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.