Tuesday, March 31, 2009

More Tales from an Aging Campus

This campus has fairly archaic infrastructure, including centralized steam heat. Either steam flows to every single steam radiator on campus or else it flows to none of them. Once each fall there is the switch to "steam on," and once each spring is the switch to "steam off."

It is so cold in my office that I can not get work done. I've turned on the iTunes Visualizer (the Geniuses taught me that running the Visualizer is their favorite way to run down the charge in a laptop battery), and I'm looking for some video to encode or some large floating-point calculations to do. I figure that my computer is the best chance I have for generating heat. I have my printer on, even though I have nothing to print. I pause to warm my hands on my monitor.

As I'm too cold to think, I'm doing lame tasks, like grading homework. (Do you know how many of my students got wrong the question that asked "How many sides on a triangle?") There's no way I'll be able to do thinky work, like computer science or data analysis or manuscript editing. I'm hoping I can pull it together enough to shiver my way through writing a calculus exam.