I just needed to run a cable thru a wall…


I got back from a walk, ready to get some work done, but first i needed to re-route an Ethernet cable.

We live in a small town on the prairies of Illinois which has meant being held hostage to the local phone company for internet access for twenty years.  An industrious young farmer/tech guy/drone surveyor/entrepreneur just setup high speed wireless internet from the grain elevator, and so I upgraded. I felt like Neo or that kid in Ready Player One, except when my Google didn’t work. I have been having issue which I have been blaming on Google for the past month or so and it has been made all the more frustrating with my new access to high speed internet.  Yesterday I finally determined it was my wireless hardware on my PC that was giving me the issues not Google.  Simple solution…run a hard wire to the router.

From a technical and handyman standpoint this was no big deal.  I built this house 20 years ago, and added my daughter’s suite and the room where the computer lives about 8 years ago.  I framed, wired, plumbed, etc everything myself so running a wire is no big deal.  (Side note: if you are the builder, the 20 year old moron whose work you have to adjust, fix, etc 20 years later is YOU). Regardless, in the time it has taken you to read this I should have had the wire run.

  • I drilled the hole through 8 1/2″ of formerly exterior wall
  • I fabricated a collared wall conduit from PVC both for function and aesthetics
  • I got ready to drill a hole through the cherry wood butcher block telephone desk where the router sits.

When my wife came down the stairs…

  • “Do you have to drill a hole through that?”
  • “Can you run the wire somewhere else?”
  • “Besides, I was hoping you could sand out the scuffs on the butcher block and refinish it.”

Uuuugghhhhh….. (An already long story somewhat shorter)

  • To run the wire I removed the telephone desk
  • I refinished the telephone desk.
  • To reinstall I needed an Ethernet cable
  • To get to the Ethernet cable I had to clean the storage room in the basement
  • To clean the basement I need to change the bulb in the storage room light.
  • I have an extra LED fixture I wanted down there anyway, so I removed the old fixture
  • To wire in the new fixture I decided that the 20 year old “temporary” fixture wiring should be done more appropriately
  • I rewired the storage room light circuit to better meet code
  • Installed the light
  • Carried all of the “sh…stuff” my wife decided needed donated somewhere to the van
  • Supervised the 13 year old who was told his Lego “sh…stuff” needed cleaned as well.
  • Didn’t find the cable
  • Went and got a new cable….and lunch
  • Ran three cables while I was running cable
  • Had the 13 year old help me reinstall the desk
  • Waited for my wife to clean the dreaded telephone desk “catch-all” drawer where we found a ti-82, ti-83, and ti-85 graphing calculator along with a great deal of detritus.
  • Replaced all associated drawers
  • Put my daughter down for a nap
  • Finished hooking up the network wiring
  • Tested the finished product…

Aaannnnd… Decided it might make a good blog about how being a teacher is time consuming, but not because of the 45 minutes in the class period. 

  • Teachers need time to plan.
  • Planning required trial and error
  • Using teaching tools means learning the tool ourselves
  • Many of us are parents and are therefore chauffeurs.
  • Effectively using a teaching tool means integrating it into our classroom process
  • Many of us are spouses and are therefore handy-persons, closet organizers, junk removers
  • Creating resources with new teaching tools takes time
  • If the tool involves technology we must ferret out all the gremlins
  • We are all laundry doers and lunch makers
  • Finally, to get our teaching planning done we may need to run a schferdy-burndy-verndy-mother-loving-CABLE!!!

I love my wife, I love my kids, and I mostly love my job.  I love teaching, I love sharing about teaching, and I mostly like my students. However good teaching, like good home maintenance, and like good family life all takes time.  Finding the right balance means that sometimes it takes 6 hours and 43 minutes to run a cable. 



2 Comments Add yours

  1. Andrew Swan says:

    This post reminds me of my father’s saying: “There’s no such thing as a 5-minute job.”

    Also, you reminded me that I kind of miss my TI-85 graphing calculator. We programmed games that were like Angry Birds. Sigh.


  2. Joy McCourt says:

    Ah, yes, there is so much “schferdy-burndy-verndy-mother-loving”ness to our jobs sometimes…gotta embrace the chaos or go insane!


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