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Teaching, Day 1

Morning: Meet new landlord, get keys to new place. It's good and not-so-good. There are no screens on the windows, which are all the sideways-sliding kind, which means the cat can jump out and burglars and mosquitoes can jump in. This will need to be addressed. Have thoughts about needing to go shopping and get things like a toilet brush and toilet paper. The backyard is shared and full of dog poops. Hmm.

Speed-walk to campus because I'm worried about being late for a meeting. Turns out I was early because the time I'd seen was West Coast time and Arizona doesn't have Daylight Savings. The very kind textbook rep met early instead.

Try to hunker down and go over the materials for the first lecture one more time. Have to pause and say hello howr'ya doin' a few times, but it could be worse. Manage to realize I don't yet have a video from the textbook publisher's materials, so I quickly find it and get it in place. Phew.

I'm unsure about the A/V situation in the lecture hall, but my co-instructor magically appears an hour before class starts, and tells me that Classroom Support is close to the building where we'll be lecturing. She also notes that we have abundant exits from the lecture hall in the event of a mass shooting incident. Useful to know and think about.

I walk over to Classroom Support, and they are more than happy to send someone over to the lecture hall before class starts. Okay, good. Just in case, I have my laptop with its VGA dongle, and have a copy of the lecture on a USB drive. It's about 20 minutes before lecture, but I'm on that side of campus already, so I decide to go and wait outside the classroom.

And ohh, we're fortunate, no class directly ahead of us. So I go in to get set up, and I can't log in to the classroom computer system. Well, no problem, I'll just plug in my VGA adapt...urgh. All I see is an HDMI cable.

I think at that point, I randomly mashed futilely at some buttons on the projector remote for a bit, and pawed at cables on the underside of the table to see if maybe the VGI cable just fell down somewhere?

Eventually, after several excruciating minutes passed, the Classroom Support guy showed up. I demonstrated the problem, and he did some head-scratching, and eventually managed to get me set up with a temporary login.

Okay, good. It will be time to start soon. I frantically mash more buttons on the projector remote, and eventually arrive at the correct sequence and duration of mashings on the power button to get the thing turned on and using the correct display source.

But when I put up the first lecture slide, the computer has decided that I wish to show the "presenter view" on the big screen. FFFFFF. As someone who rarely uses Microsoft's awful display software on big screens, I then frantically mash buttons within the software, to no avail. Eventually this leads to some sort of internal problem where I can't show ANY kind of presentation format, just the open software program.

Well, okay, fine. The material's there, even if the presentation is less than slick.

So yeah. Of course, the microphone volume cut in and out the whole time in awkward ways. Highly vexing but at least it "worked"?

We finished early, so after chatting with the 10 or so students who needed to chat at the end of lecture, I tried to open up Wednesday's lecture, just to see whether *it* would work. Quick answer, no, with an even more resounding NO because of some sort of hilariously terrible MAC-PC font conversion problems in addition to the inability to slideshow.

Other than that, the day has only involved:

Why is it that the crucial administrative building one must visit ASAP upon arriving at a new campus, is always MILES AWAY from the main campus? (at least it wasn't the middle of summer and crazily hot) Also, it was clear that there are about eleventy hundred of us who need to get our extremely time-sensitive paperwork done. Phew, it's like the DMV. I had five forms of identification, but didn't have my old student ID card or student ID number, or a hard copy of my job offer letter, or filled-out new hire paperwork (no one ever sent it to me). I *almost* remembered my student ID number except I got it confused with my first Seattle Public Library card and added in too many zeroes. That's still really good when you consider how many other ID numbers I've had since then.

Student e-mails (thank you, dear students, for already learning good e-mail etiquette before reaching my class, and thank you, prior instructors, for teaching this aspect of professionalism). With practice I should be able to compartmentalize this activity, but it's great experience with the new faculty "the e-mails!!" stage of things.

Other administrative e-mails.

Todo, academic:
-Hope the chat with IT resolves login problems
-Get one of those laser pointers that also does slide advancing so I can walk to the back of the room as I keep talking (I REFUSE to stay bound to the stage! It's bad for everyone.)
-Convert future presentations to PDF and give that a try (wish me luck, oh joy)
-Set up and release first homework assignment tomorrow
-Get TurningPoint clicker stuff set up and write clicker questions for Wednesday's lecture; maybe bring in a clicker person to reassure the students

Todo, non-academic, mostly shopping:
-Buy milk, other groceries
-Introduce myself to front neighbors and chat about splitting internet
-Shop for window security bars, spare lightbulbs, etc

Whee! *grins maniacally*

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