The View From 32


JUNE 12, 2007   More below: STUDENT THANKS

New computer blues, day 2

It still sucks.

Yesterday I started moving files from my old computer to my new iMac. Even the simplest approach didn't work all that well. I have an external hard drive that I use to back up my important files like this website, my school work, etc. Should be a no-brainer to unplug the drive from the old computer, plug it into the new one, and drag what I need onto the new computer.

The results weren't reassuring: the first few times I tried dragging folders from one computer to the other the copying went quickly about 2/3rds of the way, then the computer just hung up, the beachball of death spinning away. All I could do was restart and try again. After multiple tries and restarts I began dragging individual folders one at a time, a much slower process. In this way I found out exactly where the problem files were that wouldn't copy. This trial-and-error technique worked, eventually, but is slow going.

More problems cropped up, and I'm still working on getting things right. I had to take several breaks during the day to go outside and work in the garden where I actually could accomplish something. What occurs to me, though is that I'm fairly knowledgeable, having used personal computers from the early VIC-20 days, and Macs since the first 128k model. If I'm having so much trouble, how does an ordinary person handle this?


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" get what you need"

As the Rolling Stones point out in one of my favorite songs, "You can't always get what you want, but if you try sometimes you get what you need."

After a flurry of emails from students at the end of this semester expressing frustration with their grades, I've been feeling pretty negative about teaching. I'm the kind of person who can't take these things lightly. I'd like all my students to enjoy the class, get good grades, and think I'm a great guy. But I also believe that we need to hold ourselves to high standards of accomplishment, and that every student earns a grade based on the quantity and quality of the work he/she does. This, of course, is where there may be differences of opinion. It's why I—and every teacher I know—hate grading. It's the hardest, most stressful part of teaching at the college level.

So the past week or so has been filled with negativity that I haven't been able to shake. A ray of sunshine came in the form of a letter from a student I had in class about eight years ago at Herron School of Art in Indianapolis. It really made my day to hear:

"I wanted to thank you for the impact you had on me in that class. I learned a lot..."

"The impact from your class is still felt to this day... The team you put me on and the project you gave us helped to turn my life around."

"I wanted to let you know that you made a difference and all your sacrifice in driving between Ohio and Indiana wasn't for nothing.
Thank You

Wow. You're welcome, Aimee, and thank you for writing. It means more to me than you know.


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