BulgingButtons

Not bad for a fat girl


Leave a comment

Technical Difficulties

It’s no secret that the online world has exploded as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic. We’re doing so much more via the internet than ever before. In the time since shifting from in person fourth grade to online fourth grade, I’ve had to use no fewer than 30 different programs, websites, and apps to do my job. Some of these I’ve navigated for years, like the online gradebook and attendance system our district uses. Some of them are new to me, since going virtual, like the Ladibug software that allows my document camera to play nicely with my laptop, only sometimes it works, and sometimes it doesn’t. That’s what trips me up.

I can handle seeing my kids through a screen. I can figure out ways to connect to them and to teach them the things I’m tasked with teaching. I can talk with them, laugh with them, and encourage them. I can do all these things when the technology I’m using works.

For some mysterious reason, the technology hasn’t been working well recently, at least not from my home. This is not just baffling, but it’s terribly concerning. First, the confusion part. You see, in March, when we starting distance learning, everything more or less worked. I set up my Google classroom, opened up my Google meets, and shared documents through my Google drive. It worked. Then we started a new school year, online. Everything still worked. Then, during our Fall Break, my name was finally called to trade in my old laptop for a new one. Fine. After Fall Break I was still doing virtual teaching, but I was teaching from my classroom (because I required to). Still no major problems, until things changed and I tried to teach from home. UGH.

At my home, my Google classroom sometimes loads with no problem, and other times it decides that it would just rather not. Sometimes my Google meets run smoothly, and other times they freeze repeatedly, kick me out multiple times, and then decide to just not work at all. It’s impossible to teach that way.

I know there’s nothing wrong with my wifi. I’m not the only one who uses it, and my live-in tech guru has assured me that our internet is fine. The only change is in the laptop. It just doesn’t want to let me teach from my home. I’ve called for help and the patient IT person worked with me to try a few different things. They didn’t fix the problem. The worst part about the situation is that ten minutes before class starts everything looks fine, but twenty minutes later I’m no longer able to deliver my lesson to my students.

I’ve hastily packed up my things midmorning and driven into school on more than one occasion so that I can teach, but this pandemic is getting worse, and I don’t want to leave my home if I don’t have to. I have the option of teaching from home, at least for the next couple of weeks, and I would like to use that option. With my current tech situation, though, I’m worried I won’t be able to.

I need a solution, and right now there’s nobody to talk to about fixing this. Maybe I’ll be able to get some help on Monday, but I’m a little skeptical. Nobody else seems to be having any trouble connecting (and staying connected) with their new computers. Why is mine the exception? Goes to show you, newer isn’t always better. I just want my old laptop back, so I can teach.


Leave a comment

The Saddest Day of the Year?

Having just wrapped up Christmas, my sweetheart announced that December 26th is the saddest day of the year. His reasoning is that there’s all the pre-Christmas buildup, then Christmas Eve, then Christmas Day. After that? Nothing. At least not in the United States. It’s kind of a letdown if you look at it that way, so I choose to see it in a different light.

To me, December 26th is the day that all sorts of pressure is lifted. Didn’t get the cards mailed? Doesn’t matter now. Didn’t make a gingerbread house? Doesn’t matter now. Didn’t get all the decorations put out? Doesn’t matter now. Didn’t catch your favorite Christmas movie? Doesn’t matter now. Maybe next year. December 26th is when you can take a step back, evaluate all the things that you enjoyed about your Christmas celebration, and start to relax. Of course it’s easy for me to say that, since December 26th falls smack in the middle of my winter break.

If you’re very fortunate, on December 26th there may be new bikes to ride, new lego sets to build, new gadgets to set up, new books to read, or new clothes to wear. The decorations are all still there, the sweets and treats are still around, and you probably have enough leftovers to make cooking unnecessary. December 26th is a day to take a walk around the neighborhood, take a deep breath, and enjoy what’s left of the holiday season, without all the pressure of the actual holiday itself. December 26th isn’t sad, it’s not sad at all.


2 Comments

4 am in the Emergency Room

Here I sit, next to my mother’s bed. We’re in the emergency room a few miles from her house. It’s almost 3,000 miles from my house.

This is her second ER visit in a little over a week. The first one prompted a hastily prepared cross country road trip. Lucky for me, my son was available to help me drive. Lucky for me, I work with the best people, who made it possible for me to take off at a moment’s notice.

This mom of mine is tough. She’s stubborn and resilient. She’s got several things going on with her and she feels pretty bad right now, but I can’t imagine her slowing down too much. She’s got too much to do.

As much as I dislike sitting in the hospital with her, there’s no place else I’d want to be while she’s going through this. I know she’s going to be fine, but there are some hurdles to overcome first. I’m glad I can be here for her.