We have been having some email problems on campus this week. I’m not sure what’s happening but I do know that our email server will be updated in some way on Sunday. I’m guessing the announcement of this update has something to do with the problems that I’ve been experiencing.
Email has been very slow. I’m using Zimbra as my email client and the slowness manifests itself in a number of ways. First, when I click on a message in my list, it sometimes takes 5 minutes or more for the body of the message to appear in the reading pane below the list. Second, once the message appears and I try to reply, it can take so long for the server to respond that I get a message saying that the server appears to be busy. The dialog box that appears makes it seem as though I can cancel the request to send the email and therefore, send the message again. Doing so will send the message to the recipient twice. Of course, waiting for the server to respond as I move from email to email or try to respond to an email is incredibly frustrating.
The thing that strikes me this week is how much I rely on email. I almost feel like I can’t work at all when my email isn’t working properly. I rely on email for so many things–committee communications, students handing in assignments, me grading assignments and sending the grades back to the students. Yesterday morning, I was trying to grade assignments for a class that had been sent via email and the delays between choosing the email from the list and the email actually being displayed were so significant that I would lose my train of thought about what I was doing. I was unable to grade the assignments in time for my class. The delays in email prevented me from doing my job! It’s not until email doesn’t work properly that I realize how much I rely on it in my work.
I am currently Professor of Digital Media at Plymouth State University in Plymouth, NH. I am also the current Coordinator of General Education at the University. I am interested in astrophotography, game studies, digital literacies, open pedagogies, and generally how technology impacts our culture.