Scripps College Problem #29

By Earnest Eleanor, Staff Satirist

After a glorious winter break and a lovely pause from all the problems I seem to face at Scripps, I was confronted by my first quandary on what should have been a perfect day in Claremont. With the end of the second week of classes and with some homework looming over what should have been a carefree weekend, I headed out to Jaqua Quad to study. I lay down my towel and prepared to let those 80-degree rays of January sun hit my skin while trying to forget that the real reason I came out was to finish (okay, start) an essay that was due after the weekend.

I opened my shiny MacBook somewhat reluctantly, and immediately decided that I needed a break before I started to work. I rolled onto my stomach and took a short nap while my fellow Scrippsies also brought out their towels and books to enjoy a relaxing afternoon in the sun. After a few minutes (hours? It’s hard to tell how much time has passed during a sun-soaked afternoon in beautiful Claremont), I gathered up the motivation to be productive and write a passable first draft.

I opened up my computer once again, but I couldn’t see a thing on the screen. Was the brightness completely turned off? I thought in my sleepy haze, unwilling to accept the inevitable truth that I knew to be looming in my future. I furiously tapped F2 and watched the slight improvement on my screen, but I knew it wouldn’t be enough. I took off my sunglasses in an attempt to convince myself that it was really just those protective UV shades that were blocking my vision from my essay. But deep down, I knew that wasn’t really it.

I had entered the Twilight Zone-esque torture of lying in the sun with my computer, unable to see the screen. The magnificent heat that radiated onto my skin was preventing me from the unpleasant task at hand. I looked around and saw all the other Scrippsies reading books—some even just for pleasure—and felt a pang jealousy and frustration at the uselessness of my computer.

Is it really too much to ask for the ability to study outside during a perfect, sunny day in January with my aluminum unibody computer (with Thunderbolt technology, mind you) and to see my screen? I paid good money for this device, Apple. I should be able to sit in a volcano surrounded by lava and have crystal clear vision.

In the meantime, I’ll retreat back to the browsing room of Toll and let the sun hit me through the stained glass windows. But I won’t get any tanner.