Expect the Unexpected

In a few of my prior posts I have talked about how good it is to think ahead and to prepare yourself for all possible situations, especially the good, the bad, and the ugly situations. Well this week as I was putting together my India presentation for the class, I did not, in any way shape or form, anticipate that my USB device would stop working and prevent me from opening up my power point presentation to present to the class. When I saw the big “ERROR” message pop up I was thinking, “This could not be happening; not to me, and not right now.” I only saved my work on my USB stick because A)I grew accustomed to saving all my work on it; I have a very old laptop, and I don’t own a printer, so most of the time I have to transfer my work onto the USB key anyways, and B)I didn't think USB could stop working, whereas a computer (especially one as ancient as mine) could crash at anytime; so I always also thought that it was the safer option. But regardless, I did not save my presentation on the computer, I did not email a back-up attachment file to myself – I did not prepare for the good, bad and ugly. I thought my USB was infallible, when really, it was imperect just like everything else in the world.

So after the first presenter wraps up their wonderful presentation, and Joanne calls my name, the only thing I could say to her was, “My USB doesn’t work and I can’t open my presentation!” Honestly, at that point I was secretly praying to myself that these words would come out of her mouth: “Oh really? Well that’s okay Raquel. Technology can be a pain sometimes, so you don’t have to present ... I’m sure your presentation would have been marvellous. Here, I’ll just give you an A!” Haha. Yeah, right! Only in my perfect fairy-tale dreams. Instead she said something like this: “Okay figure something out NOW... Who’s next?” So as a couple more people presented I was scrounging around looking for pictures, links, videos and all the information I used while putting my presentation together. The show had to go on, and that it did, although not as smoothly as I would have liked.

Every once and a while an event like this takes place in life. Personally, I was angry that it happened, and mad that I didn’t back up my work on my computer, but I didn’t completely freak out or have a melt-down, which I consider to be a really good thing. Some people may have been reduced to tears, which is normal, but not this tough cookie right here! If I can recall correctly, one question in the BB interview was, "What will you do if something goes completely wrong? How will you handle it?" (Or something to that effect) I remember saying that if a situation occurred and everything was spiralling out of control that I would probably need a moment to collect my thoughts, get my head straight – basically have a “mini meltdown” - then I would regroup and figure out some way to handle the situation. While I didn’t have a mini meltdown this time, as it really wasn’t necessary for this particular situation, I did have to be quick, and I had to implement plan B. Let's face it, things always happen unexpectedly, things go wrong all the time, and technology fails, no matter how well you prepare. I think I’ve said this before, but it’s how you handle the situation, and pick yourself up that is most important.

I guess the morale of this story is: Always expect the unexpected (and don’t trust a USB stick!) I hope in India I will be able to handle the unexpected (after my mini-breakdown that is). But I’m glad this happened because it was sort of the reality check I needed to put all this talk about preparation into perspective, instead of just blogging about it!

On another note, please tune in as I will be posting information about India in a separate post. I would love to share some of the unique information I found during my research about Madurai to my readers, and classmates since they didn’t get to see my presentation either!

Take Care,


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5 Response to "Expect the Unexpected"

  1. Jacquelyn Goes Beyond Borders! says:
    March 29, 2010 at 8:36 PM

    Hahahaha, don't you just love when precious technology fails? Your presentation was well done, especially for being made up off the spot. I am amazed that you could present without your material! I would have been totally freaking out in that situation!

  2. savija-nevena says:
    March 30, 2010 at 10:37 AM

    Oh Raquel, I loved it though. So natural and real....no notes!
    Very proud!

  3. Denise says:
    March 30, 2010 at 10:21 PM

    you did a great job in a pinch. one of my dear friends (now nearly in her 70s) has always said not to trust technology - you can find her walking around with a pencil in her hair becaue a "pencil never breaks down". the down falls of relying so heavily on technology is that we are EFFED when it fails us because we can not imagine life any other way...... in saying that I am reminded of the black out in 2003 (wrong date?!) when people became PEOPLE again taking walks, looking at the stars, playing in the streets instead of drones.... I wonder if our luxuries take our humanity AWAY from us, instead of highlighting it.... thanks, now 'm not going to be able to sleep tonight... :P

  4. Krista says:
    March 31, 2010 at 12:40 PM

    I thought you handled the situation very well considering the pressure you were under - i actually thought you wouldn't make for awhile, but you proved me wrong! This experience and your upcoming summer abroad will definitely teach you to rely on yourself, because really in the end, yourself is the one thing you can always depend on! Trust yourself and you'll never fail :)

    p.s. technology never fails when you have a mac. just a tip ;)


  5. Are.Eh.Cue.You.Eee.Elle {r.a.q.u.e.l} says:
    April 3, 2010 at 12:23 AM

    AWWW!You guys are so encouraging! (Except Krista, who doubted me :P)

    THANKS :)

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