Sunday, September 19, 2010

Sometimes I Hate It...

When I'm right...

We'd had an easy to use, generic log on for years in our district.  It was simple enough for 5 years to remember and neatly solved the problem that Windows requires log ons.  Of course the high schoolers abused it and took advantage of the fact that it made the user "anonymous"  to  scatter inappropriate comments the width and breathe of cyberspace.  

So the old log on was abolished and in its place came a complicated 8 letter / 3 numbers combination.   I'm not sure who piloted it - I suspect it was a combination of high school students and the tech departments own uber tech savvy children.  It certainly wasn't piloted on monolingual Spanish speaking 5 year olds, even though we have many within the district.

Worst of all, it was to go into effect on the first first minute of the very first day of school.  No lead in time, no teaching time, no getting used to things time allowed.

Needless to say, this announcement resulted in great angst among the librarians since we're usually the ones who get to carry out the Tech departments proclamations (not that they ever ask for our input ).  We have great many new librarians who, unlike me who has been at it since dinosaurs roamed the earth, are very SERIOUS about their job. 

So I wrote the following e-mail:

I realize I share much of Alfred E. Newman’s” What Me Worry” philosophy but I’m really not stressing about this right now.
I’ve been here  too long & have  seen too much and I already can foresee the scenario.

1.       It will start out as an unmitigated disaster
2.       Total chaos will ensue
3.       Tech Services will realize they messed up and back pedal furiously
4.       Plan B will be announced
5.       Plan B will be tweaked
6.       Plan C will be announced
7.       Plan C will be scrapped
8.       Plan D will be created using the best of plans A, B, C & D.

So, we can put in hours of time and mental stress worrying about dealing with Plan A but chances are it will all be for naught.
Me, I’m just going to roll with the punches, expect the worst and not be disappointed.

Last week, just I predicted we suddenly  found ourselves at Step 5.  Tech Services finally agreed that 5 year olds, who aren't sure of their last name and who can't type couldn't be expected to perfectly execute  a complicated log on.  So we have a new and simpler log on.  That doesn't work on the ibooks, all of which now must be re-imaged. 

I can't wait to see Plan C.  And sometimes I really hate it when I'm right. 

Thursday, September 09, 2010

The School Year is Not off to an Auspicious Start

1.  Our fearless Library Leader retired.   A replacement has been promised but so far he/ she  isn't forthcoming. So we are rudder-less.  Whoever takes the position has some big shoes (or rather cowboy boots) to fill.       
2.  The library air conditioner was wonky for the first two weeks and kept cutting off at 12:30.  No matter that school wasn't over till 2:30.  And the temps were 98+

3.  Tech Services ditched the sorta easy for kids to remember log ins and instituted an 8 letter 3 number log on, coupled with 6 digit password.  In their infinite wisdom they didn't test drive this on 5 year olds. Nope, the librarians get that pleasure.

4.  The electricity went out for an hour yesterday.  During lunch time.

5.  The district introduced a new electronic grade book/ attendance program.  It doesn't play well with others, especially the library patron and Accelerated Reader databases.   

6.  My Beloved has been sick with assorted malaises since May.  No end in sight. She is very tired of not being herself and of being sick.   That makes two of us.

7.  Mercury is retrograde

8.  I'm catching a cold.  Achoo! 

9.  A fast moving tropical storm gifted us with a deluge - at dismissal time.

10.  The wireless network keeps going in and out.  Did I mention EVERYTHING in our district is done on line?

11.  Every professional had to spent several hours "immersed" in an on line class on "grading & homework guidelines".  Even those of us who never, ever give grades.  Or homework. 

12.  Last year's second graders did not, as we all hoped mature over the summer. They are as immature as they ever were.  Due to several convoluted reasons many had a sub par first  grade experience.  We will  all pay the price till they graduate. 

13.  We are most likely going to have to pack up the entire school and move to temporary quarters for 18 months while the old school is torn down and a new school built.  Dates are still being written in very shifting sand.

On the plus side, a new 5th grader told me he'd never before enjoyed coming to the library.  And tonight is Project Runway and tomorrow is Friday!