Thursday, October 08, 2020

Adventures in Remote Teaching

I've had an interesting few days. Sometimes my personal and professional lives overlap in ways that are simply not convenient. For years I've been taking my dog to Petco for vaccines. I've never been persuaded it's a good deal to pay triple the price at the vet. This year, though, I noticed that the apocalypse had affected that as well. I had to make an appointment for my dog, and the only one I could get this month was yesterday at 12:30.

I begged out of a tutoring session I had, drove to Petco, and then, when I checked my appointment, noticed it was today rather than yesterday. As my wife was available, I sent her to do it today. That way I could teach my class. Alas, I no longer carry my house keys routinely, and coming home from a walk, I found myself locked out. I climbed on a chair in the backyard and tried to climb through a window, but I had locked them all. The only burglar I'd saved myself from was me.

I then had to call the school to say I'd miss one of my classes. I can actually make it up on another day, but I was disappointed. I finally figured out how to show a video to my class. First I tried calling Apple to see if they'd sell me a DVD or digital copy or something. When they said they wouldn't, I decided to place two laptops facing each other and show it that way. One of my students said she couldn't hear, so I decided to try something else.

I took my laptop into the living room, where we have a TV hooked up to a sound system. I then moved my dog crate, which we haven't used in years, in front of the TV. I got a good angle, and was able to show pieces of the video, using a remote on the TV. The only real issue was I then had to pick up the laptop, have a brief discussion, and then replace it. But it seemed to work.

I wonder, though, if my attempts at showing the video are cursed. The second time I wanted to show it today, I found myself locked out of my home and sitting forlornly at my own doorstep. I made a bunch of frantic phone calls, trying to get someone to tell my class I wouldn't be there but I'd make it up. Then I sat for a while and remembered The Mad Greek, a takeout joint on the Nautical Mile, blocks from my house. I'd never been there and it was lunchtime.

They had something called a gyro quesadilla that sounded interesting. Actually it's gyro and feta between two pitas. But they also had a spicy tzatziki sauce that was very happening. It's not really what I'd call a quesadilla, but whatever it is it's pretty good. 

So if you ever get locked out of your home, and you haven't got your car key, and all you have is your wallet and cell phone, and if that happens to happen in my neighborhood, I strongly suggest you walk over to The Mad Greek and try them out. It will take your mind off your situation until you figure out a way to get back into your home.

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