[FR] [EN]Re: The End of Dreamcard?

Judy Perry jperryl at ecs.fullerton.edu
Thu Mar 9 13:06:42 EST 2006


I was going to stay out of this but inasmuch as others have stepped up to
the plate it seems it's my turn to become flamebait.

I, too, have a friend.  She's an educator (boo, hiss!).  She is lucky to
have survived three or four rounds of layoffs at her university, part of a
larger chain which has seen its funding decreased by 20% and more over the
last couple of years even as enrollement has increased.

Her department is less lucky.  The discipline has been seeing record low
enrollments nationwide, which has translated in her department's losing
something like one full-time faculty position per year for several years.

Her department's ftp server was cobbled together from parts of various
broken-down old computers.  Her computer lab is so old that, when she
agreed to allow a university photographer to photograph her class for
various promotional brochures, the photographer was sufficiently moved to
shoot IN THE DARK without the lights on and focused on a student
using the overhead because showing the lab machines themselves would have
been an embarassment for the university.  Up until a year ago those
machines had only 128 MB RAM. And her department had to go begging to
higher-ups for the money for it.

Oh, and that old ftp server? It's corrupted several of the critical files
and applications used for her class.  Well, application isn't the right
word, really.  The proper word is "demo" because the department doesn't
have the funds to buy applications such as image editors, animation
software, 3D modeling software, and sound-editing software needed for a
multimedia class.  And, so my friend has had to spend many hours crawling
the web looking for demo replacements.  And, as she tells me, it's
tough going inasmuch as her lab still runs OS 9. She doesn't get paid for
this time.  The scanner doesn't work.  It takes 5 minutes to print
a text file over the network.  Students needing to edit video or
convert from one video file format to another use the instructor's QT Pro
license.  Those wanting to use a midi keyboard or a Wacom drawing tablet
use those belonging to the instructor.

By now you have probably figured out that I am my own best friend. ;-)

And while I am not sounding the call for a dozen weepy violins, I suspect
that other educators on the list might well tell similar tales.


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