This is the last week of classes; next week I give my students their final exam. So naturally it is only now that students are finally asking me things like "Why is there a zero for the grade on on my term paper?" The term papers were turned in weeks ago, of course. I not only post their grades weekly but also hand out hard copies of the spreadsheet in class every week so people can keep track of their grades and make sure that they get credit for the things they turn in.
Last night after class I got home and updated a pile of class material, answered students' emails, downloaded a few allegedly "gone lost" assignments that are just now trickling in, and so on. I have a gmail account specifically for their assignments so that I can archive them all for those "But I sent it and you replied to it!" arguments.
Today I have a lot of work to do at home, including more student material. So this morning at 7:25 I opened gmail to check for a few more entries, and [cue ominous music] that's when it started.
Instead of opening and loading quickly, as usual, gmail produced a new error that I hadn't seen before: the third party software error. (Yippee!) It also gave a number of suggested fixes, some of which seemed to apply to me (reconfigure McAfee privacy service to allow cookies from gmail.) So, did this mean that McAfee reconfigured or updated itself during the night all of a sudden? Perhaps.
Anyway, I spent the next half hour repeatedly following the simple instructions that McAfee gave for reconfiguring the cookie acceptance dealie. However, it stubbornly refused me entry into its "options" and would only allow me to change my password, over and over. And over. I even went into the program files and reinstalled it a few times to make sure I really am an administrator , while resetting it to accept ALL cookies (still not allowing me into "options", where I could allow an individual site's cookies). I even changed my browser settings to accept cookies from gmail. I turned off McAfee entirely!
That was when the roofers arrived. You may recall that I live on the top floor...