didn't say, "Actually, I sent you a rather urgent message on Friday, and you have yet to answer that e-mail, and it's Wednesday."  I didn't say that.

On Tuesday, we had a 1 hour meeting to update us all on  the launch of our new learning management system. We ended the meeting by hearing about a wonderful platform that we would all soon be able to access. I resisted saying, "All of these platforms, like our  LMS and this new platform that you're telling me about, do sound wonderful, but they require a stable internet source, and if we all try to use the mi fi hotspot, the whole fragile system will crash." I did not say that.

So on this day of atonement, let me remember all the times I was not patient and atone.  Let me also remember all the times I could have responded poorly, and I did not.

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