On Monday, Snowman’s iPod was stolen during a fire drill at Hippy Dippy High School. Laying aside how his mother felt about the fact that he left it unattended, stealing is not justified in such circumstances. I suppose there are times when it is, when there is incredible need in a crisis, as in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, and when the needs being met are for basics such as water and diapers. But Monday afternoon at high school is not that place, and an iPod (even a really sweet black 80 gb iPod Video) is not a necessity of life.
Or is it? I bought it to replace an iPod crushed in the driveway, using the argument that for a boy so attuned to music, the iPod was as important as glasses for his older brother, whose vision is 20/400. We might be irritated if #1 Son broke his glasses (and in fact have been in the dim past), but we would find a way to replace them. And so I did the same thing here. The iPod holds 5500 pieces of music, thus far, ranging from classical to jazz to alt rock to Big Band, and many other stops in between. It never occurred to me that Snowman wouldn’t guard it with his life, particularly after the destruction of the first iPod, something that may not have been entirely his fault.
This may be one of the reasons I was so upset about the loss on Monday, when we were not sure if this was a mislaying or a theft, and frustrated that it had been left in the backpack, either way.
Last night I finally had time to research ways to trace an iPod. Apple is no help. They don’t care if someone else uses your iPod to buy their iTunes, as I mentioned the other day. But I did find a site that allows you to register the serial number of a "lost" iPod and discover when it logs onto the Internet, generating an IP address. Within a few minutes last night, we knew it was still in City By the Sea, and had been plugged into a computer twice on Monday and once on Tuesday.
Snowman went to the principal with this information, and he assisted Snowman in filing a police report. Although Snowman kept quiet about the police report, he told friends about the Internet search, that we new the Internet Service Provider in question and were attempting to trace it further.
School got out at 11 today for teacher training. At 12:17 I got an e-mail letting me know the iPod was online again. But by 1 p.m., it had appeared mysteriously on the principal’s desk.
We conclude that someone told someone, who told the thief sometime after school, and we conclude the thief must live close by the school, too, given the quick turn-around.
We picked it up this afternoon. Snowman was surprised and pleased that his own music was on the iPod still. It’s not the average music to which his classmates listen. "Maybe," he said, "someone heard my bragging about how much music I had and wanted to steal the music, not the iPod."
Given that the bragging took place in math class, shortly before the fire drill, in a room with only 15 other students, the field of investigation has narrowed. Hippy Dippy Principal is pursuing research into the IP address.
Snowman, relieved, discovered to his surprise that the last thing he played came up under "Now playing." Did the culprit not even listen to the iPod? This suggests a highbrow thief who really *did* want the classical music collection.
By the way, Snowman had been listening to Artie Shaw.