Friday, 16 May 2008, Hitting the road

(Written 16 May 2008)

But of course, life is never that simple. As soon as I saw an unexpected letter from Françoise in the mailbox (it was my turn to write), I said, "Oh, no, hope the concert hasn't been cancelled!" but of course it has. Drat.

Apparently, the various powers that be in the organization of the chorale have, in stereotypically Greek fashion, quarreled violently and irreconcilably. The concert has been canceled, the reservation of the concert hall relinquished, the visiting Greek soloists told not to come, the chorale abandoned by its long-time chorus-master. The members are now auditioning various novice chorus-masters, in search of a new one. We're told we won't be able to attend so much as a rehearsal. After earnest consultation, though, David and I decided to leave our travel schedule as it is. A couple of extra days in Paris never come amiss, and maybe we'll get one more dinner with Françoise out of the deal.

So now we can't believe the trip is already upon us! In addition to the usual flurry of end-of-semester stuff, closing down our courses, turning in grades, organizing my summer grammar workshop, etc., my department (Biological Science) moved into its new building last week. (We're still not all in the same building, but it's an improvement on the old situation.) My new office is a little small, but I think everything does fit, barely (the faculty offices are a lot smaller than the old ones, whereas mine's only a little smaller), and I've got a gorgeous view both east and north. It will be even more gorgeous once the construction project under my east window is finished.

I was originally scheduled to move during spring break (the week of 10 March), so I got most of my cleaning out and packing done early, before I was rescheduled to move on 6 May. Then, when the movers turned up on Monday, 5 May, to move the offices and labs scheduled for that day, we discovered, Yikes!, that one office had been overlooked—a faculty member was out of the country, and some of her stuff hadn't gotten packed. I had the time to spare, so I packed at top speed all morning and successfully saw her stuff off to its new location. Then, just as I finished my lunch, the building manager said the movers were ahead of schedule and how would I like to move a day early! Yikes! I hastily packed all my last-minute stuff, a couple of hours earlier than I had planned, disassembled my computer set-up, and saw my own stuff off to the new building. All in time to load my hand-carry stuff (potted plants, rolled posters, etc.) into my car and drive it over to the new building, so I could make a clean start in the new office the next morning. I got as far as parking at the new building when I ran into people coming the other way, on the way to the farewell party for our outgoing department chairman and his secretary (yes, we got a new chairman, a new chairman's secretary, and a new building, all on the same day—talk about a recipe for chaos!). But the party's not till 4 p.m, I protested. Nope, it's at 2:30 p.m., i.e., 2 minutes from now, a mile and a half away across campus. Yikes! So I turned around and drove back. The only parking spot I could find was the one I had just vacated at the old building, so I only had to walk the last half mile and got there only a little late. Great party, good food, tearful farewell, the whole nine yards, but during the festivities, I ran into a faculty member, a nonnative English speaker, who told me he had a proposal deadline on Wednesday and hoped I could edit his proposal the next day, Tuesday. Yikes! My computer was in pieces, stacked (I fervently hoped) in my new office. I didn't even know whether my new internet drop worked yet! Okay, take a deep breath. I'll bring my laptop to the office in the morning. Could he bring me the proposal on a flash drive if I didn't have e-mail service? Yes, okay, we can get this done.

So before I went home, I completed my mission of taking my hand-carry stuff to the new office, where I verified that, yes, all the computer pieces were there. I couldn't be sure all the boxes were there, but a heck of a lot of them were. I had to move my typing table into the hallway just to get into the office and to shift a bunch of boxes to extricate my desk chair. I found the right boxes, located all the computer cables, and pulled out the digital photos I had made to guide me in reassembling the whole system.

Tuesday morning, I got there bright and early and started plugging in cables. Rather to my surprise, when I turned it on, it all lit up and hummed, CPU, monitor, keyboard, mouse, and printer working perfectly together. Even the internet drop worked, but it wouldn't let me check my e-mail. I hied myself downstairs to the computing office (I had plugged in my phone, but I got no dial tone), where I caught the head honcho just checking in for the day. He came right to my office, where he spent 40 minutes working his magic, introducing my computer to the new servers and assuring them that I belonged there. Just as he finished, about 10 a.m., telephone technicians stuck their heads in the door and asked that I check my phone—aha!, a dial tone! So there I was, fully functional, at least in the electronic sense, in much less time than I imagined possible. The proposal was waiting in my e-mail in-box, so I set to work in a narrow canyon between towering stacks of cardboard boxes and send the faculty member away happy about 4 p.m.

Since then, I've reduced the mountain of boxes to order (more or less). All of them were there—that moving company (Browning's, of Tallahassee) is really impressive.

previous entry      List of Entries      next entry