“I Don’t Know What I Did But I Fixed It” – An Autobiography

I am not a scientific or technical genius. This is something everybody should know up front. I can write an essay an hour before it is due. I can day dream for hours about new characters, and I can make up an entire novel based on a quote from a friend. But I simply do not do well with math or science.

When I came to college, I considered myself a smart person. I was number two in my class (#HumbleBrag) and I managed to get into the honors program at my college. It wasn’t until I moved onto the honor’s floor in the dorms that I realized I was the only person on the floor not majoring in chemistry, biology, or some sort of engineering. Yes, this served me well whenever I needed a futon put together, but I considered myself slightly…well, I didn’t think I was that intelligent anymore.

(Don’t worry, I know now that just because I am gifted in other ways does not mean that I’m dumb. It just took a while to find out.)



Anyway, flash forward a few years. I no longer live on the floor, but I still see my friends from time to time. I also now hold three jobs on campus, including writing television reviews for the college newspaper and serving as a student ambassador when high schoolers visit with their parents.

My third job has nothing at all to do with my major. I monitor computer labs when classes are being held and answer any questions from the professors. Basically, I instruct people to try turning their computer off and on and see if it fixes the problem.

Earlier today, I was working my shift during a freshman technical communications course when an entire section of computers goes down. The screens go dark and nothing the students are doing can turn them on again. You can imagine my panic. After all, I had received no training for this job and the closest I have come to computer engineering was going to a house party thrown by one of my friends from honors. So, I do what any good journalist would do: trace the problem back to the start.

Turns out one of the girls had tapped on the power strip with the toe of her shoe. I flipped the switch and everything went back to normal. I was about to explain to the professor what I had done when I saw the girl in question. She had figured out what had happened and was looking down at her feet almost ashamed. I then looked around the room and realized that with her skinny jeans and cardigan, she looked nothing like the other students in the class, most of whom were men. She reminded me not only of my female engineering friends, but also a little of me.

In an attempt to help her out, I told the professor I had no idea what I did, all I knew was that it worked. It was enough for him, the girl looked relieved, and I got to return to my regularly-scheduled homework. All in a day’s work.



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