Friday, September 11, 2009

Robert Burns Haunts Me

The best laid schemes o' mice an' men Gang aft agley...
from Robert Burn's To a Mouse

Today was supposed to be a big day. The true beginning of my part time technology facilitation job. Today I was supposed to have a class from another state skype in to learn from students in our ESOL program. Mrs. Baker, the ESOL teacher, and I were really excited and ready for the experience. Her students had practiced speaking in front of an audience to prepare. Everything was ready to go, and then......

The electricity flickers once, twice, and then goes down for the eight count. Not a problem, there was still 50 minutes until the appointed time. I was sure it would be fixed pretty quickly. It is unusual for our power outages to be more than 5 or 10 minutes.

After 20 I start to think, "Mrs. Whittier doesn't know we have no electricity and I can't tweet or skype....." I try to call my wife but get the voicemail. Irritated I hang up and immediately get a message that that I have a voice message. Yup, I had called my own phone.... I called home again and found out electricity was out there too. No help there.

I go to my office to think. Walking in the dooor I have another idea, a friend and former colleague is now principal at another school in the district. I can have him log into my skype account and send a message. I quickly find the school's number and call but he is not in the office and they can't contact him.

Suddenly I realized I had the solution in my pocket....I can send a direct message from my cell phone using texting!

But Mouse, you are not alone, In proving foresight may be vain:

Robert Burn's To a Mouse

I immediately text D: @capohanka my schoolhas no electricity can't do skype today dm me back if u get this please

I follow that with D: @vwhittier we have no electricity at school and won't be able to skype in please dm me if u get this i will get it on my cell


I received these messages back on my phone. Thank goodness I have my dm's set to text me!

I was feeling pretty good about myself, I had solved the problem and could finally quit worrying about letting Mrs. Whittier know we wouldn't be able to skype in. Then I get this:

The purpose of my story is to point out that thinks don't always work out as we plan them. Had I not realized I could contact Mrs. Whittier she would have had her class ready to go and would not be able to explain why the call wasn't happening. I know that she would have been put in an awkward position through no fault of her own. In the future, I will make sure to get a phone number that I can call in case something comes up unexpectedly so that I won't leave anyone in that position.

By the way, our electricity came back up about 7 minutes before the call was scheduled. This might have been enough time to actually get things set up and make the call, but when we started up the server it wouldn't load properly due to an IP problem, but that is another story....

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