Wednesday, November 18, 2020

Cursed Catcher

Another subbing day, another wonky internet connection. 

Eleventh grade English. They were reading Catcher in the Rye. The teacher had left links to the story being read (on YouTube), and we were to listen to the story (chapters three and four). Then they had questions to answer. 

I had enough time to play the chapters with about ten minutes to spare. 

That, of course, is not how things turned out. 

I don't know if it was because the wind over the weekend had knocked out power, or if it was that I was working from a Chromebook, or if I'm just doomed. Because it just did not work all that well. 

I've done the whole show-the-class-a-video remotely before. This time, it took for-ev-er for it to load so I could present the thing to the class. I had two screens going. I had set up the video ahead of time. Once I had intro'd the lesson, I went to present (which is just a thing I click on screen), and it would not load. 

And it would not load. And it would not load.

Finally, it loaded. And I started. And then I got booted out of the meet. 

Over two days I had to do this four times. And four times, I spent more of the period trying to get the video to present than actually having the video present. I gave up trying to take attendance while class was going, but that didn't help. In fact, I got to the point where I wasn't doing anything other than letting the video play. 

But still, one period I got booted from the meet SIX TIMES. 

After I had trouble the first time, I warned the classes that it might happen. I told them if I fell out of the meet, I'd be right back, so to just hold tight. And for the most part, they did. 

(I had a few bail on me, but with the attendance extension I have running in the background, it was easy enough to know who.) 

When I emailed their teacher, I let him know of the issues. And that a couple of the classes didn't finish listening to the book. (The links were in their Google Classroom, so they could listen on their own later.) I also let him know if the students complained that they had every right to complain, because it was a mess. 

I even apologized to the students. It wasn't their fault that my wifi (on campus) was wonky. 

But, they weren't too upset. In fact, several left messages in the chat for me: 

u did amazing


I'm glad you were patience :^)

You did good

have a good day, stay safe

I did what I could. It's all I could do.


  1. How nice to read some encouraging words! I'm sorry for your frustration.

  2. Replies
    1. It will be. I realized there is something I can do to mitigate things yesterday.

  3. How sweet that they left you those nice messages!

  4. Nature itself was trying to protect the kids from having to read that book.

  5. I loved how you said you were BOOTED out and I say KICKED out. Anyway, I have to say I understand. Having had issues in March till June before AT&T got things working, it only took 7 techs. Then I Oct I started having issues again. Not as bad but I still get kicked out. Come March, contract is up, and I am already reading up on other companies. Hang in there, I hope this sort of thing gets better for you.

    1. I've had a couple days of no issues, so maybe it's that one school. They are doing construction on campus, so maybe that's the issue? Ah well.

  6. Gahhhh, virtual school sounds like such a pain in the you-know-what! I have no room to speak on any of this, but I do wonder if just letting the kids self-school and check in with their teachers once daily wouldn't be better than meeting for a virtual class.

    Probably not. Many school kids probably can't do things without direct or indirect supervision, and there could still be internet issues. And "internet issues."

    Thank you and your colleagues for all. you do!


    1. They tried that in the spring, the occasional check in with work left for them to do on their own. It did not go well. They didn't do anything. So, when it became clear that we'd not be opening to in person school in the fall, they set up a direct instruction thing, but at half time. (They have three periods a day rather than six.)

  7. I'm sure it's moments like those, when kids post lovely, understanding comments, that help get you through the times when they are being anything but.

  8. Nice with the comments they left! There will be days like this I'm sure that nothing will ever go right.


  9. Your patience through all of this is remarkable. You're a good role model for the kids. Life is full of days like this.

    1. If you heard me cursing up a storm, you wouldn't accuse me of being patient.

  10. It sounds like what my friend is going through but how lovely what the student sent to you.

  11. Ugh, what a mess. Poor kids. At least they appreciate your efforts


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