Monday, August 24, 2009

classroom fail

Hi there. I'm a teacher. Currently, I teach writing. However, today certain events and locations began to conspire against me.

Now, I want to be perfectly clear. I like my job. Generally, I like my university. I love my department. Hell, I think my building is pretty damn skippy...even if they did have to replace the roof less than a year after the building opened.

I can even deal with my classroom having three glass walls and facing the building lobby. It's a bit weird, and I feel kind of fishbowl-esque. However, I'm tapping into the whole self-delusion angle and believing that it's because I'm so damn pretty. Maybe they're filming me for a reality show. Who knows?

The problem is with technology. I have a computer, projector, document camera, dvd player, and every bell/whistle you can ask for. What do I not have? Why, it's a board on which to write. No chalkboard. No white board. And, as it's a writing class, being able to write is kind of important.

I have developed a workaround. I turn on the document camera, put a piece of blank paper under that, and write on that. It's far from ideal, though. I burn through a lot of paper, especially since it's a 2 hour 10 minute class. And every time I write anything, the "intelligent" sensors in said document camera decide to refocus and readjust the white balance, which takes a focus. Also, I can swear it makes my already ugly handwriting look even worse.

Ultimately, though, I'm mostly unhappy because of the utter silliness of it all. They could afford an expensive document camera, an expensive projector, but could not fork over for a white board? I have to use hundreds of dollars of technology as a workaround for their failure to install a simple chalk board?

Once again, Kafka shows its relevance to the modern university.

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