(RECAP: I am finally in my classroom and have just attached the data projector to the wall outlet when I realize that the data projector which I have gotten to play the CDrom of a documentary (that will not work in the room’s DVD player) does not appear to have any sound. I decide when I turn on the CDrom and no sound comes on that I will pretend I am outraged by the failure of the AV people to do their job. I will curse them roundly.)
While understanding the ultimate futility of my efforts (i.e. no sound will be produced) for my plan to work, I must complete hooking up all the apparatus. Also I have the faint hope that when I play the CDrom magically sound will come out of the data projector. I remove my laptop from my bag and screw the data projector cable into the back of the laptop.
I take out the telephone cable that runs from the laptop to the phone jack in the wall by which I can access the internet and my online syllabus. I see that the cable will not reach the outlet in the wall, so I push the whole table with a screeching sound towards the outlet. I squint looking at the four outlets. Why, I don’t know, but only one of them is “active.” Unfortunately, unless I get down on my knees, I cannot see which one is designated as active. I ask the student nearest the outlet if she can see which is active and plug the cord in. This she does with apparently reluctance. Or perhaps she is just depressed.
I return to my bag to locate the power cord for the laptop. I cannot find it. I rummage for a bit. And give up. After all I won’t really need it since the sound won’t come on anyway. I then plug the internet cord into the laptop and turn the laptop on. The laptop goes on and my “desktop” appears but no light is coming out of the data projector. I stare directly into its green eye but see nothing coming out. I ask a student to locate the power button because apparently I have failed to turn it on. The student does so and I am immediately blind by light from the projector.
Improvising, I pretend to be blinded and stagger about the front of the room for a bit. But nothing, not even a titter. Apparently they have no interest in my labors or my antics. Or maybe they are a really tough crowd. I will perhaps have to fall flat on my ass or maybe have a heart attack before I get a laugh out of them. That would be great. I have a heart attack, they laugh hysterically at my apparent discomfiture. I die and some of them at least feel guilty.
I return to the desk with the laptop almost tripping twice on the various cords running this way and that. Clearly now the data projector is working, so is my laptop. But the image on my laptop is not appearing on the screen. Instead there is just this big blue square up there with nothing on it. I remember this having happened before and that to fix it involves the function and the F8 key on the laptop. I give it a try. And to my delight my desktop appears on the screen. But my delight is dampened when I see now that my laptop screen is completely black.
My ability to control what appears on the screen is now reduced to zero since I am sitting with my back to the screen and staring at a blank laptop.