HighbrowJanuary 24, 2013 at 5:00 am

My Penn Addiction: Blackboard Rosters

Blackboard sucks. Let’s just get it out in the open. I hate it, you hate it, we all hate it. But, still, I like to think of myself as a Blackboard connoisseur. So much information can be squeezed out of such a tiny, unreliable site. Grades, blogs, syllabi—the academic world is your oyster. There’s one little known feature of this hellish site that I feel should be brought into the light. Quite frankly, it’s one of the only reasons I put up with Blackboard’s weekly crashes and decidedly user-unfriendly layout—the rosters.
While I was still a naïve frosh, I stumbled across an unusual feature deep within the recesses of our lovely site: a list of all the people in my classes. But while I may not be a Blackboard aficionado, I am pretty good at a site called Facebook. You’d be surprised at what I can find. I’ve found people based on just their initials and high school job. A full name from Blackboard is child’s play. Come on, BB, give a girl a challenge.
I’m usually not creepy, I swear. But sometimes you just have to know more about that cute guy in your anthro recitation. A quick search on Blackboard and suddenly you’ve found his Twitter account and YouTube channel where he reviews different types of pies. His Facebook says he likes horror movies. What a coincidence: I like horror movies. Now I can casually drop hints about how “Scream” was truly underappreciated in its time, and then we will fall in love, and then I will put my mouth on his mouth.
But class rosters aren’t just for checking out cute guys. They’re also a solid defense mechanism. Trying to avoid an awkward hookup or ex-BFF? Check the list, sweetie. Who knows? Maybe you’ll find some close friends. Or maybe, just maybe, you’ll find true love. It’s all in the roster.

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