Saturday, April 13, 2013

Tutorial At My School

I woke up at 7:00 AM to attend a tutorial for the Ivy League Connection at my school. I thought to myself, "Great. The last place I want to be on my Saturday morning is at my school." I got ready and left my house knowing that the outcome would far outweigh attending the tutorial in the dusty, musty, depressing, and crumbling computer lab that used to be my geometry classroom. Since the geometry teacher left in the middle of the 2013 school year, the classroom and its computers have been constantly abused by students. I remember when my class took a health survey in there, we immediately became dangerously aware of how filthy and run-down this once lively classroom filled with posters of movies and hope became. What disgusted us even more was our hypothesis that someone had empty their fluids into the hand sanitizer. Then again, all the hand sanitizers at school smell unsanitary, so our teacher told us to pay no mind.

When I got to the school, I parked right outside of the computer lab to save walking distance. When I walked in, I noticed that I was the first student to arrive. I also noticed that the computer lab was a lot cleaner than my previous visit in this classroom. Don later told me that the custodians, who usually hold excellent conversations, cleaned the place. The room was no longer as dusty and sticky as it used to be, but what didn't change was the empty and cold feeling that lingers in the room and the horridly slow and run-down equipment. It wasn't until about ten minutes after my arrival that chaperones began walking into the classroom. Then about five minutes after the chaperones, came the students. 

Before the tutorial began, many people ran into technical difficulties. Half the kids had no idea how to access Blogger and Blogspot was restricted on our computers. Don and one of the chaperones had a little episode in setting up a new Google account and getting access to Blogger. It became increasingly frustrating and I began to space out. Being the only person in the room without a laptop made me a bit self-conscious and I pondered on the idea of owning a laptop. By the time I knew it, Don was ready to lecture. The tutorial began with special tips, tricks, and talismans to ward off "Evil Don." Through out the tutorial Don taught the students the ILC standards of blogging and reasons as to why our blogs must meet the criteria. Throughout the tutorial I was a bit bored. Of course in a cold, smelly, and dejecting classroom, it gets a bit hard to focus especially when the classroom brings back a flood of memories. It took a bit of effort to keep myself interested, but Don's quick quips, snide remarks, and occasional jokes and punchlines made it a bit easier.
Hercules High School. Ironically, I found this picture on the website of my former geometry teacher.
The rest of the tutorial went on in a similar manner. Don teaching us about blogging, the East Coast, loaner items, etc. while inserting little anecdotes and other interesting, humorous, or awkward comments. We had a few quick breaks which I spent either walking slowly to the bathroom, attempting to start a game of Solitaire, or exploring Facebook. There isn't much to do when no one is at school and you're in a room filled with people you've never met with their faces blocked by bulky snail-paced computers. When it was time to scan our personal information, the scanner decided to inconvenience the group even further by not working. Half the tutorial was filled with technical difficulties and frustrations. What would have been a possible hour long tutorial, doubled in length due to electronic errors and irritations.

I didn't feel as if my time at the tutorial was a complete waste, but it was a bit tedious.  I learned little tips and tricks about the East Coast, Adobe Photoshop, blogging, picture taking, and much more. Unfortunately, the most important aspect of the tutorial, scanning the information for our plane tickets, amounted to nothing. Although there was nothing much Don could do, he repeatedly apologized. After I left the tutorial, I ran a few errands, went home, and continued my interrupted slumber.

1 comment:

  1. I apologize again, Damian, for the technical issues that were beyond our control.

    I’m sorry you felt awkward without a laptop of your own to use. I offered everyone the use of one of the six laptops I brought with me for just such an event.

    And while the material may be “tedious” there isn’t much of a way to make it any less tedious. We had scheduled hands on work sessions to break the monotony but the restricted access to the Internet killed that for us.