Thursday, January 29, 2015

killing office hours

Once upon a time, I used to have a perfectly fine office computer. Then, when my kid was about to be born and I was preparing for daddy leave (yes, there are aspects of my job which do rock...just not the four years without a cost of living adjustment), I got a message that they were upgrading my machine.

Yes, normally this would be a good thing. However, after a year, I realized that my new office computer sucked. As time wore on, it got slower and slower. Programs and plugins would randomly freeze and crash. By last Fall, it got to the point where it would take ten minutes to log in and open my mail program and web browser. Need to print off a lesson plan? Add on another ten minutes to open my word processor and send the document to my printer. To call this aggravating would be an understatement.

Yesterday, they took my computer to be re-imaged. I assume this involves a paint stripper, wire brush, and spray paint. I did take care to back up everything on the (as it turns out) my lesson plan for my morning class. I was able to fake my way through the day's class session, however. Chalk one up to experience and an ability to improvise/con people.

I'm now sitting in my office, looking at the empty space on my desk where my computer should be. As I started to type this out on my phone, I tried to figure out what I actually did in office hours during the several occasions when I had no department machine in whatever passed for my office. Then I realized that I was either madly trying (as a grad student) to finish class readings, (as an ABD) to scratch out time to write my dissertation, or (as a part-timer) to teach myself the random discipline in which I had to teach a class in a few hours.

Right now, all I have are shelves of books I've already read and a phone to keep me company...and my battery can't last forever. I can't grade, because all my stuff is on that computer I don't have. I might be able to write some song lyrics, but all my notes are at home. And I simply don't have it in me to play with my shelf of Lego mini figures. In short, I have no way to kill time.

Man, I really gotta stash a guitar in here.

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