I am very trusting.
I frequently leave my classroom unlocked and unattended. Inside, I house five computers, an LCD projector, and a DVD player. My purse rests in the bottom drawer of my file cabinet, which is always open. (I have some aversion to shutting cabinets and closing drawers. That combined with my horrible memory makes me feel like I live in perpetual Poltergeist.) My iPhone rests on my desktop and my classroom keys sparkle on my podium.
Maybe, I'm just very careless.
Nevertheless, I have never had a problem with theft. Not a computer has been taken or even vandelized; not a dime has been stolen. LCD projector: check. DVD player: check. iPhone? Still jacking up my mourning routine (see post on structure).
But this year, three things have been stolen: a gargoyle reading a book, a white salad bowl, and a bungee cord.
It is very difficult to keep a classroom door open. It is either heavier than a Biggest Loser audition or the springs that draw it closed are wound up tighter than an aristocrat's asshole so the damn thing slams shut even if I have the campion of all doorstops against it. And believe me, when you spend six hours a day with 40 sweaty, hormonal teenagers per hour in one room (and I'm pretty sure that someone in my one of my morning classes poops his/her pants every morning) you wanna be able to prop the fucking door open.
So, I brought my gargoyle reading a book from home to keep the door open. Instead of sitting on my roof, scaring away demons, it is designed to be a bookend. It's about a foot tall and made of heavy, grey rock. It was perfect for keeping the door propped open and it looked cool. Very gothic; very Vancesque.
Two weeks before someone stole it. Fourteen years of teaching and the first major theft is of my doorstop.
I didn't have anything else heavy enough to prop the door open, so I yanked one of the 20 bungee cords I keep in my trunk (don't ask) and used it to hook my doorknob to the outside rails. It psyched the kids out for a day because they couldn't figure out how I was keeping the door open.
Two days before someone stole it. (Who am I fooling? I should just write two days before a teenager stole it.)
I have another bungee cord in it's place, but I watch it closer than my iPhone. I have lost count of how many times I have had to say, "Don't touch my bungee cord."
Why do teenagers want a gargoyle bookend and a bungee cord? They can't get drunk with them, high on them, or even text them.
And the white salad bowl? That got stolen from a colleague's room! I left it there during lunch and when I went back to retrieve it-- less than five minutes later-- it was gone.
A gargoyle reading a book, a white salad bowl, and a bungee cord.
The game is afoot. I will figure it out!
Until then, please comment about the strangest things you've had stolen.