Technology dislikes me. I don’t know what I have done to offend the electrical appliances of planet earth, but something must have happened for them to all decide to congregate together in a universal crusade against me.
A week before I left for America my laptop died a gory death (think Game of Thrones) and my life ended (as it did after episode nine of the third season of Game of Thrones). Five days later I was packed off to the US with a laptop from the Stone Age. The touchpad doesn’t work properly, its fan makes a sound just at that annoying level between quiet and loud and it won’t connect to the internet.
You might be thinking, “Oh,that’s because of URI’s not-so-great Wi-Fi,” but as the laptop belongs to me, the solution was never going to be that simple. I took it to the library in my first week to try and install Xpress Connect to log on to URI_Secure, but it crashed. Clearly the laptop was around before the internet was invented so it doesn’t know how to cope.
Now, if I ever want to access the internet, my options are painfully limited. Therefore, I have become a library hermit. Hiding away in the deepest recesses of the computer area, I have become trapped in a nightmare or a horrific time loop, unable escape an endless cycle of reading and analyzing and printing and quizzes that all require your computer to be capable of accessing the internet, which for most people isn’t too much to ask.
One thing that really annoys me about the library computers (apart from their incorrect spelling) is their ability to destroy your spirit just as you reach your lowest point. They can do this in two ways: They will either refresh just as you have properly written out your bibliography following the “Chicago Manual of Style” to the exact comma, or fully stop, dumping the ridiculously tedious work you had been gradually tweaking for the past hour. Â Sometimes the computer will arbitrarily claim that “this web page is unavailable” and forget the answers to your reading quiz on Sakai which you had been collecting from countless online sources set to read that week.
In some ways I have begun to appreciate the library. Although I feel like it’s a borderline case of Stockholm syndrome – I’m stuck in there for so long that my principles are becoming warped and I am beginning to enjoy being there.
For example, the history nerd inside of me got all excited as I had to go up to the archives and look through the microfilm for one of my essays. In fact, I actually felt disappointed on Sunday when I realized the library wouldn’t be open until 1 p.m. I ended up sitting outside for a while just waiting to go in like a groupie at a concert. I feel that this is the point where I should begin reevaluating my priorities. While it’s good to be a conscientious student, impatiently waiting for the library to open on a Sunday morning could be seen as a bit too keen.
With the absence of my laptop in my room, I’m actually forced to do all that work I’m assigned. Gone are the days of watching YouTube videos of cute cats or filling in Buzzfeed quizzes to discover the answers to serious life-changing questions such as “Which Kind of Chinese Food Are You?” Â I have the time to appreciate things like the sunshine or something else less pretentious. However, my iPod can connect to the internet, which reduces my web withdrawal symptoms, so I can use Skype to call home.
Skype calls can be intensely frustrating as I have yet to find a magical place where the Wi-Fi won’t cut out as soon as I’ve said hi. It’s great keeping up with my friends, but they always say things like, “Hurry up and come home!” or “Why are you in America for so long?” I keep telling them to stop as a semester really isn’t that long and I will be home soon.
While it may seem like I’m doing an awful lot of complaining, I really am going to miss America for so many reasons. Â With all of these character-building exercises, or as my dad calls them “my daily misfortunes,” I’m teaching myself to persevere as things really aren’t as bad as they may seem. Â