Digital Loss of My “Third Child”

28 Sep


It was the start of a long day as I arrived at work and went about my daily routine. I set my bag on the table, took my laptop out and booted it up to retrieve my day plan as well as all of the documents I needed to print for the day. Without fail my battery bleeps “10% remaining” and of course I know this actually means that if I don’t plug it in within the next 42 seconds it is going to go into cardiac arrest. Bleep one more time as a reminder appeared on the screen letting me know that tonight is Open House / Meet the Teacher. Ever so gently I tote it over to the table and plugged it in. It bleeped a final time in gratitude.


José Manuel_ via Compfight cc

Looking down at it I remember the day I picked up this shiny new device. It was fresh out of the box and waiting to make my acquaintance. It was awkward learning a new operating system and reverting back to a PC since I converted to Mac. Nonetheless I embraced this technology and began the journey of making it work for me. That was a year ago but it was like adopting a child… the paperwork, cleaning it, updating it, and always by my side. Funny how something inanimate can become an integral part of your life.

As the day progressed I unhooked it from its life line to accompany me around the room as I taught. It graciously provided videos, behaviour management tools, interactive lessons as well as allowing me to demonstrate to the students what they needed to complete in their notebooks. It was a very smooth day with technology and relatively stress free… for now.

The school was buzzing with everyone getting ready for the barbecue and I needed to speak to a colleague. When I returned to my classroom 20 minutes later I was certain someone was playing a cruel joke on me. My face began to get flushed and I scanned the room frantically. My laptop was gone. Panic ensued and I ran from classroom to classroom looking for it. I was convinced someone just borrowed it. Everyone I spoke to knew nothing about it. With all of the activity in the school someone had walked in the front door, helped themselves to my device and
walked out the back door.

It was a feeling I had only felt once before when my daughter wandered off in the mall. A deep gut wrenching sick feeling. As I moved through the steps to report it stolen the same questions were asked – Did you back it up? Did you sync it to the cloud? Well most of it yes, but there were still a number of documents on the hard drive. Argh, I should have been more diligent with using the cloud!

As silly as it sounds I went through the stages of grief , albeit rather quickly.

  1. Denial – I was certain someone was just playing a cruel joke.
  2. Anger – How dare they violate my space and take what doesn’t belong to them?!? I lost a lot of work that was saved to that device! It is useless to whoever took it!
  3. Bargaining – If only I had put it out of sight… If only I had closed my door… if only I backed everything up on the cloud
  4. Depression – searching the perimeter of the building in hopes that they realized the battery was dying and they didn’t take the charging cord. Only an hour before it was completely depleted and then there was no hope of tracking it.
  5. Acceptance – It was hardware. Most of what I need and my digital foot print is in the cloud and the stuff that wasn’t can be recreated. It could have been worse.

In the end I did get another device but it just isn’t the same.  I had spent a year personalizing the last one and now I am back to the beginning. I found myself wanting to share this in my blog as I am sure I am not the only one to feel this or have their device stolen. I did a quick google search to see if there were any other blogs that related to theft and loss of digital property but could only find a few. I would be interested in hearing from others as I know I am not alone.


Posted by on September 28, 2015 in EC&I832


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3 responses to “Digital Loss of My “Third Child”

  1. kdimini

    September 28, 2015 at 3:55 am

    Jillian, I loved reading this post. It was easy to read and enjoyable. I am sorry that your device went missing and you had to re-start. I have never had my device stolen, but I have had a similar experience years ago before “the cloud” when I lost my USB for a couple of weeks (I hadn’t backed it up in while either). I did go through your stages of grief and ended up pulling out my back-up USB and using it.. until I finally found my original (thankfully!). I am so thankful for the cloud!


  2. jstewiestewie

    September 28, 2015 at 4:02 am

    Jeannine, that is brutal!! Even if you have everything in the cloud there is going to be all that personalizing. Grrrr!!! Thanks for the humour in this horrible situation. It’s sort of how I felt when my phone died. It’s funny how attached we become to our cyber-children!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. ashleypmurray

    September 28, 2015 at 4:10 am

    That’s awful that it was stolen! I haven’t had anything stolen, but I have left my phone behind and felt completely lost without it (how sad is that). I had a USB experience as well. Long story short, it broke and I hadn’t backed it up for a LONG time. I ended up finding a company that could get all of the information off of it, but I had to send it away to Ontario and it cost somewhere around $400 to have everything recovered! It was obviously worth it because I still had all my lessons, exams etc. Let’s just say I learned my lesson. I also tend to take advantage of google documents and drop box too.



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