Well, Fate has seen fit to not make it easy right off the bat.
I’m studying a STEM degree that currently involves modules likes biochemistry, physiology, genetics and anatomy. I’m going to be writing three final exams during the next two to three weeks, and considering my lofty academic goals, my shit needs to be watertight and squared away if I want to pull the kind of scores I need to be getting.
My study technique involves extensive use of Anki, a flashcard program that allows you to make your own paired questions and answers, which are then asked back to you using an algorithm that asks things you find easy less frequently and the harder, more complicated things more often, over and over, until you can recall and explain every bit of information without hesitation or difficulty.
This semester, my modus operandi consisted of pirating PDF versions of the prescribed textbooks (I managed to find all of them except one histology and one anatomy textbook, thank fuck) and then lugging around a laptop which half the time served as a study platform utilizing PDFs, Paint, Anki and Microsoft Word and the other as an excellent procrastinating tool.
I get the hardware from my father: he gives me his old laptops when he gets the new, top-of-the-range model that’s just come out. This meant that the last laptop I got was this huge Dell monstrosity that weighed a ton and had a power adapter literally the size of a fucking brick. I took it because it was as powerful as it was burdensome and had a 19″ screen, which would be useful in accommodating a textbook and a flashcard program taking up respective halves of the screen.
Unfortunately, a few weeks ago, in the midst of my first exam, the cooling system just said ‘fuck it’ and gave out; it would overheat within minutes and switch off unless I ran it off battery power, where for some reason it kept going but inevitably overheated when I had to plug in the charger to prevent it from dying anyway. Since being unable to work for a day or two would severely compromise my exam result, I worked my way around it by staying at my apartment, laying the beast upside-down on my desk (i.e. with the vents facing upwards) and connecting an external mouse, keyboard and monitor. Fortunately, since this occurred just as classes ended, there was no need for me to be present on campus, and I could spend all day erryday hermit-style in my bedroom. I bought a shitload of frozen food (I usually eat on campus), tidied and organized the everloving fuck out of my room and continued my work like nothing happened. Unfortunately, practically my entire life thus far was spent behind a closed door in front of a screen playing video games, so I was effectively placing myself in the same scenario as before with the exception of World of Warcraft or Call of Duty, which had now been replaced by endless slides querying me as to what exactly is the genetic configuration of a fetal primary oocyte during the end-stages of gestation. So it came as no surprise that within a few days I ignored my academic obligations, obtained Age of Empires 2 and C&C: Generals from my flatmate, and binged like a disgruntled divorcee.
Jesus christ, it’s 23:55 already.
Point being, I needed to get back on campus: there were people (hot chicks who set fire to my lions and dumbfuck dipshit jocks who filled me with impotent rage), less distractions, and I actually had walk for longer than a few seconds to do things like get a drink or take a dump. But, since the one piece of studying equipment integral to my approach was lying on my desk back at my flat like a beached fucking whale, I found myself at an impassé. Fortunately, however, my father had recently contracted Apple fever, and he promised me his 2012 MacBook Pro as soon as he got his hands on this year’s model. Though I knew I’d struggle with OSX (each and every program I’d ever worked with, especially those related to studying, ran on Windows) and the smaller screen, it nevertheless had a sexy power-to-weight-ratio compared with the fucking overheating plastic behemoth I was carrying around. I could just slap a pirated copy of windows on it, transfer all my shit, and pick up where I left off with newfound ease and convenience.
Except putting Windows 7 on a macbook is a fucking drag and has cost me at least another day of trying to sort this shit out.
My father dropped it off at around 10AM today. Long story short, after hours of figuring out how exactly OSX works, not to mention how to fucking do things like ‘partitioning’ which I’d never even tried, I ended up absentmindedly deleting the one app you need to get windows installed: boot camp assistant (evidently the ‘Trash’ bin of OSX is not functionally equivalent to the Recycle Bin of Windows) . Since this macbook has no fucking optical drive, and you can’t get the program back from anywhere else except the fucking install disc, I seem to be right and truly fucked. The only solution would seem to drive an hour to the iStore and hope the guy doesn’t ask questions about the legality of the ISO of Windows I so nonchalantly torrented off TPB. However, I stumbled on a possible alternative solution: just copy the app from another mac. I’ll head to my dad tomorrow and see if I can pull it off. Otherwise, I’m stuck at the flat again.
I’ve completed seven of the ten hours of studying, and none of the guitar practice or exercise. I’m inclined to give myself a pass, but I can’t do that. My friend who I went to high school with, who is actually at Harvard on a squash scholarship right the fuck now, trained through fucking kidney failure and compartment syndrome because he couldn’t bare the thought of missing out of one piece of training that could make the difference between first and second place. I have the same feeling. I’ll have to add the missed hours to a deficit and catch up with them tomorrow and the day after, an extra 90 minutes of studying, 15 minutes of exercise and 30 minutes of guitar practice for two days.
In between trying to sort out this fucking shiny laptop that I’m typing on right now.
Well, shit, look at the time, it’s the 14th already. Day 2/1029. 0.194% complete.
Jesus, that’s almost 0.2%, which is one-fifth of 1%. Multiply that by a hundred, and my times up.
Fuck fuck fuck I better get going.