Ken's Voyages Around the Sun

Back to the Grind
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Right. Back to my cubicle today. No "welcome back" banners or anything like that. A couple people said "Hey, were you gone for a while or something?," which is pretty much what I expected.

Only three e-mails to deal with, really, which surprised me greatly. I had many more messages, of course, but they were all mass mailings of one sort or another, not things sent only to me, so I got through all of it by noon. Not bad for six weeks away.

One true surprise though. Our Extended Learning division has decided to move their Blackboard courseware off campus, to the company's servers. This means drastically increased payments for the hosting service, and I don't know how they can afford it. The other thing it means is that I don't have to deal with it! Yay!

The Blackboard system (and the Extended Learning program in general) uses Microsoft servers, databases, etc., and I've found it to be painful to work with. I don't know the MSFT products it uses well, and don't want to. I'm solidly in the open source camp, and am happy to continue working with the main campus WebCT system because it relies on Unix and perl.

So long and good riddance, I say. OTOH, even when we had to support it, I could argue that there wasn't enough work to keep the two of us busy. And now that the Blackboard server is leaving campus, there will be even less. OTOOH, our new (interim) director of the Office of Online Instruction is pushing for upgrading to the best version of WebCT, which would be good to have. If he succeeds, there will be work needed to implement it on campus.

And that reminds me... I'm not sure that I ever mentioned the departure of my old "boss," the one who really gave me marching orders. She left in June to work out in the midwest somewhere, so now I have a new boss in practice, although my real boss is still the same person.

Anyway, this guy's name is Randal, and no one seems to know whether he's permanently taking over or not. He has been a second-in-command, to some extent, since I've worked at CSUN, but he's not got a PhD and probably won't be left in charge of the Office. We'll have to see what the powers that be decide.

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