My Constant Companion, Linda Blair

Tonight was the first class for Public Health and Nutrition in Complex Emergencies, the course I’m TA’ing. Paul dropped me off at Tidewater around 4, which gave me enough time to find out that the course was scheduled to meet in a different (much smaller) room, make notes to send students to what should be the classroom, and try to set up a video conference for our guest faculty, who we needed to beam in via Skype. Last year, I had to mess around with Skype for guest lecturers for around half of the classes. We generally worked it all out, but there was certainly some MacGyver action taking place in those last moments before each class.

I came prepared tonight: laptop, cell phone, power cords. I managed to get everything up and working… but no sound. This was a problem last year, too, and if I remembered right, took three technicians, a grand-standing supervisor, and a borrowed headset to make it work. Not willing to go this route and delay class, I busted into play B — using my laptop. But to connect to Tulane’s wireless, I had to follow their directions… which included disabling the firewall. (I know, I know, I can hear the blood-curling shrieks…) What can I say? I was desperate.

The good news: we got it working — sound, video, everything. Everyone was pleased and everything went smoothly and on-time.

The bad news: Paul is convinced that my trusty T-series is now the harbinger of a wide range of assorted infections and in need of a complete exorcism.

Rat farts.