I love teaching at UW-Madison’s Writers’ Institute. This year was my third time, but my first time using a projector. Everything was taken care of in advance: conference rooms, projectors, screens. Nothing was left undone.
Imagine my surprise when I went into my first room, set my laptop on the podium and wondered, How on earth do I get what’s on my screen to “talk” to the projector so it can show the audience?
I ran to Laura Kahl. She’s like a kick-butt, young faerie godmother, and MacGyver combined; she’s the maestro that keeps everything and everyone in harmony!
Way too polite to point out that I was supposed to have brought an adapter, she immediately pointed out one of the Madison Concourse Hotel IT guys. “He’s got a dongle,” she said. My eyebrows shot into my hairline. “He’ll get you set up.”
I approached the handsome young IT guy and said, “Pardon me, do you have a dongle I can borrow?” He answered with a great big smile, “I’d be happy to loan you my dongle.” And we both burst out laughing!
That little piece of equipment is what kept my audience connected to what was happening on my laptop screen. At the end of the conference, I returned the adapter to the technician. The first thing I did when I got back to Boise was to purchase a dongle of my own at the Apple store.
What keeps you connected?
LOL! It is always handy to have a fellow with a dongle around. I do love the young folks with their technical acumen. Thye have come to my rescue many times.
Darlene — Like you, I admire people with technical acumen 🙂
I make a habit of keeping many different ways of connecting. Being something of the ultimate boy scout I usually have multiple “dongles” in the zip pocket of my laptop bag.
I keep myself engaged in many different networks – a list of some on my blog
At the report-back of the post earthquake Ministry of Primary Industries funded science teams last week, I was called in to coordinate all the audiovisual gear for the 15 different presenters. A couple of minor glitches, but they were sorted out fairly quickly. The evening seemed to go well.
Just got home from my 4th meeting this afternoon (streamcare group, cycle club, boating club, then Lions Club). Ailsa, Jody and I walked out and saw an elephant seal (an unusual visitor in these parts) this morning, and I sorted out some IT issues for a business between meetings this afternoon. About ready for bed. Just have to walk Huia and I can call it a night.
Ted — No wonder you were called upon to coordinate all the audiovisual gear for the 15 different presenters. Clearly they know the right person to tap on the shoulder! 🙂
I wish there was a dongle to connect so many people who seem utterly disconnected. I´m pleased it all worked out well!
Olga — Wouldn’t it be cool if in this disconnected world we would all decide to connect and practice intentional kindness 🙂
Love the double entendre. Always very useful to have a handsome man with a dongle around the house.
Bernadette — I know. Right?! 🙂
Technology! Sometimes it is trying. I just want all the companies to make their technologies compatible so there don’t need to be so many different kinds of dongles.
Arlene — Right?! I use a Mac, but have to convert documents from Pages to Word before I send it to my editor. And that’s just one small example… 🙂
I must ask my husband (retired computer tech) about dongles. How has he never mentioned that word?!
LoisaJay — I betcha he’ll know all about dongles.
Oh, he had to tell me all the different things a dongle is…..never ask a computer guy a ‘simple’ question. There is no simple answer!
LoisaJay — 🤣🤣🤣
Don’t you love those presentation tech issues. Good to know about dongles, ha! Laptop and phone are vital. Power went down this week (for only an hour). I use these moments to check my readiness for longer power failures (or scarier grid failures). I purchased a “power bank” for charging my phone. Haven’t figured out yet how to use it; does one have to pre-charge it. No instructions. As a slow technology adapter generally, I think so many techies assume knowledge or talk in techie language. I work at staying current and yet often hit brick walls. Fortunately, I do have good friends who are savvy to the tech world.
Audrey — I would be utterly, completely, and totally lost in the black hole of technology if it weren’t for Len. I try to stay somewhat savvy, but it seems to change overnight 🙂
Your story prompted a memory. A partner and I were team teaching at the college with a full auditorium. In the midst of a PowerPoint presentation, we tried to connect to a movie clip from The Witness, and something went wrong. While my colleague scrambled to find the solution, I entertained the audience with my experience of cooperation in the Mennonite community.
We found a technology fix and the beat went on, but the audience wanted more stories. It occurs to me now that their response has fed into my impulse to write memoir.
Here’s to dongles, an unforgettable story, Laurie!
Marian — I L-O-V-E your story! I can absolutely see how that experience would feed your desire to write memoir 🙂
That could have gotten uncomfortable in a hurry. Glad you were able to get everything working.
Craig — I’m so glad the “wrinkles” were ironed out of the fabric in a quick hurry. Whew! 🙂
As the director of the Writers’ Institute I am so happy to hear that Laura and the IT gentleman were there to assist you Laurie. I want everyone to know that your presentations at this year’s conference were outstanding, as usual, and that you inspired many of our writers – and I’m happy the dongle was there to save the day. Here’s to you – and the dongle! Applause, applause!!
