You Don’t Know What You Have Until It’s Drenched in Water


A Glass of Water Falls on my Laptop

A Glass of Water Falls on my Laptop

Last Wednesday I spilled water on my new laptop computer.

It was a bizarre accident.

I never keep my beverages too close to it. I never let anyone pass near it with liquids in their hands. I barely allow anyone to set eyes on it while they are drinking. I have heard too many stories of students finishing a paper and dropping their coffee mug on their computer to take my chances. And when shopping for a computer, the first thing I look for is an all-risks warrantee.

But last Thursday, I left an half-empty class next to my laptop and started moving things around me. I hit the glass, most of the water fell to the floor, and just enough of it touched the keyboard of my computer to make it seem like it had been drenched as I hastily turned it off and put it upside down. The drops that fell out the computer reminded me of waterfalls.

Cascades, Fitzroy Falls, Powerhouse Museum

Waterfalls Pouring Out of the Keyboard

In a mix of anger and panic, I started cursing in a way that would make any sailor blush.

Because I realized that I hadn’t backed my hard drive in two weeks. 

I had spent the two previous weeks in Mexico, and I had done a great deal of work there. I could not afford to lose all of it. It would set me too far back on writing a chapter which I already feel has taken me too long to write. I blamed myself for not copying my work on a USB key or saving it to an online file. It would only have taken a minute. Why had I not backed my files on my external hard drive upon returning home? I had been lazy and careless, and I feared I was about to pay the price for it.

I allowed the computer to dry overnight and the next morning I got my external hard drive ready: I would turn on the computer and copy everything before it would burst into flames, if that was to be the case. Luckily, only the keyboard seemed to be misbehaving, and after I made copies of all my files I dropped my laptop at the university store. It was fixed by the next day.

I learned my lesson. I’ll be saving my work on USB and online files daily from now on.

Tully, you don’t know what you have until it’s drenched in water.

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