Losing a leg, keeping a hand.

When I started back in school, I had absolutely no idea just how much of it’s online these days. I was already privy to the information that little kids are becoming smarter than us, (Really, they’ve already been there for years. Brush up on your algebra now for the five year old you don’t even have yet.) and I knew that the Digital Age (It doesn’t have proper weight unless we capitalize, naturally) was already moving everything at lightspeeds. Yeah, yeah, okay, I’m there.

But even though I’d only been gone for six months, and I’d come fresh off an art school (or whatever name you want to grace the place I was last in with…), I really had no idea what I was getting into.

Blackboard, to me, was supposed to be for online classes. For those of you not in the know, it’s a software that was developed in the eighties, and according to my Astronomy teacher, has not changed since. You can post assignments, take tests, discuss things, blah blah blah. Outdated? Sure. But still the ‘perfect’ way to get online learning off the ground.

Then I found out how far it’s been integrated into every day classes that you’re paying to take in the flesh. Going green means E-Reserves, all your reading that isn’t in a book will now be found online. Discussions and blog posts for what you’ve just talked about that day will have to be posted by midnight that night. You will not have to just read thirty pages of some almighty figure from the eighteen hundreds, you will now also have to watch someone talk about him for fifteen to twenty minutes on YouTube. And on. And on. And on.

In a lot of ways it’s become a method to prove an adage I already knew; Seventy percent of the world’s college professors think their class is the most important.

This is not dumping on teachers, I promise. This is just dumping upon something that’s already hard enough becoming over inflated, the weight of which is intensely difficult to bear when you don’t have an internet connection. Besides, there’s still a fair amount who recognize their field may not be your entire world, but still push this hard because they feel they have something to teach you anyway. I understand that.

But oh Christ, oh Christ, this no internet thing.

My laptop, the one we rented when my computer died, weighs at least six pounds. I’ll call it seven with the power cord, which has to be brought around because they gave us a faulty battery, and the thing dies at random. As of today, I’ve begun carrying this (as well as numerous other items, including my lunch, books, notebooks, and so on.) godforsaken lump of plastic around in order to use the school’s WiFi, because the only alternative option is trying to get through my workload for my classes with the allotted two hours a day on the school’s computers.

This would be fine if I was as strong and durable as you’re supposed to be at my age, but I have a bad back. And it cannot take this kind of strain. But I don’t have a choice, so I’m doing it anyway.

I will restrain from keeping my blog posts from getting too ragey while this is happening, but I have a sneaking suspicion those who have to deal with me in every day life will not be so lucky.

There’s the option of using N’s WiFi, but I’d wind up living there, and eventually sticking my head in my laptop for hours at a time instead of engaging in human interaction would start to feel a bit wrong on my part. There’s the local library, but they give you fifteen minutes a pop before you wind up jumping from computer to computer.

So this is it. Until the situation with our internet is fixed, this is all there is.

There’re people in the world who have to suffer through far worse, but as someone who’s already holding tenuous ground with half her classes, and falling behind in others, I can’t help but feel like the walls are closing in.

Which is really indicative of the times, and something many’ve lamented before me; the second you’re cut off, your world becomes an episode of South Park. (And now that I’ve made that reference, I’ll shut up about that part.)

Still, it could be worse. I could have no laptop to drag around in the first place. I do recognize that. But I can already feel the strain on my shoulder as I type this. By the end of the week, I’m going to be lucky if I can get out of bed.

I’ve downloaded everything I can for my reading for tomorrow, time to go see if there’s anything I’ve missed. But hey, one more positive counterpoint to all this? If I don’t drop some more pounds from lugging all this around, my body’s clinging to it just to spite me.

Ending on a happy thought really does feel good.


~ by Sara on November 7, 2011.

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