The Agony Of Defeat

February 7, 2008

All my life, I’ve pretty much thought that people payed way too much attention to sports – and yes, this was most likely because of my utter lack of athletic abilities. As a kid, I was not a sports fan. I dreaded Sundays because the only thing that we could watch on tv was sports – golf, baseball or football. As I got older, I grew to enjoy watching several sports including tennis, baseball and football. Golf, I still can’t stand. Despite the fact that I am now great fan of baseball and a rabid fan of football, I still find all of the hype and media attention extremely painful.

This past fall, however, I was utterly amazed by the sports high that surrounded life in New England. With the incredible season of the Boston Red Sox followed by their World Series win, a great season for the New England Revolution, a great start to the Celtics season and the incredible season of the New England Patriots, life as a sports fan was rather wondrous. Even non-sports people got caught up in the euphoria. People were happy. It was rather special.

Of course, the higher the high, the lower the low. It has almost seemed as if everything in life has a big, black cloud hanging over it for sports fans in New England since the Superbowl. Most people can’t/won’t/refuse to discuss the game and its outcome, feeling the need for some time to regroup and deal with what seems to be a significant personal loss. The weather, which has been cold, rainy and dreary since Sunday, hasn’t helped. Although I am a huge New England Patriots fan, and one who was certainly disappointed by the game’s outcome, I’m finding this entire phenomena fascinating. I’m amazed at the extent to which sports can capture and manipulate our psyches.

I sincerely hope that things will return to normal next week. To anyone who can control the weather, some sustained sunny weather would make us all feel much better!


Random Technical Frustrations

February 7, 2008

Lately, I have been having serious bandwidth issues with my internet connection at home (Comcast is my ISP). These slowdowns seem to last for several days – and I’m starting to get frustrated. Both the email portal and online class portal that are used at Southern Connecticut are fairly intensive applications. They do work well when my internet connection is working at normal capacity. However, both perform pretty poorly when there is any type of bottleneck. Tonight, it took over 5 minutes to log into the MySCSU portal, and at least that long to open each successive page. It didn’t take quite as long to log into the eVista online classroom site. Yet, this site was also sluggish. I was not able to upload or download any files. Fortunately, I knew that I was having issues and remembered to upload my latest files before I left work. 

While mentally whining to myself about my internet issues, I realized that this is really the first time in my tenure at Southern that I have had any serious technical difficulties. Given that my entire experience has been online, I am actually fairly impressed by this. I do know that others at school have some issues, but overall, I have been extremely lucky. Also, I think that Southern has done a good job with the web-based applications that are used in their distance programs.

Hopefully, my bandwidth issues won’t continue. I’m afraid that I am going to have a very limited ability to deal with these frustrations this semester. I know that I do not need any additional frustrations if I want to survive the next three months with my sanity intact. Here’s hoping!