HAPPY NEW YEAR! WOOHOO!
- 14 March, 2017
- Posted by: Katrina Casey
- Category: Reading
I know, I know, I’m only a couple of months late, but as they say, better late than never. I do have some very good reasons for my tardiness, which I really need to share.
To say it has been a challenging start to the year, would not even come close to describing the past three months! Just as I was cruising into the New Year festive season, champagne at the ready, disaster struck – my website was suspended.
Now I realise for those in I.T. this is probably an everyday occurrence, no cause for alarm. But to someone who has very little understanding of websites, servers, data limits, inodes (still have no idea what they are, other than it was their fault that my website was suspended), it was a major cause of concern, and the cause of a very near breakdown.
So after quite a number of phone calls and a hefty charge on my credit card, I was back in business, with my very own server – oh the smugness of thinking all my problems had been solved! This was going to be a great year!
But no, problem number two comes blazing in. Just as 400 new users were about to sign up to begin the school year, reading with their children, there were problems with data transfers to the new server. Instead of logging on and reading away, there was nothing!
Second problem solved, and I’m breathing – just. And then, because everything happens in threes, my website was hacked! Needless to say, I have just got up from the canvas!
So what have I learnt from all this pain and stress? Just like the number of disasters, I have learnt three things:
- People in IT never stress. Every IT person I have spoken to in the past three months, always seem slightly amused or bemused at my very obvious, into over-drive level of stress that I convey, when trying to sort the website issues. So I have learnt that no attempt to transfer my level of stress and anxiety, will get anyone in IT to match my sense of urgency! They very calmly and smoothly sort the issues. I’ve decided I’m coming back as one of them – ah the serenity!
- Back up the files! To say I was a little lax in this department would again be a huge understatement. However, I have since upped the ante, so much so, I did get a warning about disc space usage – it appears there are only so many backups that can be stored. And no, I really do not need to keep backups from two weeks ago on the server, especially when daily backups of the website are in operation. (I am working on this current obsession.)
The third lesson learnt, is not a new one. Rather, the whole start to the year, has just reaffirmed this –
reading or sounding out words successfully,
does not equal reading.
I know this, because I can read most words or sound them out. However, the amount of tech jargon that I was expected to read and understand to get my website back on track, was incredibly overwhelming. Sure, I could read each and every word, but it made no sense!!! I needed an interpreter.
Finally, after the tenth phone conversation with Victor, calmly telling me the instructions were in the email sent, or more details could be sourced from their website, but he would happily explain the contents, again, he finally got it! His words were pure magic: “So ma’am, would you like me to make amendments to your website from this end?”
This took my stress away, so much so, that when I calmly went back and thought about what he had explained, with the written instructions in hand, I could now understand what I had read.
My plight reminded me of so many little ones, when in their desperation to read, they ask for help only to be told really unhelpful things like:
‘sound it out’ or ‘you knew that word last week’ .
What these children desperately need is for you to tell them the word!!!! Let’s not drag the agony out – tell them the word and move on – get reading. When you do this, you give children a life raft, and you alleviate some of their stress, so they can move forward. Reading is a verb, it is a doing word. To learn to read, children have to read! When they read, they need to make meaning, to make connections. Decode words and refresh these skills after they have read the text with you (joyfully assisting!), otherwise, the only connections with reading they will have, will be negative and painful.
This year, I want you to be like that wonderful IT guy who finally cracked and said, “Hey, would you like me to help you with this? I can do this for you.”
Right on, Victor, right on!