The Lite Side

How I Plan to Spend My Microsoft Windows Windfall

- 2003.06.17

News of the proposed agreement between Microsoft and Apple, allowing schools to purchase items other than those that cost Microsoft virtually nothing to supply, has been greeted with an excited buzz in classrooms around the country. I confess I don't sit in the teacher's workroom (term du jour for "lounge") very often, probably because everyone has an assigned seat,* but just for once I sat around eating tuna fish and compiled a list of things teachers planned to buy with the Windows Windfall.

Now you can get ideas of how to spend the windfall, since you're reading the Lite Side's

How I Plan to Spend My Microsoft Windows Windfall

10. Paper. Our school supplies about 40 sheets of paper per kid. Per year. Let's see, do we have enough magnifying glasses to read the test questions? HOW MANY TIMES DO I HAVE TO TELL YOU MO-RONS TO BRING YOUR MAGNIFYING GLASSES! Sorry, end of year stress there. If I bust this magnifying glass with a hammer, you can each have a piece.

9. Plenty of computers. Good number of networked printers. No toner. One toner cartridge wipes out my supply budget for an entire year. I swear I am not making this up.

8. Dry Erase marker caps. More advanced than chalk, Dry-Erase markers get about 2 yards to the ounce of ink - and they don't hold much ink. This is a feature, not a bug, because it makes them light enough to hold in your hand. They will dry out in about five minutes, usually because you can't find the cap you lost. Therefore I shall purchase a supply of spare caps. In a variety of vibrant colors.

7. A filing cabinet. If someone could put a CPU and monitor in a filing cabinet, we could buy them with our technology budget. Otherwise, it's milk crates stolen from behind SafeWay.

6. Floppy drives for our iMacs because our students bring floppies to school like zombies looking for some good foot meat. Aaaaaaugh . . . (they say) . . . I have a PowerPoint due in English . . . make disk work . . . maaaaake diiiisssk woooorrrrrk. Aurrrrrgh. And the only disks they have are old worn-out DSDD disks from AOL version 1.98. And they don't know how to make files save on the A: drive anyway, so even these are Blanco.

5. A screen large enough to display the image from my overhead projector. Without making the top twice as wide as the bottom.

4. Shelves. With doors. And locks. Many locks. We loves our locks. Locks . . . yessssssss.

3. A USB key-drive. They are all the rage right now. Cross-platform, network-independent (THANK you JESUS, he said in his best Southern Baptist dialect), and cheap. These things are so cheap that next year they'll be in Happy Meals. And while we're at it, an order of the wisdom to know not to yank it out without unmounting it first. Supersize that to go.

2. A hub you're not supposed to plug into the network so you have enough active ports. My record is five-deep. If you know what I mean, I pity you. I hope no one from the district is reading this.

And the number-one plan for teachers to spend Microsoft's ill-gotten gains . . .

1. A copy of Virtual PC because the latest upgrade of SASI is no longer OS 9 compatible! (Darn, that one's about to become a Microsoft product...)

There you have it. Oh yeah, I might get a grant or something to buy some software. Maybe. If I have time after writing bathroom passes and answering the stupid phone they put in my room.

* By the way, we're an overcrowded school, so some teachers actually do work in the workroom. In little cubicles. The cubicles were my idea. No one really remembers that, which is just as well when you think about it. I try not to.

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