Dear College Professor Having Trouble With The Audiovisual Equipment,

Our son is at sleepaway camp this week, and I think he's more homesick than he is letting on. I want to drive up there and check on him, but my husband insists that we stay at home and let him get through it by himself. I understand my husband's thinking, but my Greg is only 11 years old. Am I just afraid to let go?

Worried Mom In Montana

Dear Worried Mom In Montana,

Okay class, so today we are going to be talking about geopolitical competition in Armenia during the Middle Ages. As soon as the projector gets going, we'll start. Sometimes it just takes a few minutes to warm up. Um, while we have a little bit of time, does anybody have any questions? Anything about the reading for today or about what we talked about on Monday? No? Well, just a couple more seconds here and we should be on our way. Hmm, I feel like that light should be green. Anyway, I'll just get started, and when it comes on I'll….Okay, something is definitely not right. The screen should not be blinking like that.

Dear College Professor Having Trouble With The Audiovisual Equipment,

Yesterday I was buying groceries, and I got distracted for a moment at the checkout. I could have sworn I gave the cashier a $20 bill, but she said I never paid. I didn't want to hold up the line or look like a cheapskate so I gave her another twenty, but I am certain I overpaid. Should I go back to the store and say something or just accept this as "one of those things?"

—Twenty Short In Sharpsburg

Dear Twenty Short In Sharpsburg,

There's a checklist on the lectern here. One, make sure your computer power is on. Okay. Two, log on with your UTA Net password. Did that. Three, plug the cables (VGA/audio) provided on the lectern into your laptop. Hmm. If your laptop does not show up, hold down the "fn" key. What does that mean? Does anybody know what that means? Any of you guys know about this stuff? Brian, you don't know anything about this stuff, do you? Now it's saying "No Input in VID 2." VID 2, VID 2, VID 2. Should it be VID 1? Does that make any sense? Isn't VID 1 the DVD player? All right, I'm going to try turning it off and back on again. Class, you can relax for a few minutes while I figure this out, but once we get started we're going to have to zip through some of this. We're still having that exam on Friday.

Dear College Professor Having Trouble With The Audiovisual Equipment,

It's embarrassing to say, but I am 26 years old and I don't own a suit. I know, it's ridiculous. Now a lot of my friends are getting married, and I'm tired of being the guy at the wedding in khaki pants. People say buying a nice suit is a good investment, but I know it's going to be a hassle. Any tips for a first-time suit buyer?

Suit For A Scottsdale Man

Dear Suit For A Scottsdale Man,

Hello, this is Professor Collins calling. Yes, hi. I'm in Jacob Sleeper Lecture Hall in the CGS building, and I'm having trouble with the projector. Well, the screen started blinking, and then it stopped, and then we could kind of make out the first slide, but the colors were all weird. Right now? Right now I'm looking at a blank screen, but the icons on my computer are really big. Is that normal? Right. Right. I have a quick question though: The fan on the projector is louder than it usually is. Is that something? Okay. The VGA adapter is the one with the prongs, right? The one with those two prong things on the sides that screw in? I put that in Input 2. Yes, I know there was a piece of scotch tape over Input 2 that said, "Never use," but I had to try something. My computer? It's a Mac. I'm using Keynote. I don't know what version of OSX it is. I don't know…I don't know…I don't know that either. Could you just send somebody over here, please? Thanks. Class, it looks like it's going to be another 10 minutes.

Dear College Professor Having Trouble With The Audiovisual Equipment,

I'm an avid golfer, and lately I've been in a real slump. Usually, I fade the ball off the tee, but the last couple rounds I've been hitting these huge pull hooks. On my down swing, it feels like my entire right side is taking over, and I think that's causing me to come dead over the top. Do you think it's just a tempo issue, or is it more mechanical?

Snap Hooking In Hannastown

Dear Snap Hooking In Hannastown,

So, um, who here is going home for Thanksgiving?

Confidential to Jumper In Youngstown

Hello, it's Professor Collins again. Yes, hi. So we have a picture now, which is great, but there's no sound. Yes, Jeremy came in here and hooked everything up, so I don't know what's wrong. Of course my computer volume isn't all the way—never mind. I think we'll be fine. Thank you.

Robert Collins is a syndicated advice columnist whose weekly column, “Ask A College Professor Having Trouble With The Audiovisual Equipment,” is featured in more than 250 newspapers nationwide.