(RECAP:  I have managed to get everything hooked up but realize that the data projector may not have any sound.  I have decided to pretend, when no sound comes out, that the people over in AV are all screwed up.  I am able to see my “desktop” projected onto the screen behind me by the data projector, but it has disappeared from my laptop.  It is, thus, very difficult to get the little arrow to go where I want it to go so that I might open the media player to play the CDrom and produce no sound.)

 As I attempt to manipulate the little arrow by looking at the screen behind me because I can’t see it on the blank screen of my laptop, the students titter at my discomfiture.  I complain that this is a new laptop and I am not yet used to it.  Also I am old.

Both are true.  I am feeling quite old at that moment and the laptop is new.  Indeed, I bought it with my own money for the express purpose of having it for classroom use.  I had grown sick and tired of the one I had been checking out from the writing program.  It was at least five years old, and I don’t know what it is but something goes haywire with a computer that’s five years old.

It’s like it has lint in its system or something.  Stuff would start popping up on the screen from out of nowhere.  Little signals saying it wanted to download something or I was supposed to do something, or in the middle of things it would start checking its disk.  Also I was not trusted by the program’s computer person, so I had been blocked from any ability to add something to the computer if I wanted to or to try to repair something if I wanted to do that.

 The students used the laptop for oral reports and they would want to show something but couldn’t because the laptop didn’t have something on it, and the screen would say download this but they couldn’t and I couldn’t either.  Also I had grown sick and tired of going to the computer person and asking her to help me.   That was her job, I thought, but everything I walked in, she would give me this look and say, “Oh, Nick, what have you done now.”

After about 8 years of this treatment, the computer person began to get under my skin, and I was rude to her on a couple of occasions.  Well, rude for me, anyway.  Which isn’t all that rude.  But I apologized anyway.  And we made up, I guess you would call it, and did the hugging thing.  I guess people just don’t see how terribly sensitive I really am.  And then, just when we had gotten comfortable enough with each other to be rude and then make up (sort of like family), she up and went and got a better job.

Anyhow I didn’t want to do that anymore or not be able to download stuff to the computer if I wanted to, so I went out and bought a laptop so I could be in charge of it.

I went to a PC Club not far away and said all I was interested in was the ratio of money to power or, in other words, what was their most powerful laptop for the least money.  I was not interested in features, add-ons, extras, or any of that crap.  I wanted raw power.  So that’s what I got from a computer manufacturer that I had never heard of and a type that they were going no longer going to carry.  In short, the last one of its kind on their shelf.

I got lots of power for about a thousand of my own dollars to be used in the education of my ungrateful and unappreciative students.  Unfortunately—I had not paid much attention to it at the time—but the thing weighs a ton.  It’s portable, but in a limited sense of that word.  I have bad rotator cuffs on both shoulders and walking with it to class in my over the shoulder bag just killed me.

But at that moment, I am not so much concerned with tonnage as I am with the fact that I cannot open the “media player” to play the Cdrom for which I have no sound.

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