The Tomato

Blackboard’s drop in service has led to students forgetting everything. Photo: Jaclyn McRae-Sadik.
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Psychologists are calling it “acute Blackboard-induced amnesia”

Over the weekend, Blackboard Learn, the University of Ottawa’s online campus—also dubbed “keeper of the notes of all the classes I skipped”—shut down to make way for a new online system.

What the administration didn’t expect, however, was that most students neglect to remember any of their class information, and tend to rely solely on last-minute checks with Blackboard to keep their memory fresh.

Apparently, the sudden shock of the loss of information triggered a wave of amnesia among the student body.

“It appears this acute Blackboard-induced amnesia is becoming a real problem,” said Dr. Fred Banks, a psychology professor at the U of O. “Students have become dependent on checking Blackboard for information at the last minute.”

As a result of Blackboard’s absence, hundreds of students have been spotted wandering aimlessly across campus, looking in vain for the locations of their classrooms.

“I was going to memorize my schedule, but it’s only been a few months. I thought I’d just do it later,” said Shirley James, a fourth year geography student. “Now, I can’t find anything!”

“It’s been a real struggle, I don’t even know which assignments to procrastinate on,” said Toby Finkelstein, a third-year business major.

In a surprising turn of events, students have been going up and hugging members of the Student Federation of the University of Ottawa (SFUO), thanking them for years of scandal-free school.

“This is literally the best day of my life,” said SFUO president Romeo Ahimakin.

With these events in mind, it’s become clear the problem is spreading. “Unfortunately, it seems that the temporary amnesia is reaching other aspects of students lives,” said Banks. “Who knows how far this will go?”

“I can’t even remember the city I was born in,” said Annie Bond, a third-year history student. “I know it was on one of those slides…”

“I’ve heard about the effects and it has me very worried,” said Avery Samson, a first-year anthropology student. “Now how will I remember the names of all those people I met on Frosh Week?”

Some students, it seems, have inoculated themselves by downloading the entire catalogue of Blackboard notes onto their iPads.

“Fricken’ nerds,” said Samson.

“I’m starting to worry the forgetfulness will spread to professors,” said Banks, before taking a long pause. “What were we talking about again?”

Banks had predicted that the restoration of a new online system would put an end to this widespread amnesia. Unfortunately, the U of O administration has forgotten all the passwords they need to get the new site running.