And darkness descends once more

I was so looking forward to attending a “Teaching with Technology” seminar offered to students and staff by the Centre for Education Technology) at UCT.

With a title like “Web Searches: Life Beyond Google“, it promised to be both fascinating and instructive. I clearly wasn’t the only one who felt like that, as the teaching lab was filled to capacity at 10h00 this morning. In the crowd, I spotted two more students in our research group, and even our Head of Department.

The two presenters got as far as introducing themselves, when … kerklunk…. the power went out.

As it is clearly impossible to have a hands-on workshop on search engines and the internet without electricity, the convenor wisely decided that it would have to be postponed. I’ll let you know what I learn when the workshop actually takes place.

So I trudged back to my office.

It lay in murky darkness, with little strips of light filtering through the closed blinds. An eerie silence filled the room. The customary buzz of all our electrical gadgets – printer/photocopier, PCs, aircon, network switch, fan – had stopped. Normally, I am oblivious of all these noises because they are always there… so their absence was quite spooky.

As we had been told that the electricity would only be switched on again in two-and-a-half hours, I decided it was the universe telling me to take the morning off and instead to have a chococcino and the most decadently moist chocolate cake at the Millstone Farmstall in Oude Molen.

So I did.

P.S. It looks as though there is a serious shortage of power generating capacity again, with nine of the 56 generators in South Africa failing over the past few days, and an additional nine being in maintenance. 18 out of 56, that’s like 32%, right? A third? Hmm…

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