(To the Tune of “Our House”)
You should treat them like a street
Act like you’re a car with feet
Try to walk on the right side
‘Cause when you don’t, I die inside
Dear undergraduates of the world:
So there’s this cool little invention I’d like to tell you all about, ‘cause I think it could really improve your life and the lives of those around you. It’s called a staple and it’s here to reinvent the idea of a cohesive set of homework pages belonging to a single individual.
Let me lead you now through the thought process of an overworked TA as they truck through the grading of 100+ intro stats assignments.
1:23 AM: Only ten more assignments to go, this shouldn’t take much longer!
1:24 AM: Oh look, this group of papers is held together by a folded corner. What genius thought that type of binding would hold up being shoved around in a box with 200 other assignments?
1:24 AM: Surprise surprise, there’s only a name on the first sheet.
1:24 AM: And the sheets are all done in different colors of pen (seriously, this really happens).
1:27 AM: Now that I’ve wasted precious minutes making sure the handwriting looks similar enough across the pages to assume that they came from the same individual, let’s get down to grading.
1:31 AM: Handling grading this with the key would be much more streamlined if these pages were all somehow cohesively bound.
1:36 AM: I HATE THIS STUDENT SO MUCH RIGHT NOW.
1:38 AM: THEY CAN’T SPELL OR ATTACH PIECES OF PAPER TO ONE ANOTHER.
1:38 AM: F-!
1:39 AM: MUST TRY TO LOWER BLOOD PRESSURE TO SURVIVABLE LEVEL.
1:48 AM: Sigh. Okay. That one’s done. Let’s move on.
1:49 AM: Oh look, this group of papers is held together by a folded corner.
Seriously. Not a tough concept. Staples are not an endangered species, nor are they protected under any sort of natural resource safeguard law.
Use them. PLEASE.
I get all riled up for nothing, don’t I? It’s great. Oh, and no pictures this time, sorry. The fact that I’m blogging and not engaging in some form of school-related work is not good in and of itself, so I’m not going to add “messing with Geocities’ image hosting” to the procrastination menu as well.
Where the hell are my margin rulers?
Welcome to the new Microsoft Word 2007, the “I’m far too superior to display margin rulers or use Times New Roman as the default font or be intuitive in the slightest.” People liked the little rulers, Microsoft. I liked the little rulers. How else are we supposed to easily tweak your crappy default layout (tab size, indentation with bullets and numbers, etc.) if we can’t manually adjust the sliders on the rulers?
Nothing will be right in the world until I get my rulers back.
And following this, why are the default margins 1″ all around the page all of a sudden?
Microsoft, you can’t do this to people like me. You can’t have 1″ margins on the top and bottom and 1.25″ margins on the sides as the default for like five years and then suddenly decide to change things. I type my essays with the expectation that, when I go to adjust the margins, the total length in vertical page size will decrease, thus “shortening” my essay just enough so that I dock a page off my already-far-too-wordy-and-incredibly-long-winded-“like-hell-I’m-going-to-stay-under-three-pages” essay. I went to do this tonight on my paper on Spinoza, and after frantically searching for my margin rulers (see above complaint), I came to the horrifying realization that I couldn’t artificially “shorten” my paper at all! Now I’m going to get another “it’s good writing after the first two pages of rambling” comment on my essays for modern philosophy.
Why did you change the “oops, it looks like you made a small grammatical error” underline from green to blue?
Why is blue so much more “modern” than green? iTunes pulled this crap, too. Remember back when the little note on the iTunes icon was green? Maybe not, ’cause they switched it to blue some time ago, and blue it remains. Same with Word. How can you change something like this?! Isn’t the green squiggle underline, like, classic? That’s like changing the traditional Christmas colors from red and green to something like red and burnt sienna. In other words, it’s BLASPHEMY! They also might have changed the background of the viewing window itself, too, but I can’t remember what the default of the original looked like, since I reset my whole color scheme to lime green on my laptop.
That stupid little “modifications box” that shows up every time I highlight text, which then subsequently causes me to change the font to Wingdings or something by complete accident, ’cause I wasn’t expecting a freaking modifications box to show up when I’m highlighting text!!
The first time I saw this little box I was all, “oh god, did I break Microsoft Word?!” No, turns out they like to mess with you when you’re frantically highlighting text to move about in your essay outlines and it’s 10 at night and you want spaghetti but NO, you’re stuck trying to grapple with freaking Microsoft Word and their new-fangled user interface that’s practically the crap on a stick of the word processing world.
