A riddle for all of you: What is unable to move backwards, reluctant to move forward, and bulky all over? Answer: the original GOLD. Before slimming down into what we know today as GOLD Lite, the majority of my “pass time” experiences over the last three years were spent reminding myself not to hit the browser’s back button. One slip of the mouse or one accidental refresh used to leave our old, tubby GOLD gasping for breath as it abandoned my hard searched-for class schedule in lieu of an illegal operation – or worse – in lieu of the system’s fifteen minute time limit.

I still unhappily reminisce about old GOLD – hereafter known as “Fatty GOLD” – and its tortuous login page and ugly beige background, fit only for those who can’t find anything more attractive. I continue to grimace at the memory of my reliance on the system’s clock, which I actually used to signal the beginning of my own pass time. Hitting “F5” on Fatty GOLD’s login page gave me a series of times ranging from two hours before, to ten minutes ahead, to a jumbled list of computer characters. This was really only an indication of GOLD’s weariness at being asked to refresh more times than its heavy, out of shape frame could handle.

Remember the old search fields? Remember how Fatty GOLD used to reset all the parameters, even after we attempted diligently to use the system’s navigation buttons? Remember how in trying to search open classes, Fatty GOLD refused to listen and would include all the closed classes as well, so as to tantalize us with the options not actually available?

As we head into pass time two, I encourage everyone to take a second to congratulate GOLD Lite. Losing all that weight must have been hard for the hefty, slow-moving system, but we UCSB students thank you, GOLD, for having the initiative to realize when a healthy change is in order. GOLD Lite, so slim, so sleek, so stylishly color-coordinated, could never be what it is today without its highly publicized “Biggest Loser” stint, followed by some heavy-duty cosmetic surgery – Beverly Hills style.

I’m not typically a fan of measures drastic enough to change someone both inside and out. But Fatty GOLD – my dear old pal – I approve of all your life-altering decisions. I hate to say it, but GOLD Lite’s drop down menu never looked so good … so maneuverable, so easy to scroll, so very readable. This drop down menu promises to deliver me to whatever facet of the site I wish to explore, without side-trips, restarts or unintentional logouts.

Don’t even get me started on GOLD Lite’s much more contemporary font choices. That sans serif font – so small and pert and professional – entices me with readability, so easy I can even pick up the text without wearing contacts. Maybe I’m perversely excited about how GOLD’s text seems to be so bolded in all the right places – I shiver to think about the system’s new wardrobe. A Web site has never looked so good decked out in the rich blues and yellows of the university.

Oh, how GOLD Lite continues to seduce me – especially with its continued advancements in the realm of academic history. Once upon a time, Fatty GOLD begrudgingly listed my units, my grades and, if I demanded, my name on a single impossible-to-print page. After such monumental changes, GOLD Lite is willing to invite me warmly into the world of my own academic history – and its drop down is navigable to boot. As of a few days ago, I enthusiastically noticed the academic history’s newly added “major progress check” function. Sure, my major isn’t listed, but I had a fun 10 minutes checking my academic progress towards majors I’ve never even considered. An even better waste of time than Facebook I’d say.

So ditch the homework time spent confirming friend requests and instead turn to the sleek stylishness of GOLD Lite. Our fat friend really changed after her weight loss and makeover, a la Rachel Leigh Cook in “She’s All That.” Prowl heavily, friends. Go wild with the browser’s back button. We owe it to our newly hot bud.