Mario Villalobos

Back to My Stultifying Routine

Compared to last week, today’s day at work felt slow even though I did a lot. Semester grades were due last week, but since the network was down, the deadline was pushed to this week. I spent most of today fixing any and all issues that arose in Infinite Campus, and I think by the end of the day, I was able to get to most, if not all, of these issues. One of the things that sucks about the network crashing last week, including the fixes I made, is the fact that all of our netbooks and laptops need to be plugged in with an ethernet cord for them to get the updates from the server in order for them to be able to use the Wi-Fi. Fortunately, that’s not something I had to do. Instead, that was something I had to advise the teachers about, and since they have a couple dozen students per class, they can use them to implement these changes.

I feel more confident now. Nothing like a crisis to make me feel like I conquer anything now. I was in full on crisis mode last week, and I spent every minute of all my shifts last week focused on fixing the problems we were having. Today felt less exciting. I was glad I was able to use my MacBook again to get my work done, but with no mysteries to solve, I felt.. I’m not sure what the right word is. I wasn’t bored. I wasn’t unmotivated. Everything was stultifying. That’s an SAT word I taught myself years ago. I had no enthusiasm at work because there were no mysteries to solve. I love helping teachers with their jobs, but it was all part of my old routine. I liked my old routine pre-crisis, but post-crisis? There’s no excitement!

I know how insane this attitude sounds. I’m still getting paid the same. The stress is way lower than it was last week. Teachers, staff, and even students have come up to me to thank me for fixing the internet, and that feels good. It makes me feel confident. But no one’s going to come up to me to thank me for making sure their grades were sent home or whatever. Nor should they. Is it the recognition that I miss? Maybe a little bit. Mostly, I miss solving big mysteries. Even though I had a bad week last week, I had fun. I was struggling to figure out the problems, and I loved investigating all the symptoms, researching, testing, re-hypothesizing, re-testing, doing more research, throwing a tennis ball against the wall until another idea popped in my head, re-testing again, re-researching, throwing the ball even more times against the wall, and finally figuring it out and seeing my tests bear fruit. That was fun. Seeing everything start working again after a week of false starts and failures just make me feel good.

It’s insane to pray for another crisis just to feel that way, but my current routine really isn’t going to manifest them. I have been thinking about the future, about all the changes and upgrades I could make, and those thoughts are exciting. Maybe that’s where I’ll focus my energies. Who knows, right?