Friday, January 21, 2011


On Wednesday morning as I got ready to go to work I put my work laptop into my bag and headed out. Inside it was a paper that was due that afternoon, but I didn't think anything of it. I mean, it was on the computer at home. In twenty minutes I was just going to get it off the computer at work and email it to my professor.

Except when I got to school my computer loaded up a screen from the late 1980s- something that would be in a museum where we can tell our children, "yes, that is what computers looked like so long ago," and then stopped. It refused to go any further. Hard restart for same results. Nothing.

 I met Clairvoy at his office with computer in hand, trying not to be too emotional. I'm pretty sure all I could stutter out was "my paper" over and over again. Clairvoy very patiently calmed me down, promised to try to get the paper out, gave me a loaner computer, and sent me off. Later that day he somehow managed to rescue the paper from the broken computer and get it back to me. The computer itself was having major issues. Disaster. I have no idea how he managed to pull the paper off the dead computer, but he did, and I was practically in tears getting it back.

Is there nothing more embarrassing than explaining to your professor that the computer ate your homework?

I happily worked away on my loaner computer that day. Thursday morning I arrived at school early with a mound of work to do- emails to send, progress reports to write, lesson plans to make. I booted up the loaner computer to find-

blue screen of death

blue screen of death

At this point I was pretty sure I personally was destroying these computers.

Once again I went straight to Clairvoy's office.

The thing was, if I did give the loaner computer a virus I didn't want to touch another computer. If I'd managed to kill two work computers I didn't exactly want to do the same thing to another one.
It's amazing how much work I had that required the internet.
I needed to coordinate preschool observations through email and update my co-teachers on my schedule. I do all my planning in Google  Docs, so to even scan my plan book I needed to be on the internet. I'm working on progress reports, which are all on an on-line site. I had smartboard lessons planned for my morning group. In the afternoon I was giving math assessments that can only be accessed on blackboard. There was no way I could survive without a computer. Or survive and still be the responsible individual I like to be.

I was a bit shocked at my internet dependency as I weighed the pros and cons of taking the chance of destroying another work computer to get my work done. There had to be work I could do without the computer- I mean, it's not like I work in an office. We're teachers. Aren't there teachers out there who don't have individual laptops from their schools?  Where I student taught the school was not even connected to the internet. (I pray that has changed by now, but you never know in rural areas).
I needed to be online to even remember what I'd told my co-teachers I'd prep for the day.

A bit shocked at myself I borrowed a student computer vowing to be careful about what sites I went to.
(Later that afternoon my original computer was returned to me- it was a hard drive problem and not a virus, the two incidents were not connected, just very unfortunate. I no longer feel guilty about possibly virusing-up a student computer At the moment it seems to be fine.)

I suppose I should say I learned a lesson about depending too much on my computer to do my job, but I didn't. I learned to back up my work for grad school, even if I don't think I need to. I learned that Clairvoy and the tech guy that work at my school are miracle workers and that I am very thankful they are so good at their jobs.

And now, with my working computer, I am off to school where the first thing I will do will be to turn on my computer, go into google docs and check my plans to see just how computer-dependent I'll be today.

1 comment:

Snippety Gibbet said...

I feel your pain about thinking you destroyed two computers. I had that experience with three school computers dying within about three days. (I then bought a Mac vowing to not have to endure picking up nasty viruses again.) It turned out to be some file in my documents that was somehow eating all the memory. Once they discovered what was happening, the computers were resurrected and my guilt lifted.