If you – like me – find that there is simply not enough time during the week to accomplish all of your academic goals, you have likely found yourself desperately and repeatedly swiping your ID card at a locked school door in a crude attempt at a muggle ‘Alohamora’. This was my lot on a cold Sunday in December as I tried to access the sacred halls of Brodie to perform analytical witchcraft – aka science. As I stood outside the south access ramming my ID at the infuriating red-light-blinking scanner, my shoes caked in snow and socks dampening, I was struck by many angry thoughts. Chiefly among them, “this stupid piece of plastic is worthless” and “who can I blame for my current discomfort?”
According to Student Information, a BU I.D. card is worth $25. The functions of said card are a) to identify the cardholder, and b) allow access to buildings the cardholder should be able to get into. As I am functioning under the assumption that I am not a badly pixelated, cream coloured blob, I believe it fails the first criteria. As I was not able to move through the science building – something my status as an honours science student should allow – I believe the card fails the second criteria as well. Hence, I am forced to state that I am, in reality, carrying around a $25 piece of plastic that does nothing other than allow me to watch cheap movies at the theatre #studentdealsforlyfe.
As a disgruntled student, society tells me I am wholly blameless regarding any situation I find myself in. Bonus! However, finding who is to blame is nonetheless problematic. One could blame the overworked faculty staffs that, among their other jobs, are to contact the powers that regulate the lock/access systems. One could blame ancillary services that, equipped with a webcam camera and a 20th century email system, are also able to contact the afore mentioned powers.
After five years as a BU student whose access card behaves like anything but, I am forced to concede that I have been defeated by antiquated technology. I am sure that the support staffs voice their aggravated objections to these same computer systems daily and I fully join with them. Alas, I resign myself to the hope that the gods of technology updates will grace us all in 2017; until then, I am off to ancillary services. Maybe the fifth time will be the charm.
Republished from The Quill print edition, Volume 107, Issue 16, January 4, 2017.