**This story was sent to me by a former graduate assistant who helped us extensively when migrating from Blackboard/WebCT to Moodle in the summer of 2009. Obviously, every program has bugs so I don't want anyone to think that we are ditching Moodle...we are still on Moodle and like it a lot! I thought this story was funny and wanted to share!
(Read in a private investigator voice)
It was late in the evening. I was tired from work and planned to go to
bed early. I skipped my nightly routine of checking email and my
favorite blogs. I turned down the bed, plugged in my cell phone to
charge, and brushed my teeth. I slipped into bed and fluffed my
pillow. As my eyes shut, I felt relaxed. But not for long.
My eyes shot open. The cell phone next to me lit the dark room and
buzzed loudly against the wood surface of my nightstand. It was my
mother. She never calls this late. That is, unless something is
wrong. And some was very, very wrong.
"Austin, I'm having computer problems," she said as I tried to awaken
"I'm trying to setup this website for my classroom and I'm getting
really frustrated," she huffed.
My mother is a second grade teacher. And a good one. She could whip
any snotty nosed kid into shape, and turn him into the "yes ma'am, no
ma'am" kid every parent wanted.
But she couldn't tame this problem. Her twenty year tenure as a
teacher was no help. No. This was bigger. Too powerful. Too
I listened to her struggle to explain the problem. She tried to use
technical terms like "HTML" and "text editor" but it didn't make
sense. It didn't add up. Something wasn't right.
"Can I look at it tomorrow?" I asked.
"No. It's due tomorrow."
By now, I was fully awake. Adrenaline set in and I knew it was going
to be a long night.
There was a new superintendent in town and he brought new ideas with
him. The man is known for his lust for technology. iPads, laptops,
eBooks. You name it, he wanted it in your classroom. And my mother was
not spared. He demanded every classroom have their own website. Simple
enough right? Well, this is no ordinary website.
"It's something called Moodle," she explained.
Her words echoed through my ears as flashbacks of past Moodle problems
ran through my mind. Yes, Moodle and I have had a long history
together. And it wasn't pretty.
My mother explained that her course had been restored from last year.
But the outcome was... unexpected. I got out of bed and sat down in
front of my computer. She directed me how to login to her Moodle
course. The login page brought back memories. It had been a long time
since I had logged into Moodle, but everything felt all too familiar.
I typed in the user name and password and tapped Enter. The course
list appeared with only one course. I hesitated before I clicked the
link to enter her course. Was I still good enough? Could an old dog
like me still handle a Moodle problem? I didn't have time to be
scared. I clicked.
The page rendered. I froze.
It was horrific. The labels. The colors. The font. They were all
mutilated. Single words were as big as my screen. Labels extended
horizontally far off the page. Sentences were garbled together. The
site was unusable. I had never seen it this bad.
I didn't know where to start. So much damage. Something in the
backup-restore process went seriously wrong. And it seemed
But my past life encouraged me to press on. I cut through the filth
and clutter. I deleted labels and removed sections. Clicking and
editing. Clicking and editing. It seemed endless but I knew I couldn't
give up. Not this last time.
Finally, it was finished. Cleaned and built from the ground up. I
presented the site to my mother.
"Check it now," I said.
"That looks great! Exactly what I wanted. I was about to give up on Moodle."
Me too, Mom. Me too.