Early Monday morning, after witnessing Intro to Computer Science Professor Lawrence Higby struggling with the classroom projector for half an hour, students resorted to shouting instructions at him in an effort to help. Students reported finding their collective patience thinning rapidly as they sat in their seats and stared at the “No Source Found” message while the professor fiddled with the settings for the majority of the allotted class time.
According to sources on the scene, the tragedy (and the day’s class) was nearly avoided altogether. Initially, Higby mistook the blue “No Source” projection on the wall for Windows’ Blue Screen of Death and nearly dismissed the class, but when a student in the front row suggested that Higby jiggle the cables a little bit — chaos broke loose. One by one, voices piped up until every student was doing their best to guide their confounded professor.
Higby continued tinkering with the computer, working with the control panel settings and trying to figure out what the root of the issue was, despite the clamorous howls of advice from his students. Suggestions included rebooting the whole system, changing the projector’s channel, and just using the classroom computer instead. Higby ignored their requests and simply continued to mess with the touchpad, toggling the light switches and deafening the room with feedback from his microphone.
“I really don’t blame him,” said TA Stephanie Wilders, citing the projector’s labyrinthine controls. “The channel labeled ‘Laptop’ hooks up to the desktop, ‘Display’ hooks up to the laptop, the audio never works, and for some reason, ‘PC’ connects to the DVD player. Once I had to teach the class by burning my PowerPoint to a disc and timing my lecture to the video.”
By and large, the students were not so sympathetic. “We’re like six weeks into the semester, he really should have figured this out by now,” said sophomore Roy Rollins. “As soon as he pulls out his laptop bag, I just leave.”
After about thirty minutes of diligently ignoring his students, Higby ended up worming his way into the computer’s BIOS where he somehow managed to increase the computer’s fan speeds to the highest level and disable the graphics card. By then, the yells had died down, mainly because most of the class had left, abandoning the computer science doctorate to his devices.
In the last twenty minutes of class, Higby continually switched between HDMI and VGA inputs, ignoring the cries of his remaining students who were attempting to warn him that his MacBook was not actually connected to anything. Finally, the professor settled for displaying his laptop screen on the Elmo, showing the week’s homework to the five students remaining in class.
The Stallion reached out to Professor Higby for a comment, which he agreed to give, though he only had time for a remote interview over Skype. Sadly the interview was abandoned, as Higby couldn’t figure out how to get the microphone and webcam to work at the same time.