Sayonara, New Jersey!

Trip Start Aug 07, 2009
Trip End Dec 31, 2009

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Flag of United States  , New Jersey
Thursday, December 17, 2009

Hey folks! Sorry it's been so long since our last entry! It's been a busy week. I'm going to fill you in on this past week, working backwards. Bear with me :)

* * *
Kelsey says "New Jersey Officially hates us!  But we don't like it either!!!!"

Well, New Jersey wouldn't let us leave its turf forever without biting us one last time.
We were scheduled for two shows, one at 8:00, the other at 8:45. The plan would then be to start our drive down to Washington, DC for our long weekend vacation. Seemed perfect.

Our middle school in Montclair was a first-timer to Camfel. Their high school had brought Camfel in a couple months ago and recommended it, so they were excited to have us.
About a third of the way through our first showing, the left DVD froze. Kelsey and I jumped up from our seats and rushed forward to address the problem. We have methods to re-synch the DVDs, but they didn't work. It continued to skip and freeze at other points. Finally, the DVD player stopped working altogether--none of the manual buttons responded.

Kelsey pulled the plug on the projector, so the entire left screen was blank. I meanwhile called our boss to try to diagnose the problem and prescribe a course of action. We concluded that we would have to completely switch out the bad DVD player with our spare. But of course, we couldn't really do that during the running of the show. So, we waited out the rest of the show, running with just the center and right screens.

The school, of course, wasn't very happy with this show. We reassured our contact person that we would have the second show up and running fine and in time. Sure enough, we switched out the bad player, inspected the DVDs, and played the show for the second group.

The second show went without a hitch, but we still needed to do some customer service work in order to salvage the situation. We offered to stay the afternoon and do some other show if they wanted, or the Camfel office could work with them to reschedule another free show at another date. We negotiated with the school to stay through their lunch/recess period. Since it was cold outside, the kids had indoor recess which ordinarily consists of sitting in the auditorium reading a book or something. Today, hoever, we kept the assembly set up in the auditorium, and groups of kids came in for about twenty minutes at a time and watched parts of another video. Six groups came through over the course of about two hours. The administration also liked this second video, and they are considering bringing it in next semester.
In addition, the kids filled out response forms created by the school for the evaluation of the assembly. Both groups of kids, even the kids who sat through the "ruined" video, gave high marks.
So, after all was said and done, the school forgave the technical malfunction, and was thankful for the opportunity to have us show videos through their indoor recess. They are looking forward to having us back next year. So, it was a win-win situation.

Consequently, we weren't able to leave until mid-afternoon, but that's okay--we were thankful there was no real deadline to be anywhere. We arrived at Kelsey's Aunt Shirley's house at 8:00 at night, had some dinner, chatted a bit, and called it a night.

Coming up, Kelsey's best friend Kasey is driving up from Virginia to spend the weekend with us in DC. We've booked a hotel just one block from the National Mall, so the location couldn't be better.

Forcast says snow... so...
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