This semester, for the first in my life, I am not buying any books. Shocking, I know. I'm only taking 2 classes and they are both upper division grad courses for which the teachers believe themselves the only people qualified enough to be able to issue us information.
This isn't the problem.
The problem is that, without the necessity of carrying books back and forth from campus all I really need is a small steno notebook to takes notes. And I also need a small stack of handouts the teacher has passed around the class.
And a half filled Diet Pepsi bottle.
And a bag of pretzels.
Plus my wallet, keys and cell phone.
All of these things are kind of hard to manage without some kind of device in which to carry them.
I've tried cramming them in my purse, but the hand outs are too tall without folding them over and as soon as I add mittens to the mix the little magnetic button doesn't provide enough force to really get the thing closed.
The next logical step is to use my backpack.
This is where the problem steps in.
Many of you may come from other backgrounds than engineering, so I will have to explain why this is a problem. To do so I will use an analogy.
In the 80's women’s fashion in the workplace fell in love with a little accessory known affectionately as the shoulder pad. They were intended to give an otherwise beautifully formed woman the look of a linebacker and thereby make her and important presence in the board room. The shoulder pad was used to immediately demonstrate your power.
In engineering academia, the backpack provides a similar sign. The bigger, heavier and more stuffed your backpack is, the harder you are working to attain scholastic heights.
This semester I just don't have enough stuff to appropriately fill my backpack. If I put everything I need in my pack and sling it onto my back it would sit there, lying limp, telling the whole world that I am a slacker dum-dum.
This I cannot have.
I've thought about filling my backpack with extraneous books to make it look full and thereby fool the world, but that would just make me tired, and eventually give it up.
Maybe I could stuff it like a 7th grader's bra.
No, that wouldn't do because inevitably someone would squeeze the side and then rumors would fly around the department that I stuffed.
I guess the only solution is to keep juggling all my stuff and making people think I have such and unbelievably huge amount of books, binders and notes that there was just no physical way any human being could fit them into a backpack.