Yesterday was an eventful day. I spent the morning plying the Dark Art, so I won’t bore you with that, but then I went up to The Next County for a faculty meeting. We had a norming session, where I was pleased to find myself pretty well in the norm on all the papers, a speech on excessive copier use and another on FERPA, and then us new guys went over for our computer center orientation.
The IT guy seemed prepared to be helpful. He was dressed in the official public Computer Guy uniform (polo shirt and khakis) and had us sit down at a computer and push control alt delete. This is probably a pretty good check for computer saviness. If you just use your computer for email and googling, then you might have to search around a bit for the right keys.
I had no trouble with this initial test. However, the next step was entering my user name and password. (Yeah — I spell that “user name.” You can do “username” too.) I don’t have one.
“Go tell A– you ain’t in,” said the IT guy to me.
So I embarked on another stroll through the mazelike building, in search of A–. I passed many signs informing me that I was in a severe weather shelter area, which I suppose is reassuring, but there were also lots of blank walls and halls that just ended, so it took me a while to find my way. When I relayed the message, though, A– grabbed a couple of passing people.
“Here are some IT guys,” she said. “They’ll help you. They were in the official non-public Computer Guy uniform of rags which were at one time jeans and T-shirts. They walked ahead of me, chatting in doleful tones about how the entire computer lab would soon go down, all at once. They spoke in IT talk, of course. There was a time when I would have had no idea what they were saying. I well remember when Arkenboy would take a call during visits to our house and the only word I’d understand would be “nanosecond.” I followed them into a room filled with stacks of computers.
This is one of the real signs of IT guys, I think, as distinct from other kinds of Computer Guys. I would never stack computers up as though they were books.
However, when in Rome… So I used one of the stacks of hardware as a table while writing down my personal information. One of the IT guys went into the hallway, where apparently all the important paperwork was kept. There would be no room in their actual office, of course.
“You track her,” she called to her associate, “and I’ll look in the paperwork.”
She found my paperwork, and explained to me that they were falling behind because, if I grasped her meaning correctly, they unfortunately had to rely on humans for this particular task.
I then began the byzantine process involved in getting a parking permit. It would have been simpler if I had been able to figure out the geography better. There were only two buildings involved in the entire undertaking. Unfortunately, one of them appeared to have no doors.
Yes, well, I managed that and it only took me an hour, so I’m set.
On to the Wednesday afternoon marathon. I arrived in my Psalms class late and without the book (I didn’t take it with me to the faculty meeting) and then had to leave after a few minutes for a rehearsal.
I’m working on Anonymous 4’s “Like Noah’s Weary Dove” with Luna. It has very close intertwining harmonies, and she kept being thrown off. I don’t mind. She has the perfect voice for the song, and I can blend well with her, and she can sing a capella without changing keys. Given those benefits, I don’t mind working a bit more on the melody. In fact, once I told her not to listen to herself, since she sounded fine, but to listen for the harmonies so they would sound right to her instead of making her think she was on the wrong note and trying to match, she did fine. But that did mean that I had been singing, with my still-hoarse voice, for a solid half hour.
Then worship study group, where I had to sing all the songs Elkhart and I had chosen for the committee. Sometimes more than once, since we had to debate the relative merits of “Blessed Be the Name of the Lord” and “Holy, Holy, Holy” in a couple of spots. After all, if you’ve sung “Bread of Heaven,” can you then step down to “Blessed Be the Name”? But if you use “Bread of Heaven ” (that’s “Cwm Rhonda”) for a processional hymn, and follow it right up with “Holy, Holy, Holy,” where do you go to continue that arc-like progress the pastor wants? You’d have to be singing Mendelssohn for the anthem. And there was a bit of uncertainty about “Draw Us in the Spirit’s Tether,” which is gorgeous but unfamiliar.
“How dim do we think they are?” I asked.
And then came choir practice. Toward the end of the practice, after I’d been singing for about two hours, Bigsax pulled out “Send it Down,” the fine gospel song for which he’d offered me the solo.
“This has a solo, but I didn’t write anyone down for it.”
“You offered it to me, actually,” said I, “but if you want to take it back…”
“It’s hers,” said Suwanda. “We voted on it.”
We’re doing it this Sunday. I was hoarse when I started.
“Let’s take it from 29 without Gladys,” said Bigsax.
Boys and girls, he was referring to Gladys Knight, who would do a terrific job on this song.
The choir part on that page is “Oooh” so I had to come back in again. By the end of the evening, my voice was just gone.
I apologized. “Are you sure you want to do this on this Sunday?”
“Yes,” said Bigsax. “Just don’t talk between now and then.”
“You sound,” said the Chemist, “as though you’ve been a smoker for 40 years.”
I came home and found my husband and Spicer the dog outside waiting for me, which was nice. I asked whether there was dinner, a question which had become very interesting to me since I hadn’t eaten for nine hours.
“Chicken pockeye. Chicken cockeye. Chicken popeye. What do you call it?”
This turned out to be chicken pot pie, from the freezer, which is not at all bad under those circumstances.
The plan for today involves driving #2 son to school, which I hate, and then answering the raft of emails that accumulated while I was away from the computer, checking analytics, doing blog posts, picking up the key for tomorrow’s minding of a client’s store, trying to set up my school stuff if my user name is ready, preparing the syllabus and maybe deciding what to say on the first day of class, and then taking off some time and doing a bit of sewing.
Little to no talking.