|Ditto Machine by Firexbrat CC-BY-NC-ND|
(As an aside, remember "Ditto" from the movie "Teachers"?)
The next machine to enter my teaching life was a risograph---the bastard offspring of a
DSCF3478 by Nottinghac CC-BY-SA
I now get to work with honest to goodness copy machines, which do have their glitches, but are much more user friendly. I had two new experiences with them today. One was to negotiate a contract for the new science kit center. All I can say is that Kinko's must be making a killing if it only costs half of a cent to make a copy. I'm very happy with the deal we're getting. Machine, supplies, service, and a quarter of a million copies a year for four grand.
My second interaction in Copyland today was not quite so pleasant. The district does have its own copy center: a room with two industrial-sized machines and two full-time clerical staff to run them. (Can you believe we pay people to just make copies?!) An order from the science staff at one school had been provided to the copy center and the person there just couldn't handle it. I provided copies of the new lab manuals and study guides. I even gave her a copy of the CD-ROMs that come with the new curriculum. She was incredibly flustered that she couldn't find the pages on the software and instead of making copies from the "hard" set I'd provided, she called to rail at me about how the publisher should give her electronic versions of each book separately. It was one of those times where I actually set the phone down and worked on my computer until I heard silence on the other end. "I'll get right on that!" I quickly replied and hung up. It took no more than ten minutes for me to make and deliver a set to her to use...but I felt really irritated by the whole thing. It seemed like she could have saved us three days of phone messages, e-mail, and in-person conversations by just making the set of master copies herself. Bah.
Will we still need so many copy machines in the future? Will classrooms eventually become paperless---sending and receiving assignments wirelessly? Who knows. There may still be another beast to master in copy room before I retire.