Thursday, February 15, 2024

Cascading Failure

Wednesday. It had finally stopped raining, and it was likely to be an easy day. I got into the classroom, turned on the lights, and I headed for the thermostat. It was 58℉ in the room. I turned on the heat.

The heat switched on. Then BANG, and the lights cut out.

Uh oh... Power outage...

But wait. The clock was still lit.

So, not the whole school? 

I called the office. Nope, just my classroom was without power. They sent maintenance, and he managed to get the lights back on before the first class started. (It was the breaker, but it wasn't as easy as flipping the switch. He had to toggle it back and forth before the power came back on.)

He left. I got class started. I turned the heat back on. And then the thermostat went blank. (I called for someone to fix it, but it never did get fixed that day.)

Well, that makes for a good blog post. The day should be cake now, right? 

Fourth period. The assignment was in their Google Classroom. Only, it wasn't. I emailed the teacher. The assignment finally appeared. (I think the timing was just off; I don't think the teacher saw my email.) 

We had about a half hour left of class, and most of the students had finished their assignment. (It was a government class for seniors.) Good thing, as that's when the internet went out. 

I wasn't too concerned. Then. They were done. But when sixth period came in a half hour later and there was still no internet...

Sixth period was U.S. history for juniors. And their assignment was in Google Classroom. Which was inaccessible due to the internet being out. And I didn't have a backup assignment for them as I was the sub.

Deep sigh.

They were quite happy to entertain themselves. A group played Uno on their phones. 

The internet came back up about a half hour later. I informed them of this. They attempted to convince me that there wasn't enough time for them to do the assignment. I told them they could do the assignment and then go back to their game.

Hopefully most of them did that. (It seemed like they had.) Because just before the end of the period, the internet went out. Again.

(Luckily, by that time I had my note for the teacher in the drafts of my email, so I was able to sent it to her from my phone.) 

She had a prep period eighth period, so I happily left campus early as I didn't want to get slammed by any more technical issues.

Why did the internet go out on us? There was a power outage at another high school (and its neighboring elementary schools) in the district. That power outage knocked out the internet to the entire school district. Sigh.


  1. We are experiencing technical difficulties, please stand by

  2. Yikes...what a day. We're all so frozen when we don't have the internet. Makes it hard to work, to study, to shop even. So many things rely heavily on the web. Hope tomorrow is better for you.

    1. The next day? Oh, you've got to come back tomorrow, because that was a day as well. (Tomorrow's post is a doozy.)

  3. Another one of those days. Seems like you just had one, too. I can't believe an outage at one school knocks it out for the whole district! Some poor planning there.

  4. If the internet is down, I can't do my job. At all. It wouldn't matter if I was in the office or working remote. That's how dependent many of us are now on being online. You had a modern "one of those days" but, in a way, they have always existed. Hard to imagine that I grew up before the Internet and the teachers had their struggles with mimeograph machines, overhead projectors, and motion film projectors.

    1. Oh yes, and I couldn't pivot to something like book work. That's the worst.

    2. Ah, memories... lol Best wishes to you, Liz.

  5. That's too cold. Sorry you were experiencing technical difficulties. That sounds like one of those days you should have stayed in bed. I had a similar day not too long ago. It was snowing and the roads were icy. On the way to work I got rear-ended. Not my fault, but the rest of the day just kinda went like that.

  6. Replies
    1. Yeah, which is why I immediately turned on the heat.

  7. That sounds like a bad day! Too bad there weren't books around. You know, old school.


I appreciate your comments.

I respond to comments* via email, unless your profile email is not enabled. Then, I'll reply in the comment thread. Eventually. Probably.

*Exception: I do not respond to "what if?" comments, but I do read them all. Those questions are open to your interpretation, and I don't wish to limit your imagination by what I thought the question was supposed to be.