Day 491

Tuesday | July 2nd, 2013


The first day of camp (the testing part, my part) was a drag in a way the previous two times around. Today I was giddy. Eager to jump in; eager to do my part. There was so much bickering (behind the scenes) and complaining and feathers misaligned and little digs about how I spend my time during the teaching days that being able to finally hunker down and do what I do, my part, that was exciting.


I got the lab key from the security guard as planned, but he seemed to think I was supposed to pick it up at 11.00 or bring it back by 11.00. Either way, I told him the time was now and left with the key and didn’t return. Even with the magic key, the door wouldn’t open. It was stuck or locked at the top on the inside. I’d gotten there so early it’d have been worthless and perhaps an annoyance to call NW and get it sorted. I waited in the hallway, sweating through my clothes, waiting with tons of students who were waiting for their door to be opened. I waited with all the staff for the office next door to my lab—they were locked out as well.

Finally at 09.02 I called NW and a security girl came by and swiped her security card because the thing holding the door closed was a giant security magnet. We had a chat about my needing to get into the room in the mornings before 09.00 to be ready for tests at 10.00. She took a picture of the nine days we have the lab reserved and we parted company. I had asked what her name was, but promptly forgot it with the schedule discussion.

In the lab, setup means getting the day’s mock test on the maximum number of computers needed to accommodate the largest class (in this case 13) plus one or two extras because there are always problems. The machines also need to be writing the audi0 files to the same Dropbox folder, so I can pick them up after each testing period and assign names to them. Wifi is a little too slow for this, so I need to boot a machine somewhere in the corner to check out its network settings (above) and then duplicate that configuration on my Mac. Once that’s all set, Dropbox’s LAN sync feature massively speeds up the delivery of the files to the folder for sorting.

The rest of the show is just starting the recording software and the test for each student in each testing period. A monkey could do this. A monkey will do this once I can work out how to simultaneously start the test and the recording. If I can crack that, then the students only need to press a button and the rest will be automated.

At the end of my day, I had to swing by the office to learn that the key wasn’t supposed to be with the security guard at all. It was supposed to be a the security office by the main gate. NW walked down there with me and I met the security girl again and a big conversation ensued. The short of it was: every morning I need to stop at the security office on my way in and pick up the key. On home I need to drop the key back off. The security office knows what days I need to get into the lab because of the picture the girl took in the morning. The security office will remotely unlock the giant magnet when I pick up the key each morning.

It sounds too simple. It will get fucked up because it’s too simple. It’s better than having to walk to the building in the back of campus to pick up the key from a security guard and return it to him when I leave though.


I found some super-special watermelons on the way home. These are much pricier than the 5,000 won watermelons being sold off the backs of trucks. For the 21,000 won these puppies are priced at, I expect to find dinner and dessert inside of each one.

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