The .docx extension
Yeah, that’ll protect your precious monopoly on all computerized word processors, Microsoft. Make it so that none of your older (and better) versions can open the documents from the freaking new one. That equates to putting a chastity belt on someone who’s had multiple sexual partners with hopes that it’ll magically erase her copulations with people prior.
Does that analogy work? I’m not too sure right now (I’m proofed out from symbolic logic and can’t be bothered with the trifles of sounding witty), but it’s a damn good analogy if it does.
And here are things that, much to my chagrin, I must admit I like about good ol’ Word 2007 (there are only two things, though, so this should be quick):
The whole easy preview of modifications to the text
Now this is a useful tool, Word ’07. When you go to modify the text, the modification actually shows up in preview in the actual text!! This is brilliant, guys. Now fix all the other crap you implemented.
The “zoom” drag button
This thing is freaking fun! You can zoom in far enough to see the pixels in the dot on the “i” and then, within seconds, zoom out so that the page you’re on looks like a postage stamp in the upper right-hand corner of Word. For those of us procrastinating on writing about Spinoza because we hate his philosophy so, this is an excellent distraction.
A couple important notes for today that I’m typing up at home, with good old Microsoft 2003:
I got a fortune today that read: “The more you give, the more you have.” I found that interesting.
I owned my human sexuality test. 51 out of 50, baby.
I also got a 91 on my stat 401 test, which is better than I was expecting, considering there were four problems (total of 20 points right there) on which I had no clue what to do.
If the whole psychometrics thing falls through due to my inability to get accepted by any grad school, I’m so totally going for a PhD in philosophy to become a Leibniz scholar. Holy crap, that would be amazing.
If you ever have the pleasant experience of speaking to/befriending Sean Papin, I advise you to hold him in the highest respect. His honesty and integrity as a decent human being made things that could have been disastrous go a whole hell of a lot easier today. My respect for him has shot through the roof (not that it wasn’t high before, but you know what I mean).
Following the Ag Sci computer lab debacle this afternoon (don’t even ask), I went to the library to do some statistics homework on the computer (I needed SAS). In the end, I ended up using Microsoft Word quite a bit, too. Normally, this wouldn’t be a problem; however, the computers here in the library updated over Christmas break to the new Microsoft Office 2007, as you all probably know. Normally I stay clear of this new abomination unto mankind as much as I can, but today it was unavoidable. So two hours later when my struggle with the new Microsoft Word 2007 was over, I decided to blog about my experience with it. So here it is.
This is the most counter-intuitive program I’ve ever seen. You know how everyone else always used to complain that Microsoft Word was too difficult to navigate, and that tables were too difficult to construct, and the numbering system was too stubborn to even try to manipulate? Well, if they’d spent any time actually trying to figure things out, they would have realized that the old versions of Microsoft Word were very easily manipulated. I, for one, can manipulate my version of Microsoft Word on my laptop (Microsoft 2003, I refuse to upgrade) to do anything I wish. Tables, numberings, etc.
Now, can you do these things the same way you used to, using the new Microsoft Word 2007?
No. You have to learn a whole new way of manipulating things.
The absolute worst thing about the new Microsoft Office 2007 is the default settings. The old ones worked perfectly fine: Times New Roman font, set at size 12, with single-spacing. Classic, simple. So what do they implement in the new version? An entirely new user interface. The new font is called “Calibri,” and it looks like this:
Calibri sounds an awful lot like Cabrini to me—Cabrini as in Cabrini Greens, probably one of the worst housing project failures in the history of Chicago. So already, even before, I began typing in it, Calibri brought to mind a disaster. And that’s essentially what it is.
I’m not saying the font as a font is bad, I’m saying the font as a default font is bad. Microsoft, I’m pretty sure you’re aware of the fact that your products (such as, oh I don’t know, MICROSOFT WORD) are used quite often in academia. I don’t know what you know about academia, Bill Gates, so I’m assuming you know a lot—after all, you’re freaking Bill Gates—but here’s something your new product does not demonstrate you know: professors really, really like Times New Roman. They really, really like it to be 12-point size. And they really, really like double-spacing.
So what does Microsoft give us as a default font to replace their previous default font that had been working perfectly fine for years and years?
CALIBRI. In SIZE 11. With MULTIPLE LINE SPACING. I can see the letters just pouring into Microsoft’s mailroom:
I must admit, however, that there are some pretty cool new features to this ’07 version of Microsoft Word. I can’t remember what they are now, though, ’cause the positive has been overshadowed by the freaking horrible default settings.
I don’t care what you say about making it more “user fluent” or whatever term you’re using. This is a disaster, Microsoft. Fix it.