September 13th, 2005

Egrets Reading

Lost Data

Tonight, I found out that my son lost his laptop with a thirty-five page term paper on it that he planned to turn in on Monday. His second bachelor’s degree is pending upon its completion.

“Did he have a backup?” you might ask. Unfortunately, the answer is no.

As an IT professional, I’m stunned. There’s a 2001 cartoon by Ted Goff hanging in my office at work which shows a geeky looking guy dressed up as a masked superhero at a social gathering where everyone else looks normal. The caption says, “I can fly back in time and recover lost backups. What do you do?”

It takes a bit of a hero complex to work in IT. There’s nothing I enjoy more than being able to rescue someone out of a pickle by magically restoring their data to yesterday’s conditions.

The “mommy” in me and the IT professional, wants desperately to “fix this” for Sean, and I simply can’t. There’s no backup. There’s no laptop. There’s no hardcopy. And if even I could, since he’s an adult, I probably shouldn’t either. Unfortunately, he needs to write it again. And, write it quickly. And learn.

As a poet working in this electronic age, I’ve heard similar stories of poets losing their poems due to computer crashes, power surges, and the like. It seems common to intend to backup data but never quite get around to it. So, some of these brilliant essays, poems and musings are lost forever.

Did Shakespeare write a 155th sonnet? We’ll never know. But you can do something about your 155th sonnet…

lost data
cyberspace poetry
mutating