Miscellany Monday @ lowercase letters

+ epic fail.  In February, a couple laptops were stolen from the financial aid office at college.  I heard about this only because of my connections with the newspaper.  On Feb. 22, an email was sent to all students informing us that,

We regret to inform you that there have been several recent incidents of theft on campus. The [City] Police Department is currently conducting an investigation.

On Apr. 13, we received an email stating that,

In February, [college] administrators discovered that computers in the Financial Aid Office, which contained confidential or protected data relating to current, former or prospective students, had been stolen.

Oh.  So, you mean to tell me that those laptops stolen last month weren’t personal computers, but rather that,

some of the College’s confidential financial aid data on those computers may have been compromised and that certain personal information about students or alumni may have been exposed. The information on the stolen computers includes name, address, date of birth, and Social Security number,  may include data supplied by students or parents, and may affect not only the supplying parties but also spouses or joint account holders, among others. …  All individuals who may have been affected have been notified in writing as the law requires

Oh.  Wow, Social Security numbers and information about parents or spouses or maybe my great uncle twice removed who happens to be my guardian?  How horrid!  Well, thank God I didn’t receive a letter!  At least that doesn’t include me!  And then, yesterday, three months after the incident, I received a letter.  Well.  Golly gee.  If you happen to live in the area, you may have actually heard about this on the news.  Not only was my college city on MSNBC as one of the most impoverished cities in the country, but now we’ve made ABC because of thefts!  Hooray for my college!

Fortunately, on Apr. 15, the vice president and dean of admissions emailed students to let us know that,

The Pennsylvania State Police just informed the College of the good news that one computer stolen from [the college]’s Financial Aid Office has been recovered.

The Pennsylvania State Police, assisting in the investigation with [City]Police and [College]Public Safety, yesterday evening received information garnered by [College] Public Safety about the possible location of the computers. Troopers went to a residence near the College and a consent search was obtained.

The recovered computer is the one believed to have held most of the information that [the college] was concerned could be compromised. It appears that the computers were stolen to be traded for drugs, not for the information they contained.

According to information released by the State Police, a suspect will be arrested in the near future.

We are grateful to [College] Public Safety, the [City] Police Department and the Pennsylvania State Police for the excellent work on the investigation and for bringing it to a successful resolution.

Oh, it was just for drug money, you say?  And the person is going to be arrested soon and one of the computers was recovered?  And hooray for the police for their success!  Success?  Are.  You.  Serious.  Only one of at least two computers was recovered.  That’s not success!  That’s a half fail!  That’s like multiplying zero times a million.  I don’t care how awesome that million is, the answer is still zero!

Well, let’s just hope my information was on the recovered laptop.  Good heavens, that’d be horrible if it weren’t.

+ almost a senior.  Continuing with the amazing experience that is my college life, I registered for classes on Thursday morning.  First of all, I overslept, so for the first time ever, I was not sitting at my computer at 7:20 and clicking “Refresh” every 30 seconds until the time read “7:30” and I could begin registering.  So, that was the first strike against me.  Then, I signed on to my Self Service account and was greeted by a message telling me that I wasn’t eligible to register!  According to an email from the Registrar, only students with unpaid bills couldn’t register.  What?  Me?  Frantically, I called my parents to ask if the bills had been paid, and they assured me that they were.  So, I called the Registrar.

Apparently, several seniors-to-be had been locked out of registering.  Why?  Because Self Service overrode our senior status with our honors status, and honors students have the privilege of registering the day after seniors do (which was a fantastic perk as a freshman, but as a senior, not so much).  Fortunately, the Registrar signed me up for classes personally, and even though I registered almost half an hour after registration opened, I still managed to sign up for all of the classes I needed.

My freshman year roommate was not so fortunate, and she missed the biology class she needed.  Fortunately, since others also missed it, the college made a lab specially for them.  Let’s just hope spring registration goes better.  Maybe the college will actually work out the bugs by then.

+ what’s on your queue?  Since I missed Friday’s classes because I was in New York City, I emailed my professors and told my medieval history professor that I would try to find Becket in FYE, because I was really enjoying the film and wanted to finish it.  She asked if I had Netflix, but I didn’t.  So, I signed up for the one month trial (and am pretty sure I’ll pay for the subscription!) and spent the afternoon watching Becket via the Wii.  Here’s what I’m excited about on my instant queue:

I also want to see The King of Masks and Waltz with Bashir.  My Mandarin professor started showing the first in class, but again, we never finished it.  The second is an amazing animated documentary about war.  I’ve also been wanting to see The Joy Luck Club lately, but unfortunately those three films are only available via DVD (which is an extra $2 per month, which is less than the cost of a ticket for a 3D movie).  Still, I think Netflix is overall a fantastic concept for my family, since Alan and I typically only watch tv to hear the news and otherwise watch movies.  Plus, my family is big on movies.

Do you have any movies to recommend for either the instant queue or DVD route?