Thursday, July 15, 2010

Welcome to the Machine, Gordo!

I am currently in the process of deciding which of my books stay and which go.

So of course that means that I get easily sidetracked and end up falling down a rabbit hole that eats up hours of my life because I have to go through each and every book in excruciating detail to decide its fate.  And I know myself...I'm never going to get through this process and will end up keeping all of the books!  Yet I press on.

Tonight I got into my University of Colorado yearbooks and chose to focus on the first one I grabbed.  The year was 1989 and I was a junior at CU.  Flipping through the pages I ran across this pop-out piece and had to laugh because I remember so distinctly that it was that year - 1989 - that we got a computer at home.  For me, in 1989 computers were still unfamiliar, magical, mystery machines that I wasn't sure I could completely grasp.

And apparently my beloved University of Colorado felt the same way.

Check out the picture and notice the line of students wrapped around the field.  This was that infamous day in 1989 when CU's new, fledgling, mass computer system crashed and EVERY single students' schedule was affected - classes deleted, randomly substituted, added, etc.  It was a serious nightmare for 25,000 students and it paralyzed CU for weeks as they tried to sort out all of our records.

The way this particular event will forever be immortalized in the 1989 Coloradan yearbook is priceless because according to author Gary Jugert this was proof positive that computers were going to be the ruin of civilization as we knew it!  And I quote,

"In twenty years, nobody will care about the day a giant black cloud descended on the University and paralyzed it.  In twenty years, the entire University will be one big fat computer and the students will be completely replaceable parts.  But for the record, when Big Brother took over our Disneyland of Higher Learning on August 30, 1988, he f****d up almost every single schedule and the powers that be grovelled helplessly at the feet of their almighty Student Information System.  It was so bad, that President E. Gordon Gee was forced to apologize and it's gotta be bad if he actually takes responsibility.  Welcome to the Machine, Gordo."

That is some AWESOME stuff, right?

In twenty years - aka 2009 - students would be completely replaceable parts!  Because Big Brother was taking over and computerizing our lives, and the man was going to render us all slaves to the almighty Student Information System!


But my favorite part?  Turning the page in the yearbook and seeing the full-page picture of the marijuana plant.  Yep, that's my Alma Mater for you.

Take THAT Big Brother!

It's true...I was as square as they come in 1989... but even then I found endless humor  in the awesome hippiness that has always been the University of Colorado and the Republic of Boulder.


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