Saturday, March 03, 2012

Grease is the word, is the word…

At my first school the big thing was the dance concerts.  As the teacher in charge of the Stage Crew, it consumed three weeks of free time, twice a year.

At my new school it’s the annual musical.  And although I’m not in charge of stage crew, my principal found out we pulled off some amazing things with the lighting for those dance concerts, so I’m now the teacher in charge of the lighting for the musical.  Which is fine, since for the most part I’m having a good time with it.

The musical this year is “Grease”.  So far it hasn’t taken up as much of my free time as the dance concerts did, but so far this week I spent 1st through 5th period on Tuesday (they hired a substitute for me) and Friday’s Professional Development time working on the lights.  Yeah, technically that’s not free time, but yesterday the drama teacher and I stayed at school until 7:30pm working on the lights.  Today we ran through the play twice, I was there from 9:00am until 4:00pm.  And next week I’m going to be there from 7:00 to 9:00 for the three performances.

Today the parents got served the entire cast and crew lunch.  Hot dogs, chips, brownies and even some fruits and vegetables.  I had one of these irony moments when I realized I was in the cafeteria, doing lunch duty on a Saturday.  But all things considered, I do enjoy being a part of these productions.

The light board is programmable, and the only backup media it can use is this:

Remember these?

Double-sided, double-density 1.44MB, 3½ inch floppy disk.  Notoriously unreliable, especially when the only ones you can find are quite old and quite used.  I decided that I needed to backup the file on something a little more trustworthy, since if I lost this information I would have to run the whole thing manually.  Possible, but very difficult and would require eliminating some of the more subtle, quick back and forth changes.

So I got out one of these,

with a USB adaptor and found a computer that had a floppy drive.

I looked at the two of them together,

and considered how far technology has come in the last 5 years or so.  5689.  That’s how many times more information that little black disk can hold than that big red one.


Lisa Shafer said...

Fun post.
Um, I do have a stack of floppies in a drawer in the basement if you need some extras..... If you'd mentioned it today, I would've given you some.

Looks like the musical's going to be good. :)

Max Sartin said...

Thanks, I think I'll take you up on that. i tried to find some at school last week, but nobody had any. A thing of the past.

Karen S. said...

So funny a couple weeks ago I just transferred pictures from the same big red disk, and also yellow, green and blue to my computer. They were taken just a few years ago! The musical sounds like a blast to me, yeah a bit of work, but when you're good at something it's awesome to do it for the right cause. School productions always a plus. Did you know William Peterson, is a big theatre player, mostly in Chicago theatres? He's not a fan of movies at all....Your photo of the cast members is amazing....are they all going to have parts?

Lisa Shafer said...

I misremembered. They are not brand-new. They are all used but not too much. They'll need to be reformatted, I think. (It's been awhile since I've even owned a computer that used these -- well over a decade.) Still, I grabbed half a dozen out of the drawer for you.
Do you want me to stick them in district mail? Or do you need them sooner than that? I can put them on my porch in a sack if you want to pick them up; I doubt anyone's going to steal them..... ;)

Max Sartin said...

Karen - Most of them are only in the song and dance numbers, probably just over a dozen or so have speaking parts. And I am having fun with it.
Lisa - Used is fine, just district mail them to me, I'll have them by the end of the week and that will be fine. Thanks a bunch.

Lisa Shafer said...

Will do.
I'll put them with my school stuff. The discs have only been used once, with company medical stuff on them, so they are the newest of the ones I've got.

Lisa Shafer said...

Your discs are in district mail.
You should've seen the look on my student teacher's face as he was telling me a story this morning and I casually dug out 6 floppies from my bag and stuck them in a district mail envelope. Finally, he just broke into his own story and asked what I was doing. :)

Max Sartin said...

Man, I woulda loved to see his face! And thanks!

Lisa Shafer said...

He's only 25, but at least he knew what the floppies were. :)