Mistakes Were Made and Other Adventures in Virtual Schooling

A disused area with graffiti on the walls.

The kids started virtual school today, and while the daughter had some information to go on, her high school brother had nothing. I waited to see if anything would appear in my inbox, but it was not meant to be. So I called the school this morning.

That's when I discovered that all the relevant information was posted to the school’s Facebook page. Not their website, not emailed to parents, no texts… Facebook. You know, the social network I used the least. I found the post, got Iain into his Google Classroom, but there was nothing there. Called the school again. Found out I needed to download a glorified chat app, which I signed into using text message verification. I poked around and tapped on a random “File” tab at the top of the app, wherein I discovered a file called “file_attachment.jpg.” There was a part of the thumbnail that said “Google Classroom.”

A scene from Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, where Arthur Dent lies in front of the bulldozer trying to destroy his house.
Grown men, he told himself, in flat contradiction of centuries of accumulated evidence about the way grown men behave, do not behave like this.

The coordinator shared the Google Classroom codes by taking a picture of the information as it was written on Post-It notes. They posted that photo to the app without tagging it or calling attention to it in any meaningful way.

I found the virtual classroom information in the digital equivalent of “...a locked filing cabinet stuck in a disused lavatory with a sign on the door saying ‘Beware of the Leopard.’”

Don't panic.

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