So, funny story…you know those school nightmares that pretty much everyone has? You show up naked, you can’t remember your locker combination, you’re taking a test on something you know nothing about or should know everything about but don’t, you can’t find your classroom or something along those lines? Well, that describes my first 45 minutes of grad school. (as illustrated by the amazing @toasterlicious)
I wasn’t naked, I was able to find my classroom, everyone even seemed pretty friendly. The class is in a computer lab, since later on in the semester we’ll be doing computer things. I was there about 10 minutes early and nonchalantly sat down to log on.
That’s when the nightmare started. I can’t remember my password. Nothing. Zilch. I had set it up, I know it had to make sense, but none of the ones I can think of are working. I double-check that I’m using my username (my husband is finishing his PhD work at the same school and I’ve logged onto their computers as him more often than I can count). Nope, definitely my username.
No password. Blank. Fuzzy nebulousness. My brain is screaming at the part that’s supposed to remember this. The part that’s supposed to remember this is hiding in a corner and crying and repeating “I’m sorry, I’m sorry.” It’s going to be no good. I wonder if I’m asleep because this is too weird.
Ok, maybe we won’t need the computers today. I work on keeping my face neutral and not going into scared bunny mode.
I have my netbook, I open it and login before class starts. Try to reset my password online. Nothing. Why isn’t it working? I put in the required information—username, last 4 of my SSN, captcha….nothing. Try again. Try again. E-mail my husband to check on his pass so I can at least get onto the computer.
We start introductions. Spend at least 70% of my attention actively listening to people. Think that this is probably going to be a good class of students. Well, it’ll be a good class when I can login. Right now I feel like the dumbest person in the class and least likely to succeed. I’m going to fail. I can’t even remember a password.
ProfX e-mails back and I login to the computer. Internet is faster on it and I continue trying to reset the password.
Oh shit, he’s talking about the syllabus. The syllabus is on blackboard. I did not save the syllabus to either my netbook or my thumbdrive. Everyone else is pulling out a hardcopy or opening a file. Ok, just follow along with what he’s saying so I can remember it later. Type up a few notes. I can’t login to blackboard if I don’t have my password.
Finally, inspiration dawns. Wait a second! I don’t give colleges and universities my social unless I’m actually working for them. They don’t require it for applications. So the computing department must use a placeholder (I’ve tried leaving it blank—no joy). What would I use for a placeholder? 1234? 9999? 0000?
I decide to give 9999 a shot first.
I reset my password to something I can bloody well remember. My fingers rush to blackboard and download the syllabus to the thumbdrive I’ve got in the computer. I open it up.
Of course now we’re actually about to start on classwork…and that’s ok. Because I can access the computer, I can see the syllabus and now I can go to grad school. I like the teacher, I like the subject materials, and I like the girl I’m partnering with for the group project. My adrenaline level lowers dramatically but I feel it for hours.
(It probably wouldn’t have taken 45 minutes to figure out the password reset had I been able to focus on it, but I needed to use most of my attention listening to my classmates and the teacher. Trying to listen, not look completely freaked out, and try to solve my problem was a bit tougher.)