Saturday, January 30, 2010

The Schedule

Our after-school staff meeting yesterday was the annual Distribution of Teacher Supplies. Last year the event was a little more exciting because it had the whole surprise factor going for it. This year felt a little anticlimactic in comparison. When The Distribution finished, it felt a little short—that’s it? But I may have perceived the event that way because my nose was buried in the first distributed object: my school purchased a 2010 planner for every teacher. In addition to a series of calendars, metric/imperial conversion tables, and a list of regional and territorial local authorities in New Zealand, it also lists a thought-provoking quotation for every day of the year.

If it weren’t for the last minute, nothing would get done.
– Anonymous

Cut to this morning. I awoke at 9:37 when my phone rang. My vice pule yelled into my ear, “Hi Matt. Sorry to wake you!” I nodded groggily. “I forgot to tell you yesterday that we are meeting this morning to make the schedule of classes.” I nodded again. Last year my staff was more on the ball: we’d already created the class schedule before students every showed up. This year we’re over a week behind.

My vice pule continued, “I hear you have a computer program that will create the schedule for us. Can you bring it?”

A good deed, no matter how small, is worth more than the grandest good intention.
– William George Plunkett

After last year’s day-long meeting to put together the class schedule, I had meant to get software that would do the work for us this year. I’m pretty sure we have freeware in the Peace Corps office built to handle this sort of thing. I’ve been putting it off for a year, which sounds ridiculous, but I’m sure you have your own procrastinations you’ve been putting off longer. I know I do.

In any case, one of the things on my to-do list for today was to go to the Peace Corps office to pick up that software. I swear. So it seems that my vice pule’s almost-but-not-quite waiting til the last minute—i.e. holding the scheduling meeting today rather than Monday—canceled out my almost-but-not-quite-waiting til the last minute—i.e. going to the Peace Corps office today rather than Monday. Really, the whole thing just goes to show we need to do a better job of coordinating our procrastination.

The time to repair the roof is when the sun is shining.
– John F. Kennedy

Now the meeting is over, and the schedule is set. I was able to use the fancy Excel Spreadsheet I created last year to expedite the process and to double-check for schedule clashes and redundancies, which was cool. But all of the scheduling was still done by hand.

I still plan to acquire the software and teach someone at my school to use it before I leave in December. I’m worried it will be difficult to motivate anyone to use the program now that it won’t need to be used for another year (let alone to motivate myself), but we’ve got some time. I can make it happen. Maybe in November.

If it weren’t for the last minute, nothing would get done.
– Anonymous

I hope you’re well. Pictures below.

My Excel file caught a bunch of human errors today. Despite its inability to actually create the schedule, it still proved its worth.

Taleni asked I take his picture standing next to his masterpiece.

1 comment:

Arseneault Family said...

the teachers there always know how to keep you involved!! "bring your computer"...classic! you better believe they do that one purpose! ;)

LOVE the quotes!