Todd has a five hundred word assignment due in his online History class at 11:00 on Wednesday morning. He rises at 8:00 and completes his shower, shave and shine routine in just under 15 minutes (Todd is very much a guy in this regard). He swallows a quick five minute breakfast and presses the power button on his computer to begin work on the paper.
8:22: The computer takes several minutes to load the Vista operating system because of the stock ticker, weather information and quote of the day docked on the desktop. Todd never uses these, but he thinks they're cool.
8:26: The computer has loaded, but the Internet connection is a little choppy because Todd's file sharing application is competing with his browser for access. Todd sighs and disables Limewire; that new Kelly Clarkson song will have to wait.
8:30: Todd's hompage, ESPN news loads quickly on Mozilla Firefox and Todd inhales sharply when he reads the bold headline. Alex Rodriguez, the Yankee's superstar slugger and Todd's favorite player, is considering negotiating a contract extension mid-season. The Yankees never do that; they didn't even talk with Babe Ruth until after the playoffs. Todd reads the Sports Guy's analysis and then navigates to the basketball tab.
8:48: Todd checks the clock on his computer and is satisfied he has plenty of time to finish his paper. He loads his Facebook and smiles when he sees the list of people who have poked him. Todd pokes back.
8:51: Todd adjusts his profile picture to the goofy one he took last weekend at the carnival, removes Rascal Flatts from his list of favorite musicians, accepts four friend invitations, writes a note about how pathetic and clichéd Rascal Flatts have become, writes on three friends' walls, gives a cyber gift, comments on a friend's photo, asks a public question and adjusts his status.
8:58: Todd is "smothered in work."
8:59: Todd glances again at the computer clock and decides to get to work on his paper. He opens his email to retrieve his earlier draft.
9:00: Todd is shocked when he sees a message in his inbox from an old friend. He and LaTasha haven't talked since, well it's been at least four weeks. The message is long, detailing a summer of fun, relaxation and little work. It includes a couple of current photos and a vague invitation to come visit.
9:12: Todd writes his reply.
9:31: His curiosity about LaTasha aroused, Todd navigates to her Xanga and reads the latest entries. She has some real wit and Todd finds himself poring through several pages of old archives.
9:45: A Firefox email notification informs Todd that he has new mail. LaTasha has responded already and her sharp conversational repartee demands an immediate answer. Todd begins crafting a reply when his buddy Craig instant messages.
9:49: Craig wants to know about Todd's plans for next weekend and has a bucketload of teasing for him about Donna, the girl Todd took with his family to the carnival last week. The new Facebook picture has aroused Craig's suspicion and he is convinced that Todd and Donna are more than just friends. Todd tries hard to defend himself, but even he doubts the real nature of his feelings.
10:05: Todd puts the email to LaTasha aside and tells Craig he needs to run. He downloads the draft and opens it in Microsoft Word, letting the three paragraphs of already written text poor over his monitor.
10:06: The phone rings. The ring tone is Rascal Flatts' Me and My Gang and Todd makes a mental note to change that ASAP. The caller is a chatty Donna who is making plans for next weekend and wants to include Todd.
10:10: Donna tells Todd about a new YouTube video and Todd loads the hilarious clip and watches while Donna provides running commentary.
10:14: Todd follows the YouTube related links to watch several more videos.
10:33: Todd hangs up with Donna but feels bad that he had to end the conversation so abruptly. He turns his attention to his computer screen, only to discover that his terminal has gone into standby. Todd pushes the power key.
10:34: A Fox News urgent news alert pops up on Todd's Firefox browser. Todd reads the headline carefully. Barack Obama has fallen to number two in several key states and the Hillary Clinton campaign is celebrating the advance. Todd reads the article.
10:38: Todd turns his attention to his word processor and rereads the content of the earlier draft.
10:40: Todd opens his browser again and conducts a Google search for articles on the British slave trade, the topic of his assignment. A couple of early hits catch Todd's attention and he opens those pages in new tabs. One of the articles is hosted on a blog.
10:43: Todd is intrigued by blog author's writing style and, after browsing a few other articles, decides to send the author an email praising him for his work.
10:57: Todd glances at his computer's clock and closes his eyes in disappointment. He was just too busy to finish the project. He sighs and remembers something his teacher said about late work being downgraded by 10%. Todd feels he is doing well in the class; he doesn't have to get an A on this paper.
11:00: Overwhelmed by the morning's workload, Todd exits his word processor and goes into the kitchen to find something to eat.