I am all messed up when the fireflies glow/I just wanna cuss and fight…

Greetings, lovely ones, from Sara, your Monday hostess! I’m in the middle of midterm madness but I’m taking a brief supper break, so while my perogies are on the boil, let’s see if I can crank this post out. Multi-tasking at its finest!

I was in the middle of writing a test on Friday afternoon when suddenly, the room went dark. There were a few junior-high-reminiscent squeals and gasps, and then the enthusiastic-to-the-point-of-giving-himself-a-heart-attack TA reveled in his chance to save the day.

“Guys! Don’t panic! It’ll be fine! I’ll go check the other rooms! Just hang on! Uh… no looking at each other’s papers while I’m gone, okay?” (Groan)

He opened the door to the hall and disappeared into a black void similar to the one he had just exited. However, all around me, like the slow blossom of fireflies after a summer sunset, the glow of cellphones gradually appeared around the room. By the time Sir Eager-Beaver returned, test-writing had resumed… for the most part.

“You guys are hardcore!” he exclaimed as he re-entered the room. “That’s great! Everyone has a cellphone, right? Great, we’ll just keep going with the test.”

At this, I was forced to speak up.

“Um, excuse me… I don’t have a cellphone.”

Sir Eager was bewildered. “Wha.. you don’t? Does anyone else not have one? No? Well… I guess I’ll try and find you one.”

Note that he was no longer prepared to fix the light situation. He was prepared to find me a cellphone to replace the light situation. I wrote my test by the mocking gleam of a Blackberry screen, many minutes behind everyone else who were apparently far more prepared than I and had foresightedly brought their own cellphone in case of electrical failure.

Since when is it a given fact that everyone has a cellphone? Cellphones are not pens, or calculators, or other necessary, appropriate tools for writing tests in the Faculty of Science. Did I miss the section in the syllabus where under required texts it apparently should have included not only Atkins’ Physical Chemistry textbook, but also Sharp’s Softbank 9225H mobile phone?

I don’t have a cellphone because a cellphone is not necessary. What bothered me on Friday was not the idea that cellphones are somehow becoming necessary. They are not. They never will be. What frustrates, and frightens, me is the realization that society is manipulating situations to force the necessity of inappropriate technology. On Friday, we could have postponed the test. We could have waited until the lights were fixed. We could have found an alternate light source equally accessible to everyone (which Sir Eager eventually did, in the form of the overhead projector). Instead, I was punished for a choice I made regarding the simplicity of my personal life, which should have in no way affected my academics.

In choosing to live simply, my life has suddenly become a lot more complicated.

-Sara

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6 thoughts on “I am all messed up when the fireflies glow/I just wanna cuss and fight…

  1. …and slowly, yet surely, our world begins to mirror science fiction films of the past, such as Brazil, The Matrix, and Minority Report… kind of sad, that we lose simplicity as a result.

    I, for one was quite proud of myself for recently spending a week out in southern Utah without cell phone or internet… and I didn’t miss either one. …not that I don’t like these technologies – I love them, but I often feel like I need to remind them that I don’t need them, that I’m just as well off without them.

    Okay, I’m rambling, so I’ll stop now.

  2. “When all you have is a hammer…”

    The TA’s actions are so wonderfully silly, in that he just went and focused one one solution.

    And I feel like an anti-PowerPoint rant is topically valid, but almost certainly redundant (and really, who wants to either read or write that one *again*?).

  3. That is such a bizarre situation. Whenever we had power outages in night classes (which actually happened more than you would think), everyone on campus kind of just celebrated by playing a giant game of tag on the field.
    I love power outages. It’s so exciting to me: everyone coming together by candlelight or moonlight and just hanging out because there’s nothing else to do when forced to forgo electricity.

  4. re: “because there’s nothing else to do when forced to forgo electricity…”

    …except, apparently, fall back on more advanced forms of technology. What a weird world.

  5. What a weird world, indeed.

    I much prefer candlelight to cellphonelight. And not because it’s more “romantic” in the contemporary sense of the word — but because it’s more romantic, in the 18th century sense of the word. Aesthetic experience is my cup of tea.

  6. I also love power outages, much for the same reasons Rachel! mentioned. I actually composed a piece of music by candlelight once, several years ago. It was exciting to cross an item off my “things to do before I die” list.

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