Friday, March 12, 2021

Background Noises and Unforced Errros

I'm dogsitting this week. I've done this many times before, and it's never been much of an issue. However, that was back in the good old days when a. it was summer, or b. I had a workplace that was not my home. 

The dog in the forefront is Toby, and he resides here full-time. Behind him is Julio, my daughter's dog. They get along pretty well, but they have differing personalities. Toby's had a rough little life, and was found wandering the streets of Puerto Rico before Animal Lighthouse Rescue flew him over and gave him to us. My daughter found Julio in a pet store and bullied me into getting him for her. 

I'm not sure exactly how that molded their personalities, but I'll tell you that Toby doesn't get excited that easily. The postman can show up ten times a day and he won't raise an eyelid. Julio's just a little more hyper, and a little more yappy. So lately, my classes are filled with background barking, and me occasionally shouting, "Calm down, Julio!"

As if that's not enough, I find myself making errors with materials, and not for the first time. Because I can't distribute books, I have to copy them page by page into Google Classroom. Now I finally know why I needed a scanner in the printer I almost never used before. For my money, one of the most tedious tasks in online teaching is scanning 30 or 40 pages at a time. You scan, wait for it to show, get up, turn the page, and then do the next one. This is something particularly mind-numbing, for me at least, and I miss pages here and there. Sometimes I scan the same page multiple times.

So today, when I said let's try exercise 17 on page 64, I was not at all surprised to hear one of my students say, "I don't have page 64." I knew she was right, because she's a very bright and attentive kid. I chastised her for being smarter than me, because this was far from the first time she's done this. Personally, I think she does it on purpose. We should have rules against this sort of thing. I mean, there she is being smarter than I am in front of the whole class, and how does that make me look?

So, despite my damaged ego, I had to scan the page in right there, which took a few minutes. Fortunately, my students had Julio's yapping to divert them. But by the time I got everything ready, Toby had determined that whatever Julio was barking about was an actual emergency. Toby's not much bigger than Julio, but he has a really big-dog bark. Maybe that's how he survived the streets. I don't know.

Anyway, we finally recovered and mostly finished the exercise. I'm going to have to try and negotiate with these guys to calm down during morning hours, though. We shall have a serious conversation later today.

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