Spring Has Sprung!

inprogressHow is it the middle of March already?

Did you have a good Spring Break — for folk that got one? If you’re in upstate NY at all, you spent at least 1, if not 2, days inside with the snow we got. All of winter in 2 days!

You would have thought I’d’ve gotten a lot of stuff done! Nah! I napped through one day and read a couple of short-ish books (novellas, really) the other. Nothing productive for 2 days!

I need to pay for that this week. I have papers to correct and stories that are due soon-ish…

And I need to go back to the gym. Having the head cold from heck for all of February has put me off doing anything physical. Every time I’d feel better, blammo! The cold was back and I was down for another 3-4 days. Glad that’s finally better.

This is a ‘buckling down’ week… back on track, getting the work up to date and getting to the gym.

I think I have my work cut out for me!

How are you doing?

Word “Researcher”

One of the new ‘features’ that will be available in Office 2016 — although it says only when you have an Office 365 subscription — is Word Researcher.

This tool uses Bing to go out and help you find information on a paper you are writing.

The cool part is that it allows you to add citations to your text. There isn’t overt information on the page, so I’m not sure if it allows for APA / MLA / etc style… I guess I should watch the video.

The good new/bad news is that you only have to highlight text from a web page and it will add it to the document… not that it wasn’t already easy enough to copy/paste from a web site already!

It purports: Researcher uses Bing to pull in the appropriate content from the web and provide structured, safe and credible information. YMMV

Going to be worth your while to check it out!

Click this link for more information and how to access Researcher.

Email messages

email-iconI guess I’m starting to sound cranky, but if I can’t complain to you, who can I complain to?  🙂

Another pet peeve…

If you (the generic ‘you’, not you personally, of course!) send me (or the help desk) an email asking a question or asking me to do something, I would think you would kinda watch your email a tad more closely, to see if I get back to you. I may not get back to you immediately (although I do that a lot), but usually within a couple of hours.

I’m pretty good about answering emails and a lot of time I have an answer for you or, often, another question. Sometimes I have to do the “do you mean…” or “do you want me to do A or B?” sorts of emails back at you. Until I have an answer, I can’t do anything.

When you send an email and then don’t answer my question back for two days, I have to figure it’s not as important as you made it sound in your initial request.

My current example is a student who asked the help desk for something that I need to fix. No problem, but I need to know something from the student first. The original question comes in on Friday morning and by Saturday noontime, there’s no response. Turns out the answer came in Saturday late afternoon. But, on Tuesday morning there’s a follow-up “I haven’t heard from you” not-quite-a-complaint. Sigh.

We all have that happen… the student who calls your office every 15 minutes wondering why you haven’t answered them, when you have like 3 classes back to back and you’ve barely been to the bathroom, much less had a chance to check your phone messages. I get it.

So… if you ask a question, you can usually expect an answer… that’s what I do, after all. Watch for it and make sure I’m not asking you a question back…


Drives Me Crazy

You may or may not know that I live in Buffalo and commute to Batavia daily. It’s not a bad drive, about 40 minutes on a good day, and the time allows me to ‘gear up’ and ‘wind down’ on either end of the day.

The best route to and fro involves driving on the Thruway. It’s well kept, they plow it religiously (important with the snow we get) and it’s a pretty straight shot.

A lot of times, it’s not annoying, but then, sometimes…

There are a number of vehicles, mainly tractor-trailers but sometimes cars pulling camping trailers, who drive at or slightly below the speed limit. They’re okay, since they are good about staying in the right lane. Traffic kinda bunches up around them, but the slower folk mind their own business and stay out of the way.

What drives me crazy are the folk who insist on passing these slower vehicles, going like 1/2 a mile per hour faster than the vehicle they’re passing.

If you’re going to pass the slower vehicles, put a bit of effort into it! You don’t need to go 80, but you’re causing more of a back-up by now making both lanes go slower than prevailing traffic!

And — don’t even get me started on the guy who pulls up on the right thinking he’s going to cut the line! Sheesh.

I’m Back!

Well, I was really never gone… just didn’t post a lot! Or at all for the last year.

For 2017, one of my New Year’s resolutions is to post something weekly… there’s things to say or announce or just marvel at… so I’m going to remember to share.

If you have topics you want me to talk about, do leave me a note! I’d love to write something you’d like to read.

Otherwise, I’m just going to talk about things I think you maybe should know more about. Whether you knew you were interested in that topic or not!

I’m looking forward to starting up again!

Computer System Maintenance – Monday, October 12 – 7 am to 5 pm

Yeah, sorry… all day computer maintenance on the Columbus Day holiday.


All systems will be affected; access to computer systems will be impacted. This includes, but is not limited to:

  • Genesis
  • Blackboard
  • Banner / Banner Self Service
  • Library
  • College web site
  • Faculty/staff email — student email will NOT be impacted

If you do gain access to any system during the day, you may be cut off at any time without warning.

STUDENTS — now I know a lot of you take advantage of the holiday to catch up. Especially adult students who have ‘day jobs’ and need to do homework when you can. You can still do a lot of things without Blackboard, if you plan properly. Make sure you download and print your syllabus and course schedule, and have your textbook available. With those you can do any or all of the following:

  • read and outline textbook chapters
  • study textbook materials for a test
  • outline/write projects or essays that will be due (just because the Genesee library isn’t available, doesn’t mean the entire Internet is closed!)
  • do homework at publisher web sites (make sure you have direct login information; if the only way you know how to get there is through Blackboard, then you’re kind of stuck)
  • print tests that do not have time limits on them; do the work offline so you can enter the information later
  • work with a calendar to plan out your work for the rest of the semester; what will be do when and when will you do the work for it. Planning also takes time and the holiday is a great time to do that!
  • ask your instructor for materials you may need

There’s always lots to do! You just need to be prepared!

PS — the next maintenance day will be Saturday, November 28. All day, again. I’ll be back with these same suggestions!

Blackboard Back Online!

Thanks to everyone for your patience.

Now. Let’s see if that’s fixed the problem.

First of all, clear cache. Yes, again. If you don’t know how, this is a good resource: https://kb.iu.edu/d/ahic

IF YOU HAVE ANY PROBLEMS: Send an email to helpdesk@genesee.edu — tell us what course, what you had problems doing, what test or assignment… details are helpful…

Calling the help desk won’t get any faster results… just send that email so we know what’s going on.

Hang in there… we’ll keep poking at it!