Saturday, August 16, 2008

So we got our IT training--and our approximately 6 usernames and passwords--on Wednesday.
I'm not exaggerating. There's email, a portal for all our essential med school/academic resources, access to the library's various databases, a Wash-U wide something-or-other called "WebSTAC"...and of course we have to change these every three months, which means that sooner or later I'm either going to have to start writing down passwords (which anyone with even a passing understanding of data security knows is a major no-no) or I'm going to start not being able to access my accounts. So that's fun. Look, people, I'm already having to memorize what the latissimus dorsi and teres major are, and where the sympathetic trunk branches, and a million other fiddly little anatomy and biochemistry tidbits...could we please at least attempt to make my everyday life with my everyday information f-ing simple?

One of the more amusing parts of the day, however, was the IT talk (who'd have thunk?), more specifically the part where the tech guy informed all the people staying in the dorms that they are technically still on the school's network anytime they use the internet in their rooms.

Even if it's 2 am on a Saturday. Even if they just finished exams and need the headspace to have a beer and freaking relax. Can you see where this is going? Yes indeed, the IT guys got to have a friendly chat with us about the quickest (and apparently most common) way to get booted from the network--perusing porn. To quote:
"And don't tell us you're studying anatomy. You're not. And don't have us put you back on the network and then get kicked off again for the same thing. We know what you're looking at. We know when you do it over and over again after we've told you not to. And if you keep doing it, we have all the urls you've visited saved, and you really don't want us telling the Dean that you've been going to every night."
Apparently even in cyberspace the all-knowing Deans have eyes.

I will say that this particular lecture made me glad that I'm not living in the dorms, though of course I'm not a closet porn addict. The thought of the IT guys knowing my every online move makes me more than a little apprehensive, I don't mind saying. Again, not because I'm into some bizarre sexual fetish or a member of some proto-terrorist political group, but just because it creeps me out the door to think that someone's watching everything I do. I know it happens; I know no one's really safe; I know there isn't much that can be done. But at least I'm never going to be nailed for trying to download "Tipping the Velvet" on Wash-U's bandwidth.

1 comment:

sort-of grown-up said...

The joke with WebSTAC is that every time you log on, before you can do anything, you have to change your password.

And you can't repeat. And they are mean about the rules for it. YAY.

So glad to be done with that crap.