Botticelli, The Abyss of Hell. Pen and brush on vellum (32 x 47 cm), dated c. 1485; Biblioteca Apostolica Vaticana
I.T. Guys (a term I use in a gender-free way, BTW) are some of the most powerful people on campus, and distinct in the kind of power they hold. Other people might have a way either to get in the way of your teaching or to ruin your morale; usually there is a way to leapfrog the truly troublesome by finding someone else to get you what you need. Not so for tech, specially trained people with super-specific skills, who could ruin your day in all kinds of ways (as brilliantly portrayed by Jimmy Fallon some years ago). When you really need these people, you really need them. And that goes for everyone from the top of Admin Hill to everyone toiling in Adjunct Valley.
And so, when my laptop did that black-screen-of-death thing a few days ago, I had to call upon the assistance of our campus I.T. Dept. but, rather than face the shame and anxiety that I’ve experienced elsewhere, I knew our guys would sweep into action like the Justice League, just with less spandex. Our heroes not only fix problems but manage to do so without making us feel dumb, which is really, really appreciated by a tender academic’s ego. They’re more like hiply-shorn and -shod Jedi masters than Caped Crusaders by nature, but I like the idea in this picture, pummeling the nonsense out of my joker of a laptop. Blam!
Thanks, guys. And I promise, if you did decide to start wearing capes, absolutely no one would make fun of you.