September 17 Day 558: To Campus

It’s a cold rainy day—a sure sign that fall quarter is fast approaching. I was having a hard time being productive at home, so I decided to put that new parking permit to use and head to campus.

The first question to resolve—which parking lot am supposed to park use? There are lots on either side of the Pinkerton building. Both could potentially be called the ‘Pinkerton Lot’. The one on the left was permit only. The one on the right was pay-as-you-go. I moved my car to the ‘turnaround’ permit-only-lot. I think this was the right choice.

The buildings are still all locked. My key card did not give me access to the short cut through the Dougan building and I had to walk around. My key card did not give me access to the Joy building, where my classroom is. I was beginning to doubt the wisdom of coming to campus.

My key card did grant access to West Coast Grocery, where I claimed my mail. Mostly journals and requests for membership renewals. Although there was one delightful thank you card from a graduated (and now employed) student.

I decided to attempt access to the Joy building through the second floor door from West Coast Grocery. It was open. And further more, my classroom (JOY 109), was unlocked.

The class room tech has really been upgraded: an adjustable camera in the back of the classroom, controls to allow different inputs to the two projectors, the ability to wirelessly cast to a projector, lavalier microphone, document camera, the works. My only problem was that I couldn’t get the projectors to turn on.

Enter Josh Carper, computer support technician extraordinaire. He just happened by and helped me out. (Apparently there is some configuring that needs to happen for everything to work properly. But he promises to take care of it before classes start.)

Josh and I geeked out playing with the new equipment. He introduced me to Zoom’s new Immersive mode, where you can place participants ‘in the classroom.’ I introduced him to Focus mode, where all participants are visible to the host and co-host but only the host & co-hosts are visible to the participants. Not that I will be using those things as I am teaching in person. But you never know when they might come in handy.

Josh and I in an immersive zoom environment.

Lesson of the Day: Always check out your tech before you start teaching. Sometimes you get delightfully surprised.

Oh, and those wondering about the social distancing question from yesterday, according to the posted signs, yes we are still supposed to be a respectful 6′ from one another while on campus. Just saying.

Published by Jenny Quinn

Mathematician. Mother. Wife. Leader. I am a professor of mathematics at the University of Washington Tacoma. Mother of Anson and Zachary. Wife to Mark. President of the Mathematical Association of America.

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