Things that I think and do
One of the irritations and difficulties I found with my dissertation (apart from, obviously, writing the entire bloody thing) was the acknowledgements section. It was tricky to make it sound sincere but not gushing, heartfelt but not cheesy.
I think I managed it, although I doubt anyone actually read that particular section. I did, however, miss out one very important contributor to my dissertation and degree as a whole. A companion that I’ve shouted at, cajoled, pleaded with, cried in front of, laughed with, and hugged. We’ve had some ups and plenty of downs but we’ve made it through all of those to come out at the end with my sanity intact and some form of university degree.
Thanks – unbounded, immeasurable thanks – are owed to my laptop.
Many years have passed now since we first met. Bought in preparation for going to university straight from school, a bond was formed straightaway. I didn’t actually manage to get into university that year though so together we travelled the world for a year (and by ‘the world’ I mean ‘to France for a bit and Wales for a few days’).
There have been lots of tough times in our relationship. There was the Great Virus of 2011, which almost succeeded in wiping hilarious amounts of work from my hard drive – yet my laptop overcame that. In second year an email hacking resulted in bizarre and uncharacteristic emails being sent to various contacts but together we conquered this challenge.
Yes, the battery life varies wildly and unpredictably between 90 minutes and 9 minutes. Yes, sometimes it decides to spontaneously shut down while I’m in the middle of some work or a TV show. Yes, the charger has had to be replaced three or four times because that too occasionally decided enough was enough. Yes, sometimes it is painfully slow and it has a very mercurial relationship with whichever WiFi network it is connected to at the time.
But despite all this it has never given up. I’ve written countless essays and assignments, watched far too many hours of TV series, played quite a number of games of Solitaire, and wasted some hours in the library because of the omnipresent temptation of YouTube and 4oD.
It might throw in the towel tomorrow, or next week – no-one knows. All that matters right now is that it’s survived four years of pretty much constant use and hasn’t let me down more than perhaps once or twice (most notably that time I had an essay to hand in and my laptop thought that the command to ‘Print’ equalled a command to freeze and then turn off).
Thank you, laptop. Thank you. Here’s to the next…well, who knows how long.