Monday, February 14, 2022

busy Stellarium day

What a day. What a day for Stellarium training!

We were expecting some... additional interest. When the RASC Weekly e-newsletter rolls out on Monday morning with a reference to a Stellarium software training course, there is usually a gaggle of members who sign up.

And those training course references happen as the RASC calendar is scrapped for content... So if I remember to populate the calendar, we get an automatic slot in the e-news.

Today's RASC Weekly noted not one but two Stellarium courses! And the floodgates opened.

Some 15 people reached out. (Day's not done yet, either!)

So this meant for a lot of wrangling of humans from across the country, updating the master registration database, loading waiting lists, pulling a few from the waiting list into the Tue 15 Feb level 1 and Thu 17 Feb level 2 courses, clarifying backgrounds and experience, and some long distance phone tag. 

And then I discovered the first dozen applications I processed, I did wrong! Duh. I wondered why I wasn't getting replies to somewhat urgent queries. When I replied to the application form, I did not notice it used the incoming address! Crikey. So I had to redo a bunch of sends. Stupid Gmail doesn't support a normal POP/IMAP re-send so it was a LOT of copyin' and pastin'. Gah.

(That may be correctable... I will check the form properties.)

Lesson learned. [ed: Fixed form settings!]

On top of all this, today was the one-week-out magic date for the next Stellarium course, the Mon 21 Feb level 3 session, which I'm teaching for the first time. So another batch of messages went out the outbox.

Oh. Before doing that, I had to update the lesson files, having recently decided to switch to a winter landscape from spring-time. They were on the loaner Lenovo. And built the very first level 3 advance event (and template) in our Zoom Meetings account.

Created a new boilerplate for future notifications. 

(Yesterday I drafted the new level 3 evaluation and updated the slide deck.)

All the while I was noticing a pattern in the level 2 requests. People weren't answering a specific question. Light bulb! It must be a missing field! PEBKAC. [ed. Added!]

Tidied the inbox (particular of circular duplicate messages to myself!).

Reviewed Ian B's new level 2 slide with the data flow infographic. Gave some suggestions.

Opened the matter with the team, picking more training dates, for March and April now...

I think I got everything sorted out.


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