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April 19, 2012


Impossible Working Conditions – Forget Accountability

Working on campus the last few weeks has been nearly impossible. Forget 6 hours of accountability. It’s not happening. Not on campus at least. Here’s what’s happening instead. Nothing. Lots of meetings for HLC. More nothing. Go home. Work. Yep, I literally show up to campus to make an appearance. I can’t get anything done because the network is slower than (fill in with appropriate simile). Last week we got this message from IT:

The GCC OIT networking team has been working diligently to try to resolve the Internet connectivity issues we’ve all been experiencing.  In some critical applications, this has resulted in connections being “dropped” entirely.  Just as frustrating has been the overall slowness of those systems that are working.

At this point, we basically have two choices: 1) live with the situation the way it is, or 2) deal with some slowness during peak times but keep as much application integrity as possible.  We have decided to go with option 2 so that key applications like Blackboard, AccuPlacer, and others, are able to run without “timing out”.

Those were our only two choices? I found that odd. Am I the only one who is finding it nearly impossible to do my job while on campus? I can’t grade anything. I can’t create anything. Basically I can’t teach. I can’t even goof off and watch YouTube videos, not that that’s what I would want to do, but hey, it was a district email that sent the links. 😉

So yesterday we got an update to the system and supposedly the problem has been fixed. The email states:

With the assistance of Tempe support services, a firewall bottleneck was isolated and removed. Network performance monitoring confirms the effectiveness of the change.
We wish to thank our GCC community for your feedback during this trying time. Your comments helped our technical staff identify the root issue.

Is it any better. No, not really. It still takes forever to load pages. But I’m not really complaining. I like working from home better, and I’m getting good at composing quick tweets about nothing important while I wait for my pages to load. It’s like I’m encouraged to goof off and to fill my idle time while sitting here staring at my browser window. I also love having an actual excuse for why I didn’t get those essays graded sooner. And some times we just need a mental break from non-stop work, work, work. So it’s all good that our network stinks. I’m not mad at ya! In fact, I was able to write this post in between page loads as I try to grade journal posts for my ENG102 class. Now I’m off to help faculty create hybrid courses – not on campus obviously. We even have an excuse to meet up at the local pub! W00t!

  1. Todd Conaway
    May 3 2012

    One more reason and one more step toward instructor self-sufficiently for someone who is already there.

    Laptop – 1000 dollars
    MiFi – 40 dollars (a month but will not mention it here….)
    Free tools – Mostly free
    Some other useful tools – 500 dollars
    Working from the pub or home – priceless

    • May 6 2012

      Amen, brotha! I’m not complaining. 😉

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