I am a very disorganized fly-by-the-seat-of-my-pants kind of person. I am constantly fighting this side of my nature. Today I learned a hard lesson. I went in to school to try to get some work done and as soon as I walked in I realized something was not right. Someone broke in and took some of the nicer equipment from the lab.
I just this year gave in and ordered a large flat screen monitor for myself. I hate to spend budget money on something that only benefits me but a good part of many of my days is spent staring at spreadsheets and I was having a lot of headaches. My computer, monitor, and mouse were gone. Also gone was the data projector, an older digital camera, an older but larger computer that the lab had just inherited, plus a couple of older laptops. I haven’t gone through my desk yet and may not even remember some smaller items. The laptop cart door was pried open and so were my desk drawers.
It seems like whoever did this didn’t have anything out for me personally. All my pictures and some wooden things I had painted and had sitting on my computer were all just set aside. Nothing was actually torn up except what was needed to gain access. I am thankful for that.
What hurts is that money that could have been used to upgrade out-of-date equipment will now have to go towards replacing what was stolen. My dreams for this lab are for the benefit of all our students and staff. I wish for cutting edge technology that will help our students get ready for the outside world, allow them to express their creativity, and furnish tools that instructors can use to enhance lessons. I am so sad that this happened. In the big picture it may not seem like much but in my little picture, my second home was broken into and things entrusted to my care to help others use were taken with no thought of how others might be affected.
If this stuff were to show up on my front porch in the middle of the night I would not look any further and I would know that the person or persons who took it realized that in the long run they were hurting every student at the school and felt bad about it. I know it isn’t realistic to hope for that but I will pray about it.
In the meantime I am slowly realizing that now I have lost many of my email addresses and documents I have saved that pertained to the lab and other aspects of my job. I also lost four years worth of stuff that I can’t begin to remember never mind replace. I will probably keep anything important on a laptop that goes with me from now on and I may ask Santa for an external hard drive that I could back up everything to and store somewhere safe. I also have learned that I should password protect anything and everything. I will clean out files on a more regular basis so I can remember what I have, and I will not let this make me not trust people.