Showing posts with label Zoom. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Zoom. Show all posts

Tuesday, May 1, 2018

Two Classes and Strobe Lights


Scenario: You are an instructor about to present a lecture that you will need to record anyway.  It is 11:30 mountain time - the time announced to students when live lecture takes place.  You turn on your computer ready to start the meeting and there is no one there to listen to you live

question:    Do you start the lecture on time? Do you walk away from your computer and decide to return a few minutes later?  Do you wait half an hour after designated time before you start?  or would you start on time even though there isn't anybody with you at the start?

I would hope you would start on time.  five or ten minutes after the designated time, maybe, but not half an hour.  

I was late for class, I'll admit that.  Maybe 15 to 20 minutes.  There was somebody else signed on beside the instructor.  Why isn't he talking?  I am late for class.  What am I missing?  How come the sign on screen is on and I don't see a lecture.  I typed:

"Have you started the lecture yet?  I don't see anything."

My classmate answers that she is double checking the schedule because she can't see or hear anything either.  So what do we do?

I continued working on an assignment that I had started for my other class, but as time marched on, I grew concerned.  What if our instructor, who had obviously signed in to start the lecture, had had a heart attack or something?    It had been half an hour since the lecture was supposed to start.  I didn't feel like I was jumping the gun, but apparently, I was.  At 11:01 his voice came on and he announced that we would get started.  Just getting started?  What?  

I asked about the time and he said that he'd been there on time but that no one else was.  But two of us had been waiting for at least 20 minutes - though I told him half an hour because that's how long it had been from when he should have gotten started.  

Toward the end of his lecture, my screen started strobing - well, not my entire screen, just the lecture. "What is with your screen?" I asked my instructor - believing that he could see the same thing as I.  He suggested that the problem might be with zoom.  Oh, goody.  A third party device.  Who'm I suppose to address those concerns to?

I get someone at Tech support who says there is a glitch and did I try restarting my computer.  I guess I'll just use my laptop next week.  My last instructor (three mods now) made the screen so huge - almost too huge, but at least I could see it.  The class I had today was bigger than the one I had yesterday.  Back to a post-it-note size framed in black background.  Why does there have to be so much background???

I am excited about one class and will learn to adjust to the other.  I will be kept busy for the rest of this month.  I don't know how often I'll be able to post to my blog.  Weekends, maybe?

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Where My Discussion Post Ends and My Blog Post Begins

          When I was in my twelvth mod, I had two classes.  I would try to attend the live lecture of each class.  I think I had attended all four lectures in my algebra class - perhaps only three.  Fortunately there was no problem with the hook-up system (the school uses a program called Zoom) but the instructor in my management class would always have a problem with the system cutting out or recording only audio or video, but not both.  It generally happened whenever she played a video in addition to her lecture.  I told her to stop showing videos and just send us the links.  I don't know if it would have made any difference.

          Last mod I also had two classes - two accounting classes.  I still don't understand the language, but I actually did well in both classes.  That is amazing considering what torture it was trying to get into a live lecture or (in most cases) listen to the recording . . . as it wasn't just one or two instructors having issues with Zoom;  the entire school was affected.  That is what Roland had told me anyway.  Not only is he a full time student at the same online school as I am, but is employed with them as well.

          This mod I am taking only one class (hooray) again in accounting (boo) and I don't know if Zoom has been fixed or not.  Thus far it does not look promising.  No one in the class appears to have been contacted by our instructor - usually he or she will introduce self or remind us of upcoming lecture or something.  There was supposed to be a live lecture yesterday, which starts at the same time as the children's summer reading program. I had already made a commitment to summer reading.  In addition, it seems I have been recruited to be the story lady - for the last two weeks anyway. 


          Yesterday the library (or the one in charge of the program rather) decided to celebrate SpongeBob's birthday and shared some trivia while children were coloring.  I shared Allison Jackson's "There was an old lady who swallowed a pie" - only I changed the wording a little bit and used SpongeBob as the character instead of an old lady, asking the children between each item of food, "do you think he'll die?"  they would always answer "No"  and they were right.

          I like Allison Jackson's version better than the original "There was an old lady who swallowed a fly"  because (with the exception of one item) her story deals with real food and no one dies.

          Neither Jenna nor I are avid SpongeBob fans - in fact we'd be okay with knowing that he had croaked.  But the idea of a sponge and some of Allison Jackson's rhymes gave me an opportunity to educate rather than just read or tell.


          So back to my accounting - I was hoping to watch the lecture before posting my discussion to perhaps get a better idea of what is expected.  As of now, I don't even know if my instructor tried to give the lecture or if he has started working for the university this week or is on sabbatical or what.  His discussion post was created on Saturday before the class had even started.

