My life is an article from The Onion

Heroic Computer Dies To Save World From Master’s Thesis

WALTHAM, MA—A courageous young notebook computer committed a fatal, self-inflicted execution error late Sunday night, selflessly giving its own life so that professors, academic advisors, classmates, and even future generations of college students would never have to read Jill Samoskevich’s 227-page master’s thesis, sources close to the Brandeis University English graduate student reported Monday.

For it so falls out that what we have we prize not the worth whiles we enjoy it, but being lack’d and lost, why, then we rack the value, then we find the virtue that possession would not show us while it was ours.  (Tatewaki Kuno, age 17)

So, my laptop committed suicide almost as soon as I got back from Toronto.  Flush with the glow of success, clothed in the pride that accompanies great accomplishments, I sat myself down to continue my work, but alack and alas, fate had other ideas.  The hard drive of my laptop somehow refused to work, and all my efforts to repair it were for naught.  At the last, I tried transferring my most important files to my flash drive, but my computer froze up for the final time and I saved nothing.  And my last backup?  Why, that was in December.  I believe the problem is physical and not with the software, and all my research shows that data recovery will probably cost at least $300 and probably into the thousands of dollars, so I’ve resigned myself to starting over again.

It’s rather fascinating how one can be on top of the world one day and feeling like something a dung beetle crapped out the next.  And the week after that, I had a phone interview for something that I really wanted which seemed to have gone well, so I was up again.  It’s true what King Lear said: “Like flies to wanton boys are we to the gods; they kill us for their sport.”

My biggest consolation is that I am an inveterate procrastinator, so I didn’t actually lose five months’ worth of work.  I would hate to calculate it, but I suspect I did far less work than I should have for the last five months.  I’ve also got a very detailed 11-page outline, plus all my notes are in actual physical notebooks, so it shouldn’t be too difficult to get everything back together.  I wonder if I can still finish for sometime in June?  And I still have the conference paper I presented, too.

Anyway, I’ll be spending the rest of this day and pretty much all the ones after rewriting everything I had.  So, how’s everyone else’s summer going?

(By the way, the clip linked to above is from Ranma 1/2, the show I still keep meaning to write an analysis of.  The pigtailed girl is actually a boy cursed to turn female at the touch of cold water.  As a boy, he’d beaten samurai boy in a fight and earned the guy’s enmity, and having done the same thing as a girl, he assumed the same thing was going to happen and that they were going to fight another duel.  Instead he got hit on.  The series plays all kinds of clever little games with gender like that and I’ll never feel intellectually sated until I’ve written an appropriate paean to the glory that is Ranma 1/2.)

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