Saturday, March 1, 2008

Why I am not worried the panel I want to host less than a week from today isn't ready at all

Last Friday, I arrived at school and headed to the computer lab to prepare for my classes later in the day. The pule came in and spoke to the other computer teacher in Sāmoan and leaves. The other teacher informed me that the pule wanted to see the room because they were having a ceremony to install the new computer program at 10 a.m.

This would be the new computer program the director of the school board asked me to look into and prepare the computer lab for weeks ago. This would also be the program installation that I was under the impression had been postponed because the rep for the company was going to be in China this week.

So about 8 a.m. the day of is when I found out that there was going to be a ceremony and that the new program was going to be installed. And from the hustle and bustle around the school, I don't think that anyone else found out much earlier me.

Flowers were located to decorate the computer lab. A table cloth and lace doily appeared for the teacher table. A ribbon was found and taped up outside the computer door. It was going to be a ribbon-cutting ceremony! Members of the PTA were called and asked to attend. Someone must have called the news, because they arrived too.

At a little after 10 a.m. the company rep and the technical support guy arrived. At this point we were supposed to be having a ceremony, but we had not started installing the program on the computers yet. So, while the program was installing on three of the computers, they started the ceremony with the ribbon cutting and many speeches. Unfortunately, even with four speeches and a stall-for-time-question and answer period, the program was still not finished installing on the computers. Awkward waiting ensued.

When the program was finally done installing, we discovered that something was wrong. The laptop server that hosted the content for the new program was not talking with the computer lab's local area network. Realllllllly, realllllly awkward trouble shooting ensued.

We shot trouble for over four hours. No solution. At this point, the company rep and technical guys had a flight out of the country in less than three hours. They were thinking of boxing everything up and coming back again later to see if they can get the program working at another date.

That is when Cale worked his miracle and fixed the problem. He determined the program was trying to connect through a port that was closed on the laptop. One quick port change and he got the program working properly on one computer. Proof of concept was enough for the rep and the tech guy to say 'uma and call it a day.

So, that is why I am not worried about the panel of computing professionals that I am trying to pull together for my students this coming Friday. I think in the States I would have had the panel members booked at least a month in advance, but in S
āmoa, I think I have until early morning the day of to still try to pull the whole thing together.

It is a little unnerving not being overly, anally prepared for something. On the other hand, it is a little nice to to just sit back and let things sort themselves out and not freak out to much.

— Sara

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