Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Technology & Ch ch ch changes....

I use a lot of media in my teaching-- Power Points, YouTube videos, music, audio files of poems, etc. I think it's really important to access these things because students are used to more dynamic media and if we go in there with books and chalkboards, it's just kind of boring. Sure, they can figure it out, but it's not as interesting as all the shiny things out there.

But the problem with this is that it can take a RIDICULOUS amount of time. I just spent TOO TOO long trying to figure out how to load a DVD clip into a PowerPoint presentation. I want to show a clip from Disney's Enchanted, where she gets rained on, and goes "into the underworld" as symbolic of certain repeating themes in literature/movies. And I thought it would be cool if I could just pop it into the PowerPoint instead of having to navigate between several different programs. PowerPoint "Help" said there were programs that can do it, so I downloaded it. And had to do it again. And then remove some redundant programs. Then do it again. Then, the one I had wasn't the right version. And then, the "pro" version which supposedly would allow me to
"clip" exactly the scene I wanted (instead of playing the whole DVD-- not what I want to do) did not work. I think the DVD itself has a lock/copyright protector that doesn't let it clip the scene.

I know there are probably programs out there that let you do this. But dammit, I was prepared to pay for the program & use it under "Fair Use" copyrights etc. But it is REALLY really really annoying to have spent the last hour trying to get this technology to work for me and then have it crap out.

So. Now I'll just play the movie clip the boring way, opening multiple programs. Stupid gadgets. Wasting all my time. Why I oughta.....

Anyway, this plays into my "big changes" coming soon. This summer and beyond, I plan to start working on an Educational Courseware thing that I do a lot with. It will be cool, and I think really something that has the potential to be awesome. I plan to most likely NOT teach next Fall, also. There are budget cuts afoot which mean my job might not even be there anyway, plus I need to help with our Real Estate business (between my hubby & my investments & the investments we manage for my mother-in-law, we now have 11 rental properties in our home town alone (two more elsewhere). Most of them run smoothly, but on a day to day basis, it's very time-consuming. And we plan to get more. So. I am just too too busy to adjunct + mom + real estate Tycoon + web based small business plan + exercise + + +. Somethin's gotta give.

I'm kind of excited about it. If it all goes well, (business wise we continue to be successful) we are going to build a little office onto our garage for me to work in. Right now, I work in a closet in our TV room which the babies are constantly mucking about with. The office I envision is something out of a Pottery Barn catalogue, with lots of windows and flowering plants & music playing and and and......the nicest thing about it is that there will not be a kitty litter box anywhere NEAR it. (At this time, whenever my cat decides to "freshen up" the box is close enough that it is gas warfare.)

So. Those are the big changes that are afoot. I did not want to say anything until I had told my boss at work so he didn't think I was blowing off LSU. I really like teaching there, and would continue to do so if there were only 80 hours in a day. :) And/or if I had a tenure-track job-- but that isn't in the wings, either, so.

It's been making me very sad that I spent all this time getting my PhD and haven't, because of being locationally limited, been able to get a full-time position somewhere. And it felt like a failure. There just isn't a position in what I do here at LSU, and even though I adore teaching and would do it no matter what, I need to devote my attention to other things. And it doesn't feel at all like failure, just a re-assessment of goals & needs. I will miss my students, but maybe I can do a continuing ed class or go guest lecture for some of the folks who are still going to be there.

Anyway. Boy is this a long post. And it's time to get the kiddos and cook dinner and move away from the hour or so of "me time" (spent messing with this darn computer).


Anonymous said...

It's weird when life takes a path you weren't expecting or you work for something thinking it'll end up one way and it does a 180 on you. Sounds like you like the rest of the things you'll be doing, so it's all good!