College, Poetry, and Computers

The course officially started yesterday and already we have had a mini-assignment emailed to us by our tutor (a published poet). The course forums are already filled with eager beavers who have been posting haikus and freewrites as though they are going out of fashion, I have grown tired of trying to keep up and so now have taken to going in, flicking through the email titles and just marking all as read! My tutorial forum is much smaller and, therefore, much quieter, averaging about 10 posts a day.

The mini assignment we were given was to compose an acrostic poem using the letters that make up our names as the first letters of each line – so mine looks something like this:

R
A
C
H
E
L

Now, we are meant to post our ‘first drafts’ by Tuesday, but I am sorry, I am not spending a few days working on this. At the time I read the email containing the assignment I had just left some par-boiled potatoes in a warm dish with some olive oil, crushed garlic cloves and fresh rosemary (from the plant on my kitchen windowsill), so I used this and other smells in the kitchen as inspiration and wrote my 6 line, 36 word acrostic poem in about 30-45 minutes. That’s it, done! I am hoping that just because our tutor is a poet all our assignments won’t have some poetry relation – if they do then I am so going to ask about being given a different tutor. I did not choose to do this course because of the poetry, I chose to do this course in spite of the poetry.

That over and done with I need to talk about Draco. No, I am not writing a poorly chosen rip off of “We need to talk about Kevin” (I only managed to read a bit of that book before I took it back to the library and chose some chicklit), this is about my beloved 7-yr old laptop. Draco has been chugging along, rather well I think, for the last year. Despite all the chips and cracks in the casing he still works – albeit a little bit slowly – but of late I have noticed that the chugging noises are getting louder, the time it takes to carry out one single action (such as switch between my browser and my email software) is taking longer, and the cracks in the case are getting bigger. This means, I know, that Draco is due for replacement.

I decided to have a look at the Dell website (my old desktop – which is also slowly dying, and turned 5 this August – is a Dell and I never had any problems with it, but for the fact that they no longer even make parts to upgrade it and it too is struggling to work with the amount of software required to simply work view a website, check email and chat at the same time – let alone run the newer and far more reliable MS Office software) and saw that the newer machines have 2-3ghz processors, 3-4gb of ram and huge hard drives. I thought to myself, “hmm, wonder what Draco’s processor is and how much Ram he has…” (no, with all the damage that he has suffered travelling to the States several times, to France and on various trips around the country in my backpack, there is no point thinking of simply upgrading his RAM and HD), I checked and had to giggle when I realised that he is a baby in comparison with these newer machines. He has a 1ghz processor and just 256mb of Ram…yes, you read that right, 256mb of Ram. It’s no wonder every process is like dragging a donut away from a woman who has just been to her weigh in at Weight Watchers (and I can say this because that’s me!). I get the feeling that once I get a new machine things will be less like pulling teeth, and more like pulling a freshly baked apple crumble from the oven – pure pleasure. Of course this new machine will have to have a name…and as I only very recently emailed to a friend…Draco is the baby death eater, this new machine will be the big daddy – so perhaps he should have the daddy-appropriate name, and be Lucius!

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