By Rob Vlosky

The RIT/Lancaster campus is about four years old and is already showing signs of old age. Many office doors have locks that were made in, well, China, and have serious issues like not locking or unlocking. My key freewheels in the lock as I hope for the tumblers to find home and either let me in at the beginning of the day or secure the space when I leave.

Six weeks ago, when classes began, we were told that many offices, including the group office that I occupy, would have electronic locks installed so we could throw away the key and use the magic of technology to work the locks. This weekend they actually changed the locks but nobody can get into the offices because someone forgot to program our ID cards into the system, which doesn’t come back online until tomorrow, Monday, when the national holiday is officially over. And even then, it will probably be two or three more days until there is a cosmic re-boot and we can come and go relatively freely. We’ve been told that we can ask the security people to come up to the third floor to let us in or we could simply leave the office door unlocked.

Quick update on 4/10 – the door locks don’t work and the process-oriented staff tell me it will be another day or two before they can call over to the IT office, in the building next to ours, and tell them to remotely program our ID numbers into the locks. I’m wondering if they have to ask someone in Beijing for permission to do this.

4/12 – Yay! Forces collide in our new, shiny, and smart door locks, and they work. All is well in river city.

Speaking of the campus, the brand new library entrance doors have been closed for two months because some huge 3’ x 3’ square metal sheets have begun coming loose in the high winds and flying all over the place like deadly Frisbees! The library is beautiful but the only way in or out is by one small side door that is mercifully out of the wind. It’s a wonder that nobody has been decapitated here.

In a previous post I pointed out that there are only two copiers on campus, and to get to them you have to run the deadly gauntlet into the library. They’re ponderously slow and tend to make optically distorted copies, have no stapler, are unable to do laundry, etc. Last week I found out that there is a specific reason that the number of copiers is limited on this campus; student subversion. The Ministry of Containment of Independent Thought has a policy on limiting copiers on campuses so students, the future thought leaders of tomorrow, are limited in their ability to copy future-leaning thoughts and distribute them around campus. If you are a conspiracy theorist, this is just the place for you!

Hey, the other day I bought a LIFETIME PASS to all the busses here in Nanhai. Why was I able to do this? Because I am a senior citizen and entitled to all the perks that go with the job. Not bad for $4.80, eh? Speaking of being old, my friend Bob saw a sign in a hotel fitness center that read, “Children under twelve and people over sixty must be supervised.” Bob and I were in the train station yesterday on the way home from Yantai and two students from our campus introduced themselves to us by saying “hello grandfather.” Wow! Where’s my ginseng root