Laptop Disaster
November 6, 2005

Today's students have grown up with computers. Either in the classroom or at home -- or both, if they're lucky -- they know how to email, hit Napster and Limewire.

Are our kids really computer savvy? Here's some stories from the trenches, stories from Notre Dame freshmen within the last ten years.

1) A student on looking at the computer the first day of class, picked up his mouse and placed it on the screen to move his cursor. He didn't discover his mistake until after he'd already asked the student next to him how you could see through the mouse to the screen.

2) Another student could not understand why everything she wrote on her computer in the dorm room would not save. Every day she'd come to class in tears ... all the work she'd done for all of her classes just was gone! So, I took her to a computer lab and watched how she saved her work.

She never hit save. Just turned the computer off. Her older sister had set Word to auto-save every minute or so. As a result she thought computers automatically saved everything.

And ... the best story of all --
"Jake" had started off the semester with a bad attitude, but when he found out that when I said they could write on anything even slightly pertaining to education, for the semester -- including critiquing our class or how to best educate a tailback in the ways of college football -- he changed his tune.

He came up to me one day near the end of the semester, eyes downcast and body tense. Obviously bad news.

"I got my paper done for critique today, but I don't have it anymore."

It was Monday, and at Notre Dame that means a lot of hung-over students. I looked at him carefully. Probably not hung over.

"What happened?"

"Well, we had this party Friday night, you know?" I nod. "And I woke up at four a.m. and my roommate" he paused, obviously embarrassed. "Well, you know that we don't have our own bathrooms, we have one down the hall? Yeah, well, umm, we have a sink in our room and umm."

"It's okay, I get it."

"Well, I woke up at four and I thought he was using the sink. But he wasn't." His eyes flash again, obviously, if you'llve forgive me, pissed as hell at his roomate.

"He wasn't peeing in the sink, he was peeing in my laptop! The whole damn thing's fried!"

"No!" I'm completely sympathetic at this point.

He rants and raves for a few minutes more, obviously his roommate hates him, they've been having problems all semester. And, of course, the dorm rector finally decided to step in.

Best excuse ever ... my roommate thought my laptop was a urinal!


(Actually, it's not an excuse ... it's a damn good reason not to have his paper ready for class!)

Posted by Red Monkey at November 6, 2005 5:40 PM | Why Johnny Won't Learn and Mrs. Curnutt Is Tired of the System | | StumbleUpon Toolbar Stumble |


ariadneK, Ph.D. said:

DAMN!!! I would laugh at that last example were it not for the fact that THE EXACT SAME THING happened to me back when I was an undergrad, except in this case it was my boyfriend. :-)

So you teach at Notre Dame I take it? DAMN COOL...I would have loved to go there but could not afford it. I'm a big supporter however...

Awesome blog; I just randomly signed up to challenge you in "Battle of the Blogs", but I'd vote for yours if it was possible to do so!

November 6, 2005 10:41 PM


Otto K. said:

Well, my reaction is "ugh!" on several fronts. I think that I would have laughed.

Odd, the red vertical borders almost pulsate on my LCD monitor.

November 7, 2005 8:21 AM


red monkey said:

otto -
yeah, i keep meaning to get rid of the red vertical borders and change it to something else ... maybe i'll finally get that re-done this week.

November 7, 2005 10:34 AM


guppyman said:

Classic excuse! i wonder if i can figure out a way to use that one at work next time I don't meet a deadline

November 7, 2005 1:24 PM


suki said:


November 7, 2005 2:38 PM


charles said:

Thats one hell of an excuse but honestly there are some students who never got the luxury to use PCs when they were young

November 7, 2005 3:18 PM
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