Feb 23, 2010

Cause & Effect

Earlier this week I decided to write a blog about Dante's Inferno (the book, not the video game). I wanted to put some effort into it, so I have been doing some research and whatnot in preparation for all the fun-filled blogging that would follow. One of the reasons for writing about Dante's Inferno was because I wrote a kick-ass paper about it for my first college course that asked me to do so. I haven't been able to locate the paper for the reasons I will detail below, and before I could start writing about Dante's Inferno, I now have to get off my chest how I wasted the past two hours of my life due some total and complete FAIL that occurred seven years ago. If you are somewhat interested in learning how I went from ::Summer, 2002 - Happily selecting college courses for fall semester, freshman year at UD to ::February 23, 2010 - Frustration level = 10/10, house about to be burned to the ground, then keep on reading. If not, then do yourself a favor and click on the "X" in the top right-hand corner of your screen.

Summer/Fall, 2002
During the summer before my first semester at UD would begin, I sat down at the computer and selected some of the courses I wanted to take. A lot of them were general classes, but at the bottom of one of the course selection screen was a little check box that said 'Core Program' next to it. I checked it, and went on to the next page. It gave a brief description of what Core was all about. To summarize,
The Core Program offers an innovative, interdisciplinary curriculum program consisting of a sequence of courses that fulfill many of the University's General Education Requirements. These courses address a common theme, "Human Values in a Pluralistic Culture," and are carefully coordinated with one another so that students experience the integrated character of the liberal arts. Extra-curricular speakers, arts events, and other activities related to course content are an important part of the program. The 150 students selected each year represent a cross-section of new students, with differing backgrounds and abilities. Core is designed to deepen the learning experience of any interested University of Dayton student. Students from the University's four undergraduate schools – the College of Arts and Sciences, the School of Business Administration, the School of Education, and the School of Engineering – participate in the Core Program. Students can also earn credit toward the Honors Program with Core courses.

On a side note, the description did not mention anything about an honors program, and was instituted after I was all done with it - even though the workload was ridiculous and no "extra credit" was rewarded for busting my balls for two and a half years. Regardless, I signed up for Core. My first class at UD was your basic honors type of English class (but not really honors). So the curriculum was built around reading books, discussing the material, and writing papers about them. Our professor also drove in our minds time and time again that the department rarely, if ever, handed out an "A" on a paper due to the fact that "there is no perfect paper." So by that standard alone, the grade scale just got bumped down to a "D" being the norm, and if you got a "C-" you did a really good job. People were pissed. It was total hysteria when papers were handed back out.

For one particular assignment, we were tasked with writing a paper about Dante's Inferno. The requirements of the paper was that we take someone from modern day society and place them in one of the Rings of Hell and go into incredible detail about it. I picked Hitler, put him straight in Satan's mouth all the way down in the bottom of Hell, and wrote the perfect paper. If this was a song, it would be Tenacious D's "Tribute." When I got the paper back, the prof went on and on about how great my paper was, and he gave me a "B+" for my efforts.

Christmas Eve, 2003
The day before the holiest of days, my drunken cousin spilled a giant glass of wine on my laptop, mp3 player, and cell phone. The laptop was my shitty UD-issued Tangent laptop, which coincidentally housed all the papers I had written in college, including my Hitler paper. The mp3 player was brand new. The cell phone was one of those fancy (at the time) $200 Sprint camera phones. All three electronic devices were hosed. Totally shot. No chance of recovery.

January through Spring, 2004
Epic struggle with insurance company to replace laptop. I won. Enter $600 Dell Inspiron 1100.

Sometime after wine spilling and getting new laptop
I was able to transfer documents that were saved to a flash drive from my original laptop on to my new laptop. Crisis adverted.

Fall, 2006
The LCD screen on my laptop goes out. The laptop still works, the screen is just black. As a workaround, one can hook up a VGA port from the laptop to another computer and monitor and work off of that.

I hooked up my laptop to one of my monitor's, powered it up, and after some frustration involving rebooting both computers several times in weird combinations, I was able to get the laptop display to show up on one of my alternative monitors. I searched the laptop for my Hitler/Inferno paper. Zero results found. I did find some other papers I wanted to send myself, but this required a wireless Internet connection that I couldn't acquire because I didn't have my router's secured password and wasn't able to retrieve it because I couldn't see what was on my actual computer's desktop and did not want to reset the router. I cut my losses and unplugged the laptop and threw it into the corner of my room. After I hooked everything back up, I was left with two blank monitors staring back at me. Reboot. Same deal. Unplug a VGA cord. Same thing. Safe mode, VGA mode, recover last working setting, all fail. I tried every thinkable combination. Still no good. And mind you, this is what I do for a living kind of, so if it's not working, I am getting irritated by this point, which I was. The problem was that the computer was still looking for the third monitor, which was no longer there. So after two hours, I managed to get everything back to how I wanted it. And two hours later, I was exactly where I had previously started off, except this time, pissed off. So on that note, I can start to write up my Dante's Inferno blog. Cause: people are idiots. Effect: AWAL B+ Hitler paper, high blood pressure, headache, and loss of faith in humanity. Cheers.