I usually don’t post on days I’m not around my kiddos, but this is too good of a story not to celebrate…
Yesterday was a work day for teachers. The day before that I had been working on my poster board of senior pictures. This board is priceless to me as it represents my years and my students at UHS. After three years in this building, I finally ran out of space on the black canvas. I also noticed that some of the pictures were starting to fray a bit. So, I binder clipped the extra pictures to the side and put the board next to my desk with the intention of taking it home to laminate and starting a new board.
I left the board overnight because I had a lot to carry and I knew I’d be back in he morning.
What didn’t dawn on me was that there’s a trash can right next to my desk…
When I got back the next day (yesterday), my board was gone. As soon as I realized it, a huge rush of guilt fell over me. Why the **** did I leave it right there?? Of course the custodial staff thought it was trash! And why, oh why, did I not just take it home with me…?
I did the only thing I knew that was left to do and that was run down to one of our principals who knows the building better than I think anyone else.
“I’m going to try not to cry,” I announced as I entered his office.
And then I proceeded to tell him what happened as tears fell down my cheeks.
Gart went into let’s-fix-this-mode, which calmed me down. He checked security footage to see if we could find the custodian taking the board out of my room the night before. It was hard to see, but we saw what looked like could either be a shadow in the trash can…or a black poster board.
“Well, that’s it then,” I tried to sound braver than I felt.
“No,” he said, “Now we go check the dumpsters. Maybe they haven’t emptied them yet.”
So we checked dumpsters and janitors’ closets. I saw places of the school I never knew existed. But, in the end, we were unsuccessful.
As I left the building, the front desk receptionist (one of the kindest people I’ve ever met in my life), asked if we found it. I shook my head and the tears started flowing again. She got out from behind her desk and gave me that kind of hug that only a mother knows how to give.
And that was that. Or so I thought. I got home and watched some Netflix, my go-to therapy, and cried between episodes. Eventually I tried to find something positive in the situation, because that’s what this blog has taught me to do. I came to the conclusion that–while those pictures can never be replaced–I will always hold the memory of my students in my heart. And I still have other mementos from them (like cards, notes, and gifts). Finally, I thought, I can better empathize with people who have lost material possessions due to theft, fire damage, etc.
I was still sad, but these thoughts helped a little…
When I woke up this morning, I got an email from Gart’s secretary saying she emailed the custodial staff about my poster board and when she came into her office this morning it was sitting on her desk!
I asked her some questions about it (“Were there extra pictures binder clipped to the side?!”), and sure enough–that’s my board!
I can’t relay the joy of finding this. I thought something that was irreplaceable was lost forever.
What can I even say about the people I work with? Who else would go to these lengths to find some pictures?
I am so overwhelmed with gratitude…