I was very gratified a month about when my alma mater invited me to return to accept an alumni achievement award. I flew to Detroit, rented a car to drive to Kalamazoo. I had a nice reunion with an old friend along the way.
The day of the award was a fabulous event. I gave a talk that was well received. There was a luncheon and two receptions. I spent a following day with family and then had brunch with another old friend while returning to the airport.
On Friday, I found an envelope in my mailbox at work with a very nice thank you note and a thumbdrive.
The note said the thumbdrive had pictures. I went to plug in the thumbdrive and found that the design of the drive didn't anticipate people having a thin laptop like a Macbook Air. It has a cover on a leather strap that folds under, but it still requires 4 or 5 mm below the bottom of the laptop that aren't there. The only way to plug it in is to hold the laptop up, so it doesn't damage the port twisting the the thumbdrive up.
The 4GB drive contained three items, totaling about 60MB. (In other words, if it was a glass, it would have a eyedropperful in it): an individual photo, a group photo, and a copy of the Arts and Sciences Alumni Magazine. Being completely self-centered, I looked through the issue to see what it said about me. It didn't. It had a listing of last year's award recipients, but didn't mention me at all. Now, maybe that's what their plan was… But somehow I think they just included the wrong issue on the drive.
I'm grateful for the thought. And I'm still very grateful to have received the award. But maybe just a URL would be better next time. But, in flyover country, maybe sneaker net is as good as you can do.