Clio and Technology

So. The sweet dog, as always, is awesome and lovely. Yet the pee problem is starting to wear on me. There’s no way to balance between the water she can hold, and the water she can’t. I’ve called Tufts again, and their answer is that I have to wait three to six months. If the Proin medication for incontinence doesn’t work (and it doesn’t), the next best option is to wait for her to stop growing and then give her a different medication that has some pretty serious side effects. The next most likely option is to do the surgery again, with unpredictable results, and that’s not necessarily a good idea if it didn’t work the first time. The homeopathic remedy isn’t working, either, which means that it may be something seriously physiological.

It may also mean that someone did something wrong during the surgery. We’ll see.

Before break began, I explained the kind of technology set-up a school should have. Everyone’s gradebook should be online, I told him, with every kid’s grades instantly accessible to students, teachers, parents, and advisors. The disciplinary system should be online too, with every kid’s disciplinary record available to every person invested in that kid’s well-being. We should be able to categorize an infraction by four or five levels of severity, instead of one. Disciplinary matters should be dealt with day-to-day, rather than week-to-week. We should be able to see our colleague’s grades, as well as our own, to help keep tabs on our advisees’s progress. Every teacher should have an online webpage that has biographical information accessible to students and parents and other teachers; a regular log of assignments and in-class activities arranged by class; a list of suggested extracurriculars; and a broad range of contact information. Worksheets and instructions should be available for every class through the same system and accessible from home. Attendance, dress code, discipline, grades, progress reports, assignments and parent-teacher communication, all in one system.

He was frankly disbelieving that a system like that could exist anywhere, much less where I teach. Of course, now I’ve seen such a system in action at another school. Seamless, functional, non-intrusive, and normal. That’s the part that gets to me the most.

There’s a prayer in the Kabbalist tradition of Judaism, to be said while squatting over the toilet, which amounts to “Lord God, ruler of the universe, I bless you that you have made my pipes and tubes to function and not be plugged up, that I may live and continue to study your law.” At the moment, that’s how I feel about technology at my school and Clio’s bladder. The pipes and tubes are not functioning as they ought or even as they could be, but I’m having a devil of a time making anyone understand the stress and sense of helplessness that goes along with that lack of functionality. It’s just supposed to be, “you’ll have to deal with things as they are.”

Oh. My cousin Claire sent me Feist’s album, the Reminder. So far I’m enjoying it.

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