Meet Bob Marley. He’s a necessary evil in my daily work life. As advertised on the sign written by a witty colleague, the thing is a master at jamming. Here’s what the photo doesn’t show. This printer, which is connected to my computer, is located three buildings away from my classroom.
So picture this–you want to print a report to show a parent, an alternate running record form, or any other document. You have to choose ‘Store Print’ from Preferences, choose a user name, name the document, give it a four-digit code, send it to the printer, leave your room and walk three buildings away through rain, sleet, or hail (just kidding, we don’t get sleet), and hope that it was actually sent and that no one else happens to be on the machine at that time.
Do you suppose the Superintendent of Schools has to do this? When I first started at my school in 2004, I actually had a printer in my classroom. But a couple of years later, when my toner cartridge ran out, I was told to throw the machine away. The District was no longer providing printers or toner for classrooms. So I was hooked up to Bob Marley.
Well, not actually Bob Marley. He was new last year, replacing an equally unreliable behemoth. One day last year, I received an email about a flash sale held by a national office supply company. For a mere $89 I could have my very own laser printer/scanner/copier in my classroom. I jumped on it, refusing to ask the question, In which other profession would someone even contemplate purchasing office equipment out of their own pocket? Obviously, I wouldn’t use it for entire class sets of papers, but for single documents that I then take down to Bob Marley, it’s perