The Impossible Computer (Don Quixote Revisited)

Graphic Flora Hammond

So it’s the beginning of the semester, and everyone is experiencing the same shtick.

People are running to get books and staring, mouth agape, at the (completely humourless) bookstore cashier as they rattle off the grand total, equivalent to the mortgage of a nice cottage by the lake; trying to get accustomed to class schedules and new professors (while the professors try to get accustomed to you), and all of the—what’s the word again? Oh yeah, homework, amidst everything else.

We frequent the library, hoping the industriousness of everyone else (updating their Facebook accounts, watching foreign films, etc.) will inspire us, and then we’re confronted with the search for the elusive computer (Dun-Dun-DUUUUUN).

Move aside Don Quixote, with your “Impossible Dream!” Searching for an unoccupied computer in a library is something far more fearsome and infuriating, even though the library has redone its reserves desk four times in the past year, and have even installed a flashy yet incredibly maddening new printing system!

But somehow there still aren’t enough computers for we paupers who don’t have slick laptops and tablets.

So you can imagine my frustration when I go to the library in the hopes of working, only to find that the little lab near the reserves desk has been taken over by a library workshop.

Now I know these are critical skills to impart on impressionable new students, but there is nothing more infuriating than knowing you have tons of work to do, and the one reliable haven has been usurped from you.

To add insult to injury, the lab full of 35 tempting computers is blocked from your grasp solely because of three eager beavers, madly scribbling notes as they listen in rapture to the beauty of RefWorks and Google Scholar.

And these workshops don’t just take an hour, mind you. Oh no, sir, the lab is blocked for the entire day.

Does this set a dastardly tone for the new school year? I sure hope not. But something has got to be done—put these workshops in the Library Director’s cushy office! Hold them in the janitor’s closet!

But I beg you, hear our fervent pleas. Don’t take away the few computers that do exist. Those three students are the ones that should be inconvenienced—not the rest of us slobs, trying to eke out our degrees.