Today I came in to the CIS department, ready to attend the second presentation for a Master of Software Engineering (MSE) student, which he contacted me about on 01 Apr 2004. It turns out that the student had reserved neither a room nor a notebook computer for his presentation at 14:30 CDT. Well, I spoke with Mrs. Winfough, our department's grad studies secretary, around 11:40 after my morning course. She reserved the room for him, so I went about my business.
After the presentation in my advanced AI seminar (CIS 830) (13:30 - 14:20), I went to Hale Library to find Diana Farmer, whom I planned to ask for help in getting into the KSU e-journals collection.1
Instead, what did I stumble upon, but a book sale? The Friends of the KSU Libraries annual book sale, as it happens. Well, if you don't know me that well yet, let me tell you that banazir at a library rummage sale is like a kid in a candy store. The whole InfoCommons area on the 2nd floor was filled with remnants tables and shelves.
All told, I picked up about 20 books: a dozen textbooks (including a history book, two writing manuals, and a fiction anthology) and half a dozen science fiction novels, all for $20. Titles will have to wait until I'm back in my office, though I do remember picking up one book titled consilience just out of curiosity.
I picked out a couple of business and econ textbooks with tangential relevance to decision theory, just for the heck of it. If nothing else, I can unload them on eBay after I'm done skimming them. Then made my way past the tables burgeoning (heh) with romance titles such as Kansas Kiss (I was amused that no one picked this up) and biographies such as Kruschev Remembers, to the one that had Children of Dune.
Today's total: $20
Well, I called back to the CIS office on my mobile phone around 14:15, just to check whether the student had come in to confirm the reservation, and Mrs. Winfough told me he hadn't shown up yet, nor had the other two members of his committee. "Oh, well," I remarked, "I guess he didn't get confirmation from them and just didn't e-mail to cancel." I went about collecting textbooks for another 25 minutes, until Mrs. Winfough called and told me the student and the other two committee members were in Nichols 236!
I asked for 10 minutes to get back to Nichols (as I thought I would carry the stack of 15 books I already had), and then realized that I'd be dropping them everywhere as I had no bag or backpack in which to carry them.2
I jogged back to Nichols and hit a dead run just past the K-State Union, about 20 minutes late. I sat through the last 40 minutes of the student's presentation. I didn't mention the student's lapse in responsibilities on the reservations to him at this time, but later called his advisor to discuss the possibility of putting official language in the MSE student checklists and handbook, just to lay out the protocol. (To wit, they should: check room availability; e-mail, phone, or come in person to check the unanimous availability of all committee members; and finally reserve the room and send a "time and venue reminder" with links to their project and presentation materials. That last
After the exam, I walked back to Hale armed with a reinforced U.S. Postal Service basket, which worked well for carrying back all of my loot. (w00t!) Bill Shea caught me on the street, teunceing back to my office, and remarked: "They got you, eh?" when I explained what I had.
1 It turned out that I just needed to reset my electronic ID.
Edit, 11:15 CDT 09 Apr 2004 - This took longer than I expected, though; I only got back in on Wed 07 Apr 2004 by calling the CNS IT Help Desk on Tue 06 Apr 2004.
2 You who know me from Severn are doubtless chuckling, "You've come a long way, Suitcase Boy!".