A lot can go through your mind in four minutes, even if it’s four minutes spent staring at a computer screen. Yesterday, I had a chance in the middle of one of my seminar classes to do a lot of thinking. A student had emailed a Power Point presentation to herself and we were pulling it up to show the thing to a class of around 40 kids.
Being the way sophisticated blog reader you are, you know a 1.25 mb or so file ought to take about three seconds or so to finish. Well, this took right at four minutes, as the class became crazier and crazier, some students trying to fill in the time with jokes while others just got nuttier and nuttier in that middle school sort of way.
And the Power Point student and I just stared at that screen, amid the chaos, the little red Firefox download bar barely moving, if at all. And I thought. And thought some more. Here’s some of what I had the chance to think:
- I gotta get another job
- The speed of the internet is a powerful symbol of everything that is screwed up with APS
- Maybe I should get a job at a private school, where the internet is screaming fast, the school cafeteria serves two-star Michelin level meals and golden wheat and honey wave and flow throughout the land
- Maybe I should get a job where kids don’t burn down a tree on campus (this happened this week)
- I feel so embarrassed
- These kids deserve so much better than an internet that takes four minutes to pull up a 1.25 mb Power Point
- This better be some kind of killer Power Point, like the greatest Power Point in the awful coffee-stained business meeting of Power Point. Like a Rosetta Stone meets Magna Carta level of Power Point importance.
- If middle school kid energy could be bottled we could be off fossil fuels in a week
- Maybe I should get a job in another country (I have this thought about every other day)
- What country should I get a job in, this time…Norway, why not Norway?
- Oh, the cost-of-living is really high in Norway
- But should the “cost-of-living” include the cost of having to sit here for four minutes in an increasing storm of middle school energy? Isn’t that cost higher than any “money”?
- When considering just why APS is so screwed up, you always see stories about our graduation rate, and never stories about teachers/classes waiting four minutes for an Power Point to load while crazy students attempt to tell really unfunny jokes over a PA system.
- Speaking of graduation rate, isn’t it interesting that screwed up APS (and all public schools, really) is trying to do two incompatible things simultaneously: make the curriculum more challenging and raise graduation rates?
- If that co-teacher looks back at me one more time with that “when will the Power Point come up?” look on their face, it’s all over
- Let’s put together a list of U.S. cities that I could possibly talk my wife into moving to, and think about teaching jobs in those cities. Portland, no too cloudy and rainy. Bozeman, no too cold. Boise,…..(ad infinitum)
- How many APS teachers at this point are ignoring how screwed up the District is because they are basically prisoners to their retirement pensions?
- Am I already one of those teachers?
- I’m about three seconds away from picking this computer monitor up and hyper-symbolically throwing it through a window
- Tonight is “Pride Night” at my school. Maybe the school should show a video of me waiting four minutes for this Power Point to load in a class of 40 students to all the “Pride Night” attendees, while everyone chants our long-forgotten school song over and over and over
- I know there’s a recession coming on, and that I have no qualifications to do a “real” job, but maybe employment outside education would be a good idea
- Or, of course, there’s always writing that novel
- Maybe I could write most of a novel before this Power Point finishes loading
- Oh, let’s just face it, the whole “novel writing” thing is an attempt to have something I can never have as a means to avoid thinking about making the most of my reality
- Hey, maybe I should write a novel about a guy whose “novel writing” thing is an attempt to have something he can never have as a means to avoid thinking about making the most of his reality
- Or maybe a murder mystery
- Or a guy who has to wait four minutes for a Power Point to load and stumbles upon Nirvana or some other deeply meaningful redemption
- Is it Summer yet? How many more teaching days are left this school year? How many hours is that? How many minutes? Times sixty…that’s….
- I really have to applaud his Power Point student. She hasn’t started crying or screaming at me about what an incompetent place I work at and how unbelievably lame this all is. I’ll bet she’s thinking that. Let me look at her and see if that sentiment is written all over her face. Yep, it is.
- Maybe Bosque Prep has an opening next school year….
Now it’s Friday, and all that comes with it. Have a good weekend everybody…