Kids these days always need to be on the dagnab internet, and I’m no exception. On my most recent on-campus excursion, I attempted to connect to PittNet wifi. The resulting saga was one for the ages, and I accomplished a lot more than just connecting to the internet, I earned a degree right there on the spot.
I arrived at the first floor of Cathy and began my quest for an open table.
I snagged a table with two of the legs sawed off and the sticky residue of someone’s pumpkin spice latte on the top. I was now ready to connect to the internet. I hovered my trusty mouse cursor over the wifi logo on my laptop, only to find that no networks were available. Meanwhile, 10 clearly-visible wifi routers beamed radiation straight into my brain.
Recalling what I learned that one time I got blasted at the Apple Genius Bar, I turned my laptop off and on again. Success! There were now 25 networks to choose from. All of them were almost identically named, only one would work.
I attempted to sign in to WIRELESS-PITTNET-FAST, because fast=good. My username and password were deemed invalid, my bank account and credit cards were frozen, an alarm began to blare throughout Cathy, and a SWAT team was sent to my location.
Since the FAST network proved too risky, I tried good ‘ol WIRELESS-PITTNET. The laptop connected, but the signal was immediately lost. I shimmied up one of the stone pillars to the gothic-revival ceiling, waving the computer in the air, but to no avail. To this day, I swear I heard maniacal laughter coming from Chancellor Gallagher’s office.
Growing desperate, I clicked on the next available network, GUEST-WIRELESS-PITTNET. A message appeared on the screen: “Don’t you need friends to have a guest?” Touché, PittNet, Touché.
Having abandoned all hope, I began to pack up my belongings to leave, when I noticed one network I hadn’t yet tried: eduroam. Ah yes, eduroam – the forgotten wifi, the black sheep of the bunch. I clicked on it. Suddenly, I was flanked on either side by school administrators wearing ceremonial robes. Pomp and Circumstance began to play, and I was presented with an honorary Bachelor’s degree in software engineering. “We never thought a student could crack the code,” said Dean Bonner.“The internet is now yours.”
And indeed, the internet was mine. With my newfound wifi access, I went on to open CourseWeb in one tab, and watch YouTube videos in another for three whole hours. To this day, whenever I’m in class and someone can’t connect to the internet, I watch in smug silence as they struggle. If only they knew about eduroam.
Listen to Talk of Shame, a podcast about being young & dumb. Hosted by 2 drunk girls from The Black Sheep corporate, Mackenzie Harding & Andrea Jablonski. One can’t find her tampon, the other one’s laundry is probably on fire.