Day: November 9, 2017

A Long-Overdue Mischief Update, Part III: How the Semester Started

It really has been forever and a half since I updated.  I have to report that I had a lot of fun with the beginning of the semester.   A few highlights (assume I had a hand in all of this):

–The carpet people showed up to replace the carpet in the lecturers’ office.  The week before the semester.  The human female and her staff were pressed into service to help move books and papers, while movers put all the furniture in the hallway.  Many interesting things were discovered,  including unidentified chemicals in an open flask on one instructor’s desk, many graded papers and grade records which had to be locked away to prevent FERPA violations, and piles and piles of unopened mail.

–One of the lecturers was more or less missing until the week before classes started.

–One of the TAs teaching Intro Bio was not notified of this fact.

–A couple of the TAs originally assigned to Intro Bio were assigned elsewhere.

–The Powers That Be decreed that Intro Bio was to calculate grades in a different manner, cutting down the total points for each course so that lecture exams would be worth 100 points (so students could more easily figure out their grades).  This leaves the labs with about half the usual number of points to allot, so that TAs are now grading in half-point increments on enormous assignments worth a whopping fifteen points.

–The University, two weeks before the semester, when it was time to update its Security Certificates, CHANGED the way it handles things, with the result that any computer that had a copy of the old wifi protocol would have to uninstall that, update the security notifications, install the new wifi protocol once for EACH USER PROFILE, then go back in and UNCHECK the “remember my login info” setting that was autochecked.  For the human female, this means updating two user profiles on six laptops in each of ten lab rooms, plus spares.  At the same time, there were updates to Adobe and Java to install as well.  And then a host of backlogged Windows updates to install, with each round of updates triggering a further round (sometimes as many as five rounds.)   All of this to be accomplished over the wireless system, which is so under-powered that many of the systems could not download even the first round of updates—if they could connect at all.  The human female and male got through three rooms of laptops with about a 50% success rate before the human male figured out how to fix one laptop of each model and then use it to image the others.  This process is only now nearing completion.  Oh, and the Anatomy and Physiology labs down the hall have a dozen laptops each, and they put such a load on the wifi that the laptops in human female’s labs at that end of the building often cannot log on at all.

–It took several weeks for the post-hurricane shipping woes to be resolved.   The Elodea (little pond plant) that was ordered was not available anywhere.   Nobody had any they could ship on time, not the Purveyor of Squiggly Things (POST), not the Alternate Purveyor of Squiggly Things (APOST), not the local aquarium stores.  Or if they did have it, they couldn’t ship it.  The human female worked out how to use onions in the experiment instead and everyone was poised to make the change and then —wham, here comes the Elodea.  It arrived looking plenty partied-out.

–You recall the Termites that Almost Weren’t?   The human female finally managed to obtain some from a lab on the University campus that studies them.  So there were termites after all.  Then the POST came through and shipped the second half of the split-timing delivery of termites, so there was a scarcity during the first half of the week and a superabundance the last half.  There were EXTRA termites at the end of the week.  Items that had been on the ticket with the first part of that split-delivery order didn’t get shipped and got uncoupled from things that shipped in the second part of the shipment.  The human female added some live mosses to one of the orders so that the total would qualify for a promo discount, and then the mosses didn’t ship so the discount didn’t apply.  You know, the POST sales rep now has a distinctive little pause-and-sigh before he starts speaking every time the human female calls…

–One of the Intro Bio labs, the one that got moved into the basement of the old building at first was supposed to have a microscope camera for showing tiny specimens.  Over the summer, it was decided that good photos on the computer would suffice.  Then, on the day of the lab, the demand went out for set of demonstration scopes, and the human female and her staff had to scramble scopes down the stairs across the alley and down to the other lab, and then set up the items under the scopes.  Miscommunication coupled with last-minute scrambling and exercise.  A trifecta of mischief and stress!

And it doesn’t end here!  There is much more to come.  I think this will have to run over into a separate post!  Suffice it to say, though, that we have identified the root of all the human female’s problems.

new calendar

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