Monthly Archives: June 2010

iPod 1: Bus 0

Okay, so term ended with the exam on Monday, and I finished marking on Wednesday, and I am done, with the exception of an UNHOLY mess with regard to a student with a learning disability, about which I will tell you more later, I promise. So yesterday, I got it into my head to whoop it up by going to the Mall, a thing I do approximately twice a year.

The Mall in question is not terribly far away, but it does involve riding the bus to a ginormous hub of bussery (GHoB) and then taking a very short trip on a second bus to the Mall. The first bus, on its way from my house to the GHoB, passes through the Campus of Craptacular U, the other U here in the Armpit, which has continually distinguished itself in the past few years by being in the top 10 of Imperial Universities for cost, and the bottom 10 for everything else. That’s right, it is the worst value for money education you can buy. Awesome.

It’s also broke, and, at the same time has an eleventy billion dollar budget for building. They built a HOTEL on campus. A motherfucking HOTEL. Meanwhile, they cut their entire communication department and all writing requirements for students. Their students don’t need to be able to write a stinking sentence, no sirree.

But I digress. Well only partially.

So, part of the current grandiose architectural vision for a building which touts that it will be housing, among other things “a state of the art communication centre” – yes, that’s right, there’s a new building for a faculty that no longer exists – is being constructed in such a way that the road the bus normally drives down is blocked off. So, the bus has to take a detour.

Normally my bus gets to the GHoB a comfortable couple of minutes before the Mall bus comes along, but the detour throws the timing off, and I can see that the bus I need is about to take off, as my bus pulls in. So I run up to the front of the bus, and ask the driver to wave at the other bus, which she kindly does.

I leap out, and dash to the second bus, and get on it, and am just celebrating this fact (yes, I know, I have such a dull little life that making a bus connection is enough to make me happy), when I realize that although I still have earbuds in, I no longer have an ipod at the end of them.

Shit.

So I beg the bus guy to stop and let me out, which, because he is an asshole, he do not do until the next stop. Then I race back and just manage to hop on my first bus which is leaving the GHoB. This bus driver, not being an asshole, says “take your time” when I ask if I can just see if I dropped my iPod. It’s not on the bus, and the teenage boy who is sitting where I was sitting says he has not seen it. Dammit. Well, if he’s lying, he can enjoy my audiobook of Mrs Gaskell’s Wives and Daughters, I guess.

I get off the bus, and go back towards the place where I made my leap from one bus to another. And there’s my iPod on the ground. YES!

On closer inspection, there’s a TIRE track on the back of the silicone cover. FUCK.

(I want to mention here in case you are curious, that it is an iSkin Vibes cover for the iPod nano, although mine is the 4g version without the hard screen cover, which maybe in this case was a GOOD thing.)

I turn it over and there’s not exactly any visible damage. The screen is still on, but paused. I try to click the wheel and get no action, though. I try to reset it, and can’t get it to respond. Okay, now I am upset. Look, I don’t want to bore you with a whole rant about how I am utterly dependent on my iPod, but I am utterly dependent on my iPod. Let’s just take that one as read, okay?

Because I am a GIRL and I am utterly dependent on my iPod, I am feeling weepy and I call my husband to be metaphorically patted on the head. “OMGIwasrunningforthebusandIdroppedmyipodandthebusranoveritanditisbrooooooken,” I tell him.

“That’s okay,” he says. “You are on your way to the Apple store. If it is broken, just buy a new one while you are there.”

Oh, yeah? Did I forget to mention that that I was ON my way to the APPLE store? Talk about your irony, right there. That’s right up there with having your iPod crushed because the bus had a detour for construction of a new building for a faculty that was abolished.

Since I now have to wait for next bus to the Mall, I sit and take a few deep breaths. Then I take the ipod out of the case, the better to mourn its passing. Maybe we’ll have a little funeral or something. The thing is, it really doesn’t look damaged, that I can discern. It did come out of the really really tight case quite easily, which it never has before, though.

Just for the hell of it, I try pressing the buttons that make it reset. It resets.

IT RESETS.

HOLY FUCK.

Well, sure, it reset, but I bet it won’t actually work, will it? I plug the earbuds back in and try it get it to play.

Yep, that’s fine. It’s happily playing. No fucking way.

Well, I am pretty sure it won’t charge. This is just like it’s deathbed wheezing, or something. I text my husband, and he texts back “JUST BUY A NEW ONE.”

But now this is like a miracle, and I am INVESTED. Also, this iPod has a sappy engraving on the back because it was ordered online, and a new one won’t have that.

I get to the Apple store, and one of the overly chipper Apple pips comes up to me and asks if I need help.

“This may sound weird,” I say, “but my iPod just got run over by the bus, and it appears to still work, and before I rashly buy a new one, I was wondering if you had somewhere I could plug it in, to test if it will still plug in.”

He tries to look like he doesn’t think I am completely insane, but fails. “Uh, how about here?” He unplugs one of the iPods on display, and pops my iPod on there.

It charges perfectly happily.

It’s been 24 hours since this happened, and I have synced the iPod twice (just testing), and listened to it for several hours. It’s FINE. It’s HUNKY DORY in fact.

I know, you’re all like, “Dude, it totally wasn’t run over”. Which I would believe, except it IS slightly squashed on one end. I present to you photos, for evidence, but you might not quite be able to discern the difference unless you look closely at the shape of the top compared with the shape of the bottom.

Anyway, I was in such a good mood for the rest of the day that when the annoying jerky kid who had been bugging the hell out of us and everyone else at the pool for a good half hour started to drown, I actually swam over and saved him.

Okay, that was partly because I was in a good mood, and partly because if he did drown, they would have made us get out of the pool.

Phoning it in.

So, I am teaching a Spring class, and we are about halfway through, and there is one student who is not doing well. Most of them are motivated keeners who are asking how to make their B+ an A, but this one guy is just not engage. You know, comes to class with his iPod in, can’t always be bothered to take it out, never contributes to discussion, hands in half-assed work days late, that kind of thing.

Last night I had the chance to chat to him, and I said “I am a little concerned that you are not really engaged in this class, and that’s going to be reflected in your grade. Are you okay with getting a C-/D+?”

His answer was “I am in theatre performance so I don’t see the point of any academic class, and I am fine with just passing.” Then he offered to pretend to care. Because, you know, acting.

There are a ton of things I could get worked up about over this little exchange, and I did kind of gesture at this by saying to him, “are you so sure there’s nothing of value being offered in this classroom?”And it vaguely crossed my mind to suggest that if, in the unlikely event that the the whole acting thing didn’t pan out, he might want some literacy skills to fall back on.

But then I thought, I have 20 people in this class who care about how they do, and who want to learn, why expend any effort on this guy who doesn’t give two shits.

Which is freeing and depressing both at the same time.