Worse than participation trophies are the trophies we later collect to represent having done something solely for the purpose of representing that event. Sure, it’s innocuous enough to have an AT power supply with a note on it as some kind of fun representation of an event, but other than interacting with it for a curious second, it’s a waste of space, especially since it doesn’t even represent anything that positive, inspiring, or life-changingly worthwhile.
I kept it to tell this story.
Back in college, I was in a computers class, working on a lab project. The classroom had science experiments and technical posters lining the walls. It was such a cool place. I learned more about myself there than I learned about computers, and I learned the fundamentals of technology there. Occasionally when I return to the campus for a wander, I wonder about stopping in. I’ve thought of giving lectures to fresh students, informing them of the need for polite professional over astute technical knowledge, which could give them an edge in the field.
The projects would be different.
Some might be the same. For our capstone project, we had to put together certain pre-packaged computer parts together and boot into a certain mode under a certain amount of time. The parts may be different now but I imagine the intention is the same: showing a fundamental knowledge of basic computer technology in a situation where all the nonessentials are removed from the equation. No computer case to impede progress and no brands to complain about. Just one big logical problem to work your way through.
I forget if I was a student or assistant when this happened.
It was a warm spring day when I was working on the project. As lab assistants, we would test out all the parts and ensure they worked prior to signing off on them, breaking them down, putting them in the bins, and letting students put them together. I don’t think I was a student because I didn’t have the time element. I remember that clearly because I leisurely rested my hand on the switch of the AT power supply. In a computer case on old school computers, you’d press the power button and it’d make a satisfying button depression click. You’d be depressing a switch lever to establish a circuit for electricity to travel.
The little circuit of electricity went up my hand and rested somewhere in my brain. I felt a little faint. I walked outside into the warm spring sun, collected myself, and returned back in for another go. It didn’t seem like a big enough deal to mention then or since, but when I saw that simulacrum of that day, I wanted to acquire it. Now that I’ve told that story, I don’t have much of a need for the object, and even if it were the last of its kind around here, I could part with it.
No need for recreations.
|Sources: My personal experiences.|
|Inspirations: I feel like I’ve been spinning my wheels on my progress with downsizing over the past few weeks, so part of it is plucking away at everything that’s on the surface. When I was in the old place, I had a difficult time packing up everything at first, which is similar to how I feel now, except instead of packing up things for storage, it’s packing up for donations, primarily, and leaving the remainders as objects I want to keep or sell. This was one such object that was too big to lump in elsewhere.|
|Related: Other Downsizing Zeal essays.|
|Photo: After writing this and trying to figure out the visual element, I ended up taking the empty flower pot of a guy thinking, putting it into one part of the AT Power Supply circuit, and I guess now it’s art? That’s worth keeping for a while, right? Also, as a side note, I went to a local PC reseller where I bought this a few years ago and couldn’t find any replacements. If they had dozens, then it’d be safe to get rid of, I suppose, but for now, it’ll be a shelf art object until I get bored with it, then I’ll recycle it.|
|Written On: July 19th [21 minutes, mobile]|
|Last Edited: July 21st [Minor edits. Mainly the typographical change for “I felt a little funny” and the conclusion was singular before. Otherwise, first draft; final draft for the Internet.]|