Tuesday, May 3, 2011

The Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day

Do you remember the children's book, Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day? The basic plot of it chronicles a day in the life of young Alexander during which nothing seems to go his way. He wakes up with gum in his hair, he doesn't get a prize in his cereal, the dentist finds a cavity, his mom makes lima beans for dinner...so on and so forth. At the end of the story, he determines that he wants to live in Australia but his mother assures him that even Australians have bad days.

Well, in Italy, people have bad days, too...and today was mine.

It started out with a group presentation in Italian class. As always, I was the member of the group who decided to take control because I like things done a certain way and I just can't trust other people with my grades. When I went to bed last night, one of my group members still had not emailed her slides to me. They were in my inbox when I woke up but the files were encrypted and I couldn't open them. When I got class and explained this to her, she didn't understand (she's from Belgium) and blamed it on my Mac. Excuse me? My slides were done last week. This is what you get for sending me yours at 1am the morning of our 8am presentation!

My next class was History of Catholicism in Italy. My teacher always includes a buttload of information on the slides so I make sure to have my laptop so that I can type out the notes quick enough. Before class started, my computer was knocked off of my desk. It was closed and it didn't seem to have a hard landing so, while it scared me for a second, I thought it would be okay. It went to the desktop page when I opened it but it was making a strange clicking sound and I restarted it. It made the echo noise that Macs always make when they start up and then the clicking continued...this time the screen stayed gray. No desktop background, no dock, no finder...just gray. I left it off for a while but, every time I tried to start it back up, it would just do the same thing.

After classes, I went to a tech repair shop that my school told me about. Of course, because this is Italy and nothing is efficient here AT ALL, the technician was gone and it would take 3-4 days just to diagnose the problem. Everyone at this place looked at my Mac as if they'd never seen one before. Not a good sign.

So, I took it to a Mac store near my apartment and the guy there was much more helpful. He is about 95% sure that the hard disk is broken and said that all of my files are most likely gone. My music, my pictures, my schoolwork, EVERYTHING. Replacing the hard disk is going to cost about 120 Euro and he said that it should be ready between Friday and Monday. Still, there is a possibility that over 10,000 songs and about 8,000 pictures are gone forever. Also, I have a project and paper due tomorrow. I backed up the project on a flash drive but it looks like I will be rewriting that 7-page paper. Thanks to this situation, I dropped an F-bomb for the first time in my life today, guys (it was probably about time anyway, eh?).

Ever notice that when a few things go wrong, everything else just bugs the crap out of you? The tourists seemed particulary obnoxious today.

I'm feeling better about things now that I have talked to Dad. He was very understanding and told me that the files should be recoverable, if not by the Mac Geniuses here, than by the ones in the States. Plus, some friends and I have a falafel date tonight at a really good, cheap Egyptian restaurant here in Florence.

It's days like these that make me look forward to being home. Here's to hoping that tomorrow is fabulous!


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