Sunday, September 29, 2013

computers: awesome when they work, frustrating when they don't

This week was one of those where I blinked and it was over.

Monday: I've been having problems accessing the school proxy server from my apartment (one of the books we're reading in APC is Of Cigarettes, High Heels and Other Interesting Things: An Introduction to Semiotics, which is available through the NSCAD server), so I took my computer to the Port Campus to try to get the issue fixed. Unfortunately the server was down that day, so the IT guy, Tim, had his hands full and told me to come back the next day.

I then headed to the Granville Campus and to OSAS on the second floor: I desperately needed to talk with someone about the stuff that happened last Sunday. And this was one of those times when talking with Mom just wouldn't do (she's awesome, but there are times when I need to go to someone else). I met with Christina Warren, who replaced Bernadette Kehoe when Bernadette accepted a job at NSCC in Dartmouth this past summer. I started whimpering immediately as I told Christina what was going on. That turned into full-on sobbing which came and went throughout much of my time in her office. By the time our conversation turned to other things, I was feeling much better. I also told her a bit about myself--turns out she's an amateur violinist, too, so she completely understood me when I made a music analogy (I do that: because I've studied so many different performing and visual art disciplines, I see connections between them and will sometimes point out said connections)--and signed my page of the 2012 edition of Free Coffee. Christina wants to meet all the students who contributed to the publication last year, and I was the first. As someone who's never been asked for her autograph before, it made me feel like a star.

I spent the rest of the day hanging out in the student lounge and the SUNSCAD office.

Tuesday: I went back to Tim's office. Turns out, the port number in the URL was wrong.

My student loan had finally come in that morning. However, it was only the federal portion, which is way smaller than the provincial part. I didn't notice the memo saying "320 CANADA" in my online account info, so I thought that that was all I was getting for this semester--and that I needed to redo my budget, which I did.

Wednesday: The week I've been waiting for: after going through the week's reading we presented our ideas for our independent study projects. Mine will be about the importance of dance in my life. I'd originally planned to print the photos out, but because music is such a big component of the project, Adrian suggested showing the photos on a screen or with a projector and include the music with each photo. So a photo inspired by The Ballad of Revolt would be accompanied by that work. As someone who doesn't have anything to show photos on besides her computer, I was concerned about the logistics of displaying the project that way until Adrian said that NSCAD has projectors and monitors that I can use. He also talked about the cantankerousness of the NSCAD proxy server. Apparently it only lets up to twelve people log in at one time and it's less cantankerous on-campus.

That night the internet suddenly disappeared and there was nothing I could do to get it back.

Thursday: That morning I still wasn't able to access the internet, so after calling the NB student loan office and finding out that yes, I would be receiving more money in a couple days, I called EastLink (my service provider). They had me try a few things and then suggested that it might be the router, which I then replaced (free). I went back to my apartment, got the router activated and... still nothing. They then got a guy to come over to my apartment that evening. There went my plans to attend the Queer Collective meeting at NSCAD... He tried just about everything possible, and couldn't get the internet to work.

That afternoon, I visited the campaign office of Labi Kousoulis, who's the Liberal candidate for Halifax Citadel - Sable Island. I'd recently found out that yes, even though I'm a New Brunswicker and all my government ID has my NB address, I can vote in the NS provincial election. I just need to provide two pieces of NS ID, and my apartment lease, EastLink bill and student ID card count. I told one of the women there about the things that I'm concerned about, mainly education, NSCAD and the NDP's treatment of both. I also told her how impressed I am by the Liberals' education platform: this is the kind of stuff the NDP should be doing. I left with a magnet, brochure and an election sign--my first (it's totally fine to put them in apartment windows, though because my apartment's so high up it's more for my own enjoyment than anything else: soon after I taped it to my window, I looked up at said window from outside the building. All I could see was a white shape. However, when my building is casting a shadow on the side that I live, I can make out the red on the sign.).

Friday: I called Apple Support to sort out my internet problems. Because the AppleCare expired on my Mac earlier this month, I had to fork over some cash (less than a hundred, thankfully) and because I don't have a credit card, they made an exception and accepted my debit card. The issue was remedied by deleting a folder and then restarting the computer, and I wrote down the procedure just in case this happens again--and because I hate having to ask other people to solve simple tech problems for me.

I spent the afternoon at my favourite coffee shop, reading the chapter for APC, which at times was well beyond awesome.

Saturday: Another afternoon spent at my favourite coffee shop. This time I started putting together the playlist for my APC project. Whittling a playlist down is not easy when it contains so many awesome tracks.

Sunday: I finally started photographing for my project, having set a deadline of tomorrow. I also edited the photos, which presented the usual challenge of how to translate what I see in my head onto the computer screen.

Today was the BSO's first concert of the season--their one hundred and eighteenth, which at times is hard to believe--until I remind myself that they're the oldest community orchestra in the US. Congratulations, guys--and go violins! The first piece on the program was Mendelssohn's Hebrides Overture, which is one of my favourites.

This video, Maestro Richman's breakdown of what's going on this season, makes me ridiculously proud to be a fan of the Bangor Symphony. By the way, next May marks ten years since I became a fan.

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