Assistant Editor's Log
How to Survive the Thematic Technical Difficulties
By Auburn Mann
By this point in the semester classes have already departed from their introductory modes, and have probably already assigned quite a few writing assignments. For all those who are familiar with the computer lab facilities here at Bowie State University, you know all too well about the low degree of reliability that the computers hold. In the Thurgood Marshall Library there are multiple labs on every floor, yet that doesn't really matter when there is a paper due that day or the following and the server suddenly goes down. Unfortunately, this is the hard reality for many students who rely on the public facilities at Bowie State, especially the labs and computers within the Thurgood Marshall Library. Often the printers will not print, have a significant delay in printing print partially due to shortages in ink, and inappropriately print to other rooms. The Internet and entire server occasionally crashes, along with power outages. In addition, many students also complain that there are never enough computers to go around in these facilities.
How can students succeed academically with these conditions? One obvious answer would be to simply complete assignments at home or some off campus facility if necessary. But what about the students who live on campus and don't have access to a personal computer, printer, or car? Some ways to resolve or avoid these issues altogether involves strategic planning foresight. First, instead of waiting until the last minute to finish your work, try to finish assignments as early as possible, this will give you space for unexpected situations to occur and still be able to get your assignments in on time. Second, if for some bizarre reason you still find yourself in a bind with a swiftly approaching deadline, you can always communicate to your instructor via email, or in person about the situation. For example, if you just need to print something that's due in the extremely near future, yet the printers in the labs are, then you can try and emailing it to your professor, along with an explanation of your situation.
Third, in order to avoid losing work due to an unforeseen loss of power or server crash, it would be beneficial to save your work every 15 minutes or after a certain measure work is completed. Also, save it to multiple memory avenues, such as, flash drives, computer in which you are using, or even email it to yourself if you see fit. Many of these tips may appear "common sense" but that's because they are reliable even when the facility might not be. These are ways to overcome a faulty environment and control over your success.