Computer Science in the Real World.

What a week.  The school had a power outage last Friday that killed three computers, one was the principal’s and another was a teacher’s so those had to be replaced pronto.  The school has decided to do on-line testing which required student access to a file on the server.  Of course there are permission issues to be solved.  Still have not chased all the bugs out of that one.  My advanced programming kids are starting Greenfoot so there have been setup bugs and documentation to get straightened out there.  I also have not touched Greenfoot in a year so I am a little rusty.  I have been working with Google App Inventor to see how well it might work for a programming class so that eats time.  My Sophomore Math II/Geometry class is going to start work with Geometer’s Sketchpad next week so that had to be installed and I have not touched Sketchpad in about 5 years.  My Senior Stats class has smart kids that actually ask intelligent questions so I have to be up to speed and actually know how to work some of the more difficult problems in the book.  Guess what I am doing this weekend.  I have also been trying to watch on line some of the videos from the CSTA Conference.  And of course there are the hundred little things that come up when you are the school’s computer tech.  Did you know that when running XP in a virtual environment on a Mac that the XP will not use the dual monitors?  Do you know how long it takes to find that out?  Oh, yes, I forgot a biggie.  I got a call from my ISP telling me the school had been blacklisted because we had a computer sending out viruses.  I got lucky there, one of the teachers called complaining their computer was doing funny things.  Time for a reformat.
To anybody considering getting a degree in CS and getting a job working in a smallish high school be prepared to know how to replace power supplies, locate the cheapest prices for RAM, teach something besides CS, and explain to a teacher why their projector is not going to get mounted to the ceiling because it is the only one not mounted to the ceiling and the school needs a mobile projector which means they do not always have it when they want it.  In the real world Computer Science does not mean programming.  It means you know everything to do with computers, from programming to fixing them to how to make PowerPoint play videos to pulling Cat-5 through a crawl space full of interesting life forms.  The job is never boring and it beats the heck out of driving down a road in Iraq.


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