Camille Schenkkan is a theatre management professional and educator, passionate about career development for artists & arts managers.

My hard drive died, and I may not be able to recover any of the data.

NO I DIDN’T FREAKING BACK UP.  That’s everyone’s first question.  Is it really normal for people to back up their hard drive?  I wish I had, but I’ve been surprised by the number of people who seem shocked that no, I haven’t backed up onto an external hard drive, and no, I don’t have Dropbox.  If I could go back I sure freaking would.

Platinum Data Recovery is saying there’s a 20% chance of recovery.  If they can’t recover it, $300.  If they can, $945, which makes me want to wet my pants a little bit but is a small price to pay for getting my shit back.

I’m trying not to think about the fact that when the weatherman says there’s a 20% chance of rain, nobody takes an umbrella.

I’m also trying not to think about everything on that hard drive.  A brief sample:

  • Every grant I’ve ever written for my theatre company, Circle X.
  • My high school papers.  Senior project report, writing for the theatre group I ran, every English essay.
  • Thousands of photos.  I had Circle X’s photo archive, plus my own pictures going back to about 2003.  Some of them are on Facebook.  Not nearly all of them.   At least I have a CD with my wedding photos.  I’d be very sad to lose the last photos of my bunny Bentley, who passed away a few weeks ago.  As her health deteriorated, I started taking lots of pictures of her.  Bentley cuddling with Zack; Bentley sitting in a box; Bentley at the vet.  I’d just transferred the last ones to my computer when it died.
  • Creative writing.  I don’t think I have copies of most of the scenes, one-acts and personal essays I wrote during college.  My Scripps email address closed when I left, so there’s no way to go back and get them.
  • All of my academic writing from college and graduate school.  Unless I happened to email it to someone through Gmail, it was only on that hard drive.  I know I have my undergraduate and Masters theses, but there were a lot of longer papers on things like British country house poetry and the familial relationships in Austen’s work.

So yeah.  Pretty much 10+ years of all of my photos, creative writing, and my entire academic career.  On a scratched piece of metal that’s about to go into something called a “clean room” for “extraction.”  I’m picturing the clean room as the place the Architect hangs out in the Matrix sequels.  The Platinum Data guys are all dressed in white linen suits with mirrored glasses, looking at my poor little hard drive on a big marble pillar.  A green laser comes on, plays over the hard drive.  It glows.  The laser stops, and one of the white suit guys walks over and stares intently.  Then… what?  Do I get my shit back?  Or does one scratch permanently wipe out everything I’ve put down on virtual paper since I was 16?

As long as I get my Bentley photos back, I’ll be fine.  Right?

Bentley bunny in a box.

Bentley bunny in a box.

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