Friday, December 21, 2012

Mrs. Hillbillly Mom. The Freakin' Genius.

Mrs. Hillbilly Mom is not known for her electronic acumen.

As the #1 son says, "Technology is not your friend." I am the bull in the china shop of intricate electronic systems. I know how to plug a device into the wall outlet. I know how to push a power button. Anything else is taxing my limited knowledge base. It took me thirty minutes to figure out how to re-connect both mouse and number pad to my laptop, after somebody so kindly hooked them up wrong overnight.

From the start, my classroom speakers had issues with some strange kind of feedback. They were connected to my towering tower of accessories by #1 at the start of the school year in which they were installed. So I know if they were ever going to work right, they would work right. He's a wiz at that stuff. According to #1, and one just like him the next year, the problem lies in the amplifier box. I just call it the black box that sits on the bottom of my tower. It has a knob for something I do not know, a knob for volume when playing the VCR or DVD, and a knob for volume when playing sound through my school laptop. Both wizards went over that rig with a fine-toothed comb. Both declared: "Your speakers are crap!" Both suggested the only option was to turn that unknown knob up to MAX, to control feedback. It sort of worked a little bit.

Several weeks ago, the buzzing of the speakers became intolerable. Student eardrums would have been safer on a runway at Chicago O'hare, right under a 747 engine, than in my classroom. I gave up. I showed the educational DVDs, or the holiday movie, by playing it on my computer. Not an optimal situation, because then I cannot accomplish other work on the computer. And when a student grade is requested, I cannot look it up without stopping the video, because I certainly can't project the gradebook program onto the screen for all to view. Confidentiality, you know.

With today being the last day of the semester, I was certain grade information would be needed. So I started a holiday movie in my DVD player. Oh, the tympanity! So horrific was the buzzing that the audio of the movie was barely discernible. One young lass shouted, "My ears are bleeding!" I would have chastised her for being overly dramatic, but I fear that in this instance, she was accurate.

Fed up with the whole shoddy equipment debacle, I turned my amplifier around. Just slightly, though, lest I dislodge the frayed copper wire ends that run into it from the long wire that snakes down the wall. Fed up. I looked at the four cables hooked into that amplifier. Just as I do every time the speakers have issues. Like when I check them all to see if they're completely plugged in. And they always are. Fed up. I grabbed the nearest red one, and yanked.

The buzzing ceased completely. A cheer of admiration went up. "You FIXED it!"

I will eagerly be checking the mail for a union card from the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers.


Sioux said...

I am never without tech support. I have 20 eight-year olds in my class, and each one of them knows more about my smartboard and my computer than I do.

Would you like to borrow a couple for the next semester? I'll pick the squirreliest ones.

Hillbilly Mom said...

That is so very kind of you to offer squirrelly eight-year-olds to out-tech me. I respectfully decline.

My freshmen are good for my self-esteem. They argued that the problem with my DVD not playing the movie on my computer was that the original disc was actually the special features disc 2. Which it WAS NOT. Then they said it must be two-sided. Which it WAS NOT. I showed them! I popped it in the DVD player and made their eardrums bleed. Briefly. Before I let my genius flag fly.

Kathy's Klothesline said...

Did you want to go running through the halls announcing "I fixed it all by myself!"? He who struggles when finding gifts for me gave me a kindle fire for our anniversary. I have a phone date with my 12 year old granddaughter for a tutoriual on how to use mine. I can turn it on and I can aquire wi-fi, but I cannot figure out how to download a book from the library. I mean, did they really think I was going to BUY a book when I have a library card?

Hillbilly Mom said...

Of course I wanted to run through the halls proclaiming my geniusness! But that would have involved RUNNING!

The Pony has a Kindle Fire. He's techy enough to figure it out. Me, not so much.