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Department Chair problems----box of supplies for molecular biology kits gets mislaid. Is somewhere on campus, I think. Several calls with vendor and with United Parcel. Shipped to suite E instead of suite D. We don't have any suite addresses on campus! Received by HORN. We don't have anybody with that name! A computer for a faculty member has also been shpped and mislaid. Can't be found. Fisher Scientific calls me about a seriously overdue invoice for $50.00. That is for 2 boxes of LaMotte nitrate #1 and 2 boxes of nitrate #2 pills ordered last semester. (We use Lamotte kits in a lab exercise that extracts nutrients from soil) I got 2 boxes that were neither #1 nor #2. Don't know if the purchasing agent messed up in retyping my purchase requisition because I never got a copy of the purchase order. Fisher then sent me 6 boxes of #1., but no #2. They said, no, don't send the boxes back; it is too expensive to mail them back. Consider them a gift. So, why are they billing us $50.00? They say they are giving us credit, but we still have to pay for what we got. ???????? I refer them to our purchasing agent and wish them good luck. Recommend they get a good night's sleep and take a big vitamin pill in the morning. Our purchasing agent messes up on more than half of my purchase requisitions. If Fisher gets past the purchasing agent, they get to Accounts Payble, who, as a general rule does not pay until venders refuse to ship or the people who supply our deionizing tanks for our deionizer arrive to remove their equipment. I had to pay them a personal check to get them to leave the tanks here last time they showed up. (I did get paid back.)

Dark rumors circulating that all accounts will be frozen soon and employer contributions to retirement funds and insurers have stopped. This happens every year. In the past, accounts have been frozen right at the beginning of the academic year. Here's your budget. Bam! It's frozen. We are either doing much better than usual or we are much more broke than usual.

I am teaching full time, also. Have a student who tells me that she is doing very well in all her courses except in mine-------! Her parents come. Highly concerned about "their baby". I check her math grades with her math teacher. Oh Oh! not so good! Have meeting with her, her parents, and the Division Dean. She looks us in the eyes and says she has 2 B's in math, so far. I know differently, but keep my mouth shut. We have a different generation of parents, now. The older generation put the blame for not doing well on their children. The newer ones try to lay it on the teacher. In this case, though, I think the parents are of the older generation, but they trust their daughter to be telling the truth. Sad.

Am working on senior theses with three seniors. One comes and says, can I email you my draft on Friday, and can you meet with me Sunday so that we can go over it. A paper with my signature that we have done this is due, according to her, on Monday. Actually, the senior is misinformed; the signature is not due until Feb 21.

Students suddenly can not access the computers. The passwords have mysteriously changed. I go to the Information Technology people. Only their secretary is there, feeling overworked and neglected. We commiserate. The rest of the IT people are all out somewhere changing our email system so that we have to do our email on the web. I have very bad vibes that this is not going to work out. The problems I forsee are worse than the ones we have now with our email server that somehow duplicates emails so that we get as many as 50 duplicates of some emails. It also lets through all the spammers in the world, many of whom are now masquarading as banks that want me to visit a web site to "update" my account. Other than that, I have no problems with our email server. It even works most of the time. I think that the reason IT wants us to do email on the web is that our server is so infected with viruses and worms that some branches of the U.S. government and many local internet providers won't accept emails from us.

Gotta work on course assignments next fall, Departmental evaluations, Personel Committee recommendations, recommendations for Sonis Web, the barely functioning academic records software, my portfolio, my Personal Development Plan, and grade quizzes and make an exam, 2 versions, because the 9AM section has established good communications with the 11AM section. The communications are so good that the 11AM students put in the answers to the 9AM quiz, even if the questions are totally different in the 11AM quiz.

Oh yes! Listening to the State of the Union speech did not help my mood!

I have concluded------Carl Hiassen and Tim Dorsey are NOT EXAGGERATING in their novels.
 

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Congratulations, Gnatster!

Department Chair biz:
The box of molecular biology supplies is still mislaid, along with the two computers and a purchase requisition for another. Already three hours of meetings scheduled for Monday! I cranked out 35 letters regarding the personnel committee's recommendations for tenure and promotion. This is where I really need Mail Merge, but my old printer from the late 1980's got real cranky with addressing envelopes and jammed on every other one. I was able to pull some of the jammed ones out, but then the printer went into 'warming up' mode where it cranked through an envelope without printing anything on it, except for a grey band or two. Then it would print over the same one that I had rescued. If I was lucky and that one didn't jam, then I could get another envelope out, except that it would jam. Aaargh! The Vice President is going to have my head on a platter if I don't get all these letters out. Not such a bad week as the previous one.

Oh yes! The flat tire episode! Tuesday evening, after teaching two three hour labs, I discovered that the front tire of my bicycle was flat. It turned out to be a leak around the valve stem, and that kind of leak can't be patched. I didn't have a spare inner tube, and, since it was 5PM, I thought I could make it to the local bicycle store before it closed at 6. The store was about 5 miles away, and I didn't make it. The last employee pulled out of the parking lot as I limped in, pushing my bicycle. I have a bit of plantar fasciitis, and the long walk was bringing it back big time. Nothing to do but push on the remaining six miles to home. Finally made it to home by 8:30 PM with my feet really hurting. Fell into bed. Putting weight on my feet was agony the next day, but they are a lot better now.
 
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