Saturday, September 26, 2015

Master of the Tech!

Well, beloved readers, once again I have humiliated (as opposed to “humidified”—ahem! Please take note, phone) myself technologically.

You see, I did something I never do and ordered the new iphone as soon as it came out.   I did this because the old iphone had become a bane, a bane, I tell you in my existence.  Not only had it refused to learn any new words (resulting in many, many inappropriate uses of the word “duck”), but it somehow embedded a signature file in my outgoing texts, so that every message I sent ended in the word “bubbles.”

The AT&T people were quite inappropriately amused.

So I figured that if I was too incompetent to work my present phone, the obvious solution was to get a new and more advanced phone.  Because that one would have to be easier to use, right?

Stop laughing right now!

Anyway, after my phone came, and I got most of the things working, I sent several successful, error-free texts.  Then I played with Siri, and discovered that if you say, “Hey Siri” at it, she will follow commands like sending texts or opening facebook.

“I like this Siri!” said I to myself.  “She is like the computer on Star Trek!  And she’s even willing to call me, ‘Timelord’!”  And I thought my days of being a darned embarrassment to my family were all in the past.  

Alas, my declaration of victory came all too soon.


Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Advising Meetings of the Science Fictional Variety

I am on faculty development leave this semester, beloved readers, which means that I am reading and writing and writing and reading and writing, but I am not teaching again until January.  One does not, however, merely switch off the teaching brain, and I have been having some dreams about meeting with advisees to discuss their fall schedules.  In my dream, none of my advisees are typical Wofford students.  Most of them have too many tentacles.

Never let it be said that nightmares cannot be inspiring; to allow myself the joys of pleasant slumber once again, I have, in the scenarios below, replaced Cthulhu-the-sophomore-accounting-major-who-refuses-to-take-stats with other persons from the sci fi world and imagined them as my advisees.  

This is a psychologically healthy way to deal with one's nightmares.  I promise. 

Advising Meeting #1

Me:  Please come in and take a seat, Mr. Worf.  How was your summer?

Worf: I killed sixteen Romulans in battle and spent a week at Daytona Beach where I conducted myself with honor.

Me:  That sounds lovely.

Worf: Klingon sharks are not so easy to disembowel.

Me: Of course not.  Well, let’s see what you’re planning to take this fall.  Hmmm…well, I see that you are signed up for Coach Ayers’s karate class again.  You realize that you’ve already fulfilled your PE requirement, yes?

Worf: I am planning to audit only.  Coach Ayers says that I am an inspiration to the others.

Me:  I have no doubt that’s true.  Alright, now it seems to me that you are planning to major in chemistry, and you’ve signed up for the appropriate courses, but you really haven’t fulfilled your gen ed requirements in the humanities.  What happened to philosophy?

Worf:  Dr. Henkel gave me a D on my last essay.  He did not accept my bat’leth-based counter argument. 

Me: Well, your grandfather was an ambassador as well as a warrior.  Why not take history or government?

Worf:  Is that the schedule of a warrior?

Me:  It is if you take Dr. Byrnes.

Worf:  Very well. 

Advising Meeting #2

Me:  Good morning, Ms. Song.

River Song:  Hello, Sweetie.

Me: I’ve asked you not to call me that.

River: Oh dear.  Am I making you uncomfortable?  It’s just because I’m mildly psychotic.

Me: Right.  Well, are you still planning to major in sociology?

River: Actually, I already have a Ph.D.  I’m just here because my husband is about to show up so that we can defeat an alien threat to this campus.

Me: Ohhh-kay.  When is your “husband” supposed to arrive?

River: Oh that’s the question, isn’t it?  You see, time is not linear.  In fact, it’s…

Me:  Right! Off to Professor Zides’s class.  You can explain about non-linear time and oscillation overthrusters in Physics 121.

River:   Buckaroo Banzai is a fictional character, dear.  But I’ll get out of your hair.  Just one piece of advice before I head to the bookstore…

Me: Yes?

River: Don’t spend too much time on moodle.  It’s become…interesting. 

Me: Wonderful.

Advising Meeting #3

Me: Alright, gentlemen, just what is this about?

Batman:  There is only one space left in Dr. Rostan’s English 203 class, and it belongs to me!

Me:  Why is that!

Batman:  I’m Batman.

Groot: I am Groot.  

Batman:  I’m Batman.

Groot: I am Groot.  

Batman:  I’m Batman!

Groot: I am Groot!  

Batman:  I’m Batman!

Groot: I am Groot!  

Batman:  I’M BATMAN!


Me: My office hours are over, and I still have to meet with Cthulhu.  Go away.