Laurie — Thank you so much for your kind words. As you know, whether I’m in the audience or at the podium, I ❤️ the Writers’ Institute!
Funny Dongle joke. You’re my blogging fairy godmother. Loved your presentation at the Writers’ Institute!
FakeFlamenco — Oh, how fun to be your blogging faerie godmother. I’m tickled!
I need a dongle!! Love this Laurie!
Marianne — I’m so glad you enjoyed this post. Thank you for letting me know 🙂
Well, it’s no wonder your numbers are sky-high, Laurie! I thought I was going to be reading an X-rated post. Turns out it’s just tech-porn.
Donna — I’m laughing out loud at the idea of “tech-porn” 🤣🤣🤣
LOL! I didn’t care much for the word dongle when Peter first mentioned that it would be a good idea to buy one for our travels, so I called it ‘the pingle’ and that stuck. It has come very handy over the last year and that’s how I have managed to post my blog on the move. It is a wonderful device, whatever you want to call it! 👍😂
Fatima — I like “pingle.” It sounds like a Christmas cookie! 🙂
Haha. That’s an idea! 😂
Ah, you are so fortunate. Most places, including many prestigious universities, require Mac users to provide their own dongle and expect them to know that ahead of time. I vaguely recall a similar situation at a Story Circle Conference presentation I was scheduled to do about then years ago. But it wasn’t a dongle. Whatever the problem, it’s unnerving to step up and not be able to just plug in. Nice when everyone has a sense of humor!
Sharon — You’re absolutely right. This could have gone south fast, but everyone had a great sense of humor 🤣
I loved your story about the dongle. You have a gift for storytelling. I felt like I was right there with you.
Your story reminds me of the time I found a little piece of plastic at the ferry terminal. I brought to the booth and said, “I don’t know what this is but it looks important.” My face was a little red after uttering this confession because most people know my husband as a computer guy.
The person in the booth said, “I don’t know what it is either but it does look important.” And we shared a laugh.
I’m pleased to report that the owner of the piece of plastic did return and was overjoyed that it (whatever it was) was still there.
Leanne — I’m glad you enjoyed this post. And I love the story you shared because I can relate; I can see myself doing the same thing as YOU 🙂
Every single time I think how far we’ve come due to technology, I am simply amazed. The benefits could be certainly rewarding… it’s up to us to choose how to use it … sending love dear Laurie 😘☀️
Aquileana — You’re absolutely right. How we use technology is a choice. Our motivation(s) should be positive, uplifting, constructive, and healing 🙂
What is keeping me “connected” as I teach my summer enrichment literature program for the twenty-eighth consecutive year is the invaluable learning tool, the ole “smart board” where I can display films, photographs, audio readings, video readings and other fascinating documentation. It really adds many dimensions!
Fabulous post here!
Sam — As a VISUAL/TACTILE learner, I can especially appreciate your “smart board.” How cool is that?! 🙂
I forgot my dongle to connect my Iphone to the car sound system so we could listen to our audio book on our 19 hours of driving last November. So I just turned up the volume and held the phone between the seats so front and back could listen – my arm kept getting exhausted at all the good parts!!! I need a different dongle to hook up other equipment and yes everything is sold separately these days. I even need one to use my head phones. Oh my! Glad your system worked out and you could complete your class with program. Whew!
Patricia — Holding up your phone so everyone could hear during a 19-hour drive sounds awful. Absolutely awful! 😩
Ah, so that’s what a dongle is. Hopefully I’ll never get caught without one!
Carrie — I’ll add my wish to yours. I’m hoping you’ll never get caught without one, too! 🙂
My dongle is Presence. Without that things tend to lose depth and intimacy. Glad the Universe helps you out!
Kathy — Presence is an unbeatable connector.
Dongles rule ok ! 😂 love it .
Breath , nature and the incredible, amazing internet .
Cherry — I’m glad you got a kick out of this post 🤣
Heh, heh, heh … I, too, can seldom keep a straight face around dongles. 😀
Widdershins — Your comment made me laugh!
Let’s face it. You get to an age where you don’t even think to ask someone for a loan their dongle.
Coral — 🤣🤣🤣🤣
What fun! I wish connectivity was as easy as owning a dongle! (Or borrowing one.) Very fun post, Laurie. I stay connected in many ways: to friends: e-mail, phone, long walks and lunches with those who are local, texts; to family: texts, photos, visits near and far, many many hugs; to myself: long walks alone, meditation, inward smiles, and once in a while, a “talking-to.” 🙂 xo
Pam — I love your examples of staying connected to others and with yourself 🙂