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Friday nights

During the week, I’m always optimistic about what I can get done on Friday night. It will be a great start to my weekend, I will say to myself, I’ll get a project out of the way and feel ready for more productive work.

It felt particularly important to be productive tonight [1]: I have lots of watch my children perform events on Saturday and I may have errands to run on Sunday. But I also have to get the SIGCSE student volunteers assigned, which includes finishing the list of 200 or so different student volunteer shifts [2], clearing out the volunteers who did not complete the volunteer process [3], trying to figure out how to use the magic scheduling software [4], and then doing the last few bits by hand. I had hoped to get at least the shifts set up and to try to understand the software.

But what I forgot tonight, as I seem to forget every Friday [5], is just how exhausted I am when Friday night rolls around. Thursday nights usually represent short sleep [6], I’m usually behind, and, well, Fridays can take a lot out of me [7]. This week, I’m also recovering mentally from a long day designing a talk. So, while I should probably stay up late and get work done, I’m going to bed instead.

Maybe I’ll take a quick peek at the software first. What? I need to install a local MySQL server on my machine [8]? No, this is not a task for my current brain state [9].

[1] Tonight is Friday, 9 February 2018.

[2] Yes, SIGCSE has 200 shifts, many with multiple volunteers needed. We also have about 150 volunteers. It should be an interesting experience to help manage it all.

[3] Some did not provide us with a list of available times. Some did not register for the conference.

[4] All of the instructions are in Windows-speak. It may be a challenge to translate them to a Mac.

[5] Or every Thursday, since I often make my weekend plans on Thursday.

[6] Six hours last night. I need eight.

[7] Some three-prep days go better than others. When there are three meetings on top of the three class preparations, my brain seems to want additional rest.

[8] Okay, it took me fifteen minutes to figure out the need for a local database server. It’s not stated explicitly anywhere in the instructions. And I don’t look forward to Open Eclipse to the C:\Users\UserName\SIGCSE\Scheduling\workspace instruction, since (a) I’m not on a Windows box, (b) I don’t regularly use Eclipse, and (c) even if I did, I don’t have that workspace. I’m going to find the .jar and see if I can use it directly.

[9] Amazingly, I did get more done tonight than I expected when I started writing this musing. I started the musing before even looking at the instructions. Then I looked at the instructions, figured out that I need to download MySQL, figured out how to download MySQL, cleared out some space on my hard drive so there was room, created a new MySQL user, backed up the primary database, copied it to my machine, reinstalled it, and even wrote instructions for replicating the main steps from the command line [10]. I would have guessed that I would have the energy to do any of that.

[10] I still don’t understand the folks who want to do all of those things from a GUI. I find that I am so much faster on the command line. No programs to load. No mouse to move. Just arcane commands to remember [11].

[11] Or to copy and paste.

Version 1.0 of 2018-02-09.