Last Tuesday began like most other days. I woke up, got out of bed, put on my iTunes morning mix – a compilation of Guster, Weezer and, for that extra bit of pizzazz, a little Michael Jackson – and went to the bathroom. I looked out the window, and since it was sunny, I thought maybe there was a slight chance that it was 75 degrees and slightly humid. Just to double check, I consulted and to my dismay found that it was actually 23 degrees. I bundled up and headed outside to class.

Three hours later, after an excellent lunch at Douglass Dining Center – I said that with sarcasm, but you can’t hear it – I skipped back to my room and entered my suite in Wilder Tower to find out my worst fear had become a reality. I opened the door to my room slowly and saw that my little iBook laptop had been stolen!

I panicked. I shouted for help, in need of some kind of human contact that could provide an explanation for my computer being gone. I looked under the bed and furiously opened and shut drawers in desperate hope.

Sadly, these thieves had not had existential crises, and so there was nothing left to do but call UR Security. The helpful security guard was very patient with me as I struggled through tears and good old-fashioned blubbering in an attempt to produce articulate answers.

By the time my friends arrived on the scene, I had moved on from the weeping phase to the mad, cursing and kicking-the-wall phase. For the rest of the afternoon, I walked around in a complete daze, oblivious to everyone around me. Although I was upset that I did not have a computer anymore, I think I was more upset about the actual violation. Random, scary people had been in my room. They probably wore ski masks and black and white striped shirts and carried sacks with dollar signs on them. I wondered how I would survive without the machine that served as a trans-oceanic link to Italy, Spain, Australia and South Africa to talk to my friends abroad, a private shopping mall, a theater for my priceless DVD collection, a celebrity gossip forum, a weather advisory, an article archive and my schoolwork storage bin. Plus, it was just so pretty.

Later that day, a miracle occurred. The police actually found my computer. My skewed opinion of policemen, prompted by programs like “Reno 911,” had been completely changed. They had found my computer! Someone had been trying to sell it on a street corner in Rochester.

I wanted to go out and buy a huge box of doughnuts and give it to the entire Rochester Police Department. Officer Ramirez, who had found my computer, became my personal Jimmy Smits.

Knowing my computer was in safe hands, I left it with the police until Saturday, when I finally had the time to go pick it up. When I arrived at the triumphant police headquarters, the officer on duty informed me that the Stolen Property department would not be open until 4 p.m. and that I should call before I came back. When I called back, the officer on the phone told me yes, they had the computer. In fact, he was looking right at it right then, but no, he could not give it back today because they had to hold it for evidence and that it might be a while before I could retrieve it.

It might be a while?

I am a college student.

Don’t they know I live vicariously through my computer? Don’t they know I need the Internet Movie Database so I can view Sarah Michelle Gellar’s career – her early years – at a moment’s notice?

Don’t they know that I only joined Thefacebook a month ago and am still in the beginning fascination phase?

These petty, silly things are what make our computers so essential to our everyday lives, especially as college students.

As someone once said, “an idiot with a computer is just a faster, better idiot.”

So please, RPD, help me. All I want is to be a better idiot.

Lepore can be reached at

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