          Our topic is on importance of accurately accounting for costs in Job Order Cost Accounting.  Also, discuss the consequences of errors in this area. From what I understand, overhead charges and cost of labor that must be paid by the company is figured in the cost that a consumer must pay.

          The video example that had been given is building a burger and breaking down the cost of said burger.  There is the obvious cost for the meat, the bun and other ingredients, but the breakdown also includes the employee's wage.  Just suppose he was getting paid 10.00 an hour and it takes 3 minutes for him (or her) to build each burger.  That is 3 minutes to every 60 or 5% of 10.00.  and a predetermined overhead cost.

          The cost of electricity (for instance) is not figured into each burger, per se.  Utilities, indirect labor [that would be the supervisor making certain the employees are working, or the time spent cleaning (or idling) after all the customers have been served], indirect materials [someone has to pay for the cost of that grill] and property taxes or rent) are all part of that predetermined rate.  All of those costs are all added up together for the year and then more math is deducted and combined and made into a percentage that is also added to the cost of the burger.



          One of my class mates used auto labor as an example which I was actually able to understand a little more and have been trying to come up with my own examples using my false lawn care service from my former management class, or the cost of labor that we have seen (and will expect to see more) for the demolition and restoration of our floor, walls and spaces in between.  Thus far we've had to dole out checks for the plumber, the electrician and the pest control.  All with overhead costs - though we don't understand why on the electrician.

          Roland had asked for a card and wondered if he would be able to make a deal with trading services for a future project.  Wiring in the front room to put in a ceiling fan for new cards and marketing.  This area really needs to be educated in marketing. They either don't believe about it or know about it or care.  The font on the business cards was very hard to read.  Roland thought the shape of the font looked like an anchor.  I thought it looked like an open mouth - like perhaps a dentist would use.  I don't know what the overhead would be.  There is no sign on the truck.  I don't know how their pricing breaks down.  I suspect they can charge what they want as there doesn't seem to be any competition.

          I personally am not impressed with big vans and trucks bearing fancy names - especially now that I know it is part of my cost and I don't wish to support brand names when they have so many employees that the company has lost sight of them as well as the consumers.  Let me give a "for instance" which I wasn't planning to call by name, but because of my dissatisfaction, I want to warn others about why I stopped using the services of a certain company.

          Whipple Plumbing and Heating is a chain in Utah (Salt Lake/Ogden areas) which I believe has gotten too big for its breeches.  I don't know how many employees it staffs nor do I understand why we tried their services several times.  We ALWAYS had to call them to return to finish or correct a job and then ended up calling someone else to permanently fix it.

          I think they were called three times while we lived in Kearns and twice in West Valley.  For the poor plumbing issues (one project, never resolved by Whipple) we had three different guys, none which corrected the mistake of the other, we finally called an elderly man that Roland had been in contact through some clients of his. 

          Elwin Shipley arrived in his unmarked truck and fixed the problem.  He was awesome!  He fixed problems one time.  If you were to contact him again, it would be for a different problem.  Unlike Whipple, who got it right only one time (which will be my next paragraph), Elwin didn't charge an arm and a leg.  He didn't need to.  He didn't have the extra overhead cost.  I wasn't paying for the logo on his truck.  (Whipple had definitely figured a LOT of overhead expenses - had I continued to use them, I would have probably ended up paying for an entire fleet of trucks)

          Whipple had a promotion on toilets and as ours had to be replaced, we gave them another try (first one in WV).  The plumber who came out was very friendly toward Jenna and the dog and just a down to earth wholesome guy - or so it appeared.  He said that when I called, I could ask for a specific plumber.  That was our exception.  That was the only thing that we didn't have to have work redone on.

          Because I had liked the plumber, when another situation we had required plumbing services, I called Whipple with another opportunity and the name of the plumber who seemed to have the attitude "I've got you in my snare now, I don't have to be nice to you."

          Perhaps he was just having a bad day - perhaps there had been a recent death in the family or someone in his flipped him off on his way to work . . .  who knows.  The point is he just rubbed me the wrong way.  That was the last time we used Whipple.



          My discussion post was about Gil's heating and air conditioning - a business that relies on word of mouth.  I just thought of another.  Remarkable Rooter also gets the job done.  WITHOUT THE OVERHEAD!  Why pay more?  Really?  Because the competition has a brand name and drive a fancy van?  My consumer attitude may get me into trouble with my classes . . . although they haven't so far.  Did I mention that I LOVE living in a small town with an ignorance to marketing?  Well, I do.