Category: Claire Davanzo (page 2 of 5)

IT Problems

I’m a 90’s child, like most (if not all) of the undergrads on campus; as such, I’m also a member of one of the first generations of people to have serious, in-depth Internet access. I remember my family getting a Windows 95 for Christmas. I remember sitting in front of the screen for hours, moving from Freddi Fish computer games to Neopets (the coolest virtual pets ever to exist). To me, it feels like my generation grew up with the Internet… Which is part of the reason why, I think, I scrambled to process what was happening when UD’s IT shut off my computer’s internet access Tuesday morning.

After jumping through the hoops of phone-calls and finding something else on which to access the web, I found that IT was claiming my computer had a virus. I’m a nerd, and a bit of a goody-two-shoes one to boot… Not to mention, my big websites are Twitter and Facebook. Where I could have gotten a virus from, I had no idea.

Much to my disappointment, IT wasn’t much of a help explaining how or why I’d gotten this virus. All they sent me was its name, before instructing me to clean my computer as soon as possible if I wanted access to UD Internet again. I could clean it myself, go to an outside source, or pay IT $85 to do it for me, regarding a problem I wasn’t even sure existed… Frustration and the beginnings of distress turned to anger at the fact that I’d gotten a virus I was sure I’d done nothing wrong to receive.

Since I don’t have $85 to blow on a whim (or a virus), I decided to clean my computer myself. It takes quite a bit of time for the scans to run, so while they were doing their thing, I did some research on the virus IT told me I had… And found that it was not only essentially harmless, but could indeed jump from computer to computer. Anyone on campus could have it, and could have unintentionally transferred it to my computer.

I was downright frustrated and disappointed by this realisation. Someone else, whoever first contracted this computer virus, had done something illegal, and now I was wasting my time (and could have been wasting my money!) cleaning it up! When the scans came up clean, and IT restored my internet connection the next morning, I’d simmered a bit, but here’s what still gets me.

It wasn’t my fault that my computer got that virus, and that same thing could happen to anyone else on this campus. Instead of locking out my connection, I wish IT had caught the person who first downloaded the virus: the person who had done something wrong, not the awkward bystander who happened to catch it. IE, me. I’m glad I didn’t fork over close to $100 to have the virus removed, but some people might have, all for something that isn’t their fault. But, dear reader, if this ever happens to you, run the following three, free programs to get the best DIY clean: RogueKiller, Malwarebyes, and Spybot.

“Hey…can I take your picture?”

“You’re, like… really busy this semester, right?”

I couldn’t help but laugh when these exact words left a friend of mine’s mouth the other day, for two reasons. The first, because who isn’t really busy this semester? It seems harder than ever to coordinate friend’s schedules for something as simple as lunch. The second, because I don’t think I’ve ever had a relaxing semester. As in, ever. But to keep busy is to keep focused, and that’s just the way I like it, so I’m not complaining.

One of the things that has been keeping me “like… really busy” this semester is my internship as content manager at the Office of Communications and Marketing. Content manager, in my case, means tweeting from @BlueHenSays, UD’s for students Twitter, and posting from its accompanying Facebook page, Blue Hen Says. I do that from the office (which is fun, saying “oh, yes, I’m just coming from the office”) in the middle of the day Monday, Wednesday, and Friday.

This wouldn’t be so exhausting if I wasn’t always thinking in “intern mode.” One of the most important parts of running the Blue Hen Says media is posting pictures and content of events and students across campus; basically, the idea is to give the student perspective of life at UD. A lot of times, this perspective comes in the form of pictures, like Spirit Stations in Trabant or the Banned Books event outside of Memorial (two of my favourite events I’ve covered so far).

But this constant need for pictures and content means I’m always thinking about my next post or tweet. Which means I’m grinding to a halt in the middle of streets, turning awkwardly the wrong way at the drop of a hat, or standing, poised, with my iPod, waiting for the light to shift just the right way as a guy walking behind me shouts, “Instagram!!”

Somehow, remembering at every moment to take a picture of the sky or campus if I think, “huh, that’s really pretty” gets to be rather exhausting… But the more interesting part is photographing people. When I starting photographing for Blue Hen Says, I just sort of blushed and murmured, “Can I take your picture?” to large groups of people at important events. Needless to say, it was a bit awkward initially, but isn’t it always when you take a picture of someone you don’t know? I’m pleased to say now I hardly bat a lash, HONY Style.

So far, the internship’s been a wonderful experience, even though it’s made me even more dependent than ever on social media, and I’m looking forward to the rest of my “like… really busy” semester.

The Quest for Ed Sheeran, Part 2

When last you left your rain-walking, no-sleeping, Junior blogger (and if you’re just tuning in, that’s me at the end of this post), I’d just won a Meet and Greet Pass for the SCPAB Fall Concert, Ed Sheeran. Which, in and of itself, is pretty remarkable, considering there were two hundred people enrolled and only twenty could win. What was even more remarkable was that another friend of mine had also won, and was kind enough to give his Meet and Greet Pass to my little sister, Allie. Otherwise known as the person from whom I went through all this madness.

Fast-forward a fortnight of frenzied Snapchatting and excited tweets from my sister, and she was finally here, sporting a massive smile and her backpack; she’d come right from school to UD, and left at 5am the next morning so she wouldn’t miss any classes (true Honors student, anyone?).

The email from the SCPAB representative said to arrive before the concert and “meet at the flagpole,” which, in truth, sounded more like a parking lot rumble than a Meet and Greet. But we were there on time, Allie bouncing on her toes and musing on what kind of questions she might ask Ed Sheeran.

While we were waiting at the flagpole, we had the pleasure of meeting some of Ed Sheeran’s truest fans prior to meeting him. Attempts to sneak in without passes included: wearing a shirt that looked like a Big Bob security guard’s and pretending to work in the Bob; hovering around in the line without a Meet and Greet ID badge; and pleading with the security guard.

Once the twenty winners made it past security, we walked to what was probably the room farthest in the reaches of the Big Bob, to a deep blue curtain. Allie turned to look at me with the widest eyes I have seen on her and whispered, “I can hear his voice!!”

For the inquiring minds, Ed Sheeran is completely adorable, polite, and very, very British (not to mention, he smelled wonderful. And I know because he hugged me). I’m almost glad I met him before the concert, because I hadn’t been converted from casual listener to admirer just yet. My sister likes to tell her friends that I had an “actual conversation!!!” with Ed Sheeran, but it was just a normal chat about our nights. He told me he liked my TARDIS iPod case, we took a picture, and moved on.

The concert itself was a blast. For every Ed Sheeran song my sister knew all the words to, I knew all the words to one of his covers. As a person and a performer, Ed didn’t disappoint, and I’m so glad I could make my sister’s “first concert” experience the best it could have been.

Still UD

Originally, I was… speechless, about the events that took place on campus Monday night. Living on North campus and having most, if not all, of my time taken up that night by choir and homework, I wasn’t even aware something had happened until the next morning, when everything really broke loose.

There’s no use ignoring it. Monday night happened. The slew of Facebook messages and tweets happened, too; people asking what on Earth was going on at my school, paired with my absolute inability to fathom it myself.

But the more I heard, the more I thought that while we shouldn’t ignore what had happened, the amazing community of the University of Delaware and the city of Newark shouldn’t let it drag us down either. The group of students involved in the events of Monday night was a small number of the talented, compassionate campus we have at this school. And as the chatter started, and continued, what I found was that almost everyone I spoke with was feeling the same: disappointed, embarrassed, but, more than anything else, determined.

Let me put this in context. This week, I started my internship with the Office of Communications and Marketing, and my first assignment was covering and posting about the 9/11 Blood Drive held at Trabant on Wednesday.

And the number of students I saw, and heard about, was incredible. There were groups of students waiting to donate in almost every seat, and I was in Trabant at lunch. The woman running the event mentioned that that morning, there had been lines, and that there probably would be again that afternoon. Standing there, taking pictures for my post, I felt more than reassured.

Last week, the blog team here at 186 wrote about why we chose UD, and I explained that I hadn’t been sure about coming here. And that’s still true. But I also mentioned that I have come to love UD, and this week, even with all its challenges, is one of the reasons why.

We – UD, as a whole – we’re better than this. This campus is full of considerate, thoughtful people. People who take time out of their days to give blood in honour of 9/11 victims. People who hold fundraisers for children with cancer (seen outside Perkins this very same week, I might add). People who care.

Again: Monday night happened. It was an event, and we at UD are probably going to be hearing about it for a while. But it isn’t UD, and it will blow over. And when it does, what will still be standing is the campus, and the community, for which people love this university.


The Quest for Ed Sheeran, Part 1

Last Sunday, in case you’ve forgotten in the whirl wind of classes, activities, and last-minute errands, was move-in day for upperclassmen. I was here with bells on, in an all but full-to-bursting Taurus X, with my mom and sister. I won’t bore you with the endless flights of stairs, or the woes of learning how to use my air conditioner.

This is about the precise moment my little sister, Allie, heard that Ed Sheeran was coming to UD for the fall concert, the squeak of joy she let out at this news, and the madness I knew, from that moment, I would be going through to get her a ticket.

Don’t get me wrong, I like Ed Sheeran. I was guilty of poetic car-singing to “The A Team” this winter session (and with the daily, half-hour commute I was doing to Talley Middle School, paired with the popularity of that song? I know all the words). However, if I am the person who likes Ed Sheeran, Allie is the person who adores Ed Sheeran.

In the completely non-creepy, non-Belieber-esque way. I’m very proud.

Once we’d cleared things with the taxi dri- with my mom, we started planning how best to acquire these elusive tickets. Initially, my friends and I thought we would camp out outside Trabant to get both amazing seats and the free Ed Sheeran t-shirts for the first fifty people in line… Then decided that no, we valued sleep much more highly than tickets. In the end, the plan was to wake up and meet up at Trabant to get online at 3:45 a.m. Three fourty-five a.m., because we’d just escape the people who planned to get there at 4am. I set my alarm for 3:15, went to bed early, forced myself to sleep, and woke up as planned.

… I had not expected rain.

Rain at 3.30 a.m., taken by blogger Claire Davanzo.

Rain at 3.30 a.m., taken by blogger Claire Davanzo.

Daunted does not even begin to describe how I felt setting out, in the pouring rain, for Trabant at 3.30 in the morning. I didn’t even make it to the bridge before I’d forgone my shoes in favour of walking barefoot, hopping through puddles. When I reached Trabant, at first I thought I was the first person there (!!!)… Only to discover that others had literally slept in the parking garage overnight in their wait for the tickets, marking their spaces on line by water bottles.

And then we waited from 4:00am to 8:00am, in the on and off rain and surprising morning chill. We were within the first 100 people, too, which meant we’d be enrolled in a chance to meet and greet Ed Sheeran.

We got our tickets (which, in case you were wondering, are excellent). I thought that was it. That I’d managed it.

Until I found out I’d won the meet and greet.

Thanks to a very, very generous friend and fellow winner (thanks, Matt!!), my sister and I will be doing that, too. Which of course, means an incoming “Quest for Ed Sheeran, Part 2.” Stay tuned.

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