Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Projector woes

Second lecture last night. Get there well before time. Evict some squatting students (they aren't booked in, I am). They go quietly. Proceed to set up. Check my slides are the right way up. Oops, two are misaligned. Take the slide carousel out, change slides round. Put carousel back. Check again. All round the right way now. Super (or even fab perhaps?) My brave students trot up to the third floor, all of them turning up, and more or less on time! The dp says this is now a record - his students have never all turned up and on time for two weeks in a row, never mind even one week!

Lecture goes OK. I'm a little more hesistant than last week perhaps though. We finish a bit late, as the students were handling artefacts, so it's to be expected. I start to clear up. Click the slides round to what I think is the start, and then try to remove the carousel. Oh no, it won't come out! Don't panic. Calm down. I leave it, and busy myself with packing my other teaching stuff. Try to remove the carousel again. Definitely stuck. Two slides are still inside the projector. How the heck do I get them out? Carousel seems loose, except for the slides. Jiggle a little harder. Still doesn't shift. I finish my packing and have another go.

Bus leaves in 10 minutes time, and I have to get across Campus to the stop. Help! I jiggle a little harder and suddenly the carousel is free, and two slides leap out - one on the floor, the other on top of the projector. Stuff the slides and carousel into my bag. Gingerly look at the projector mechanism. It seems OK. There's no bit of spare broken plastic anywhere. No time to put a slide in to check it out. Gotta go! Bus leaves in about five minutes. Shoot down the stairs. Approach the Porter's Desk and 'fess up to having problems with the projector. Porter says it's not their equipment to maintain (AV department - not on call at 9.30pm in the evening!), but they'll take a look.

Swiftly hike up Campus. Get to the point where I can see the road, and bus is nearly at stop. There seems to be only one person there. I increase my speed ... And then see that there's loads of students in the shadows, in the queue, ready for a night on the town. Join the end of the queue and am glad when the bus finally pulls away from the University.

Back home, I eventually burst into tears. I'm patently rubbish at this lecturing lark. What's new? Four more lectures to go ...


At 7:18 pm GMT, Blogger Sarah Cuthbertson said...

Splendidly told! The immediacy of style and the build-up of tension had my pulse racing. I was so carried along that for one horrible moment I thought you going to be mugged at the bus stop. Phew, glad that didn't happen.

You might be rubbish with slide projectors (though I doubt it -- the thing was obviously faulty), but you can't be rubbish at lecturing if all your students came back for more!

Sounds fab!!!

At 7:20 pm GMT, Blogger Sarah Cuthbertson said...

PS You couldn't have done all that rushing a few weeks ago. I hope it didn't hurt your foot, though.

At 11:21 pm GMT, Blogger wil said...

I'm impressed by anyone that can stand up in front of a group of students/strangers and deliver a lecture, so don't be too hard on yourself! :-)

And I'm curious about the course you're teaching. I'm completely unfamiliar with the British school/university system, but a six week course seems a bit this not the case? Is this a special course of some sort? Undergraduate? Graduate?

At 8:14 am GMT, Blogger Alex Bordessa said...

I sort have had fun writing the story down, which made up for the combat with the projector the previous night :-) Not sure if I should have included the last paragraph, but it was how I felt at the time - as was the rest of it.

Wil, thanks for dropping by. I'm teaching extra-mural or 'life-long learning courses' (as they're called now). The latter gives a hint as to what the courses are - they're evening classes. In this case, it's not for credits or anything, but for pleasure. There are evening class certificate courses (which are double the pay!) and are credits toward undergraduate degrees; I won't get considered for teaching those till I've been doing the 'pleasure' courses for a while.

At 2:56 pm GMT, Blogger Carla said...

Some famous journalist (but I can't remember who) said something like 'Everything in life becomes more bearable if you think of it as potential copy'. Sort of like your experience of writing the story down and feeling better about it?

At 4:28 pm GMT, Blogger Gabriele C. said...

Lol, don't get me started on projectors. They're a torture device from Hell.

Verification word for this: UUAOL - sounds like some primeval cave man scream and is very appropriate for the topic of projectors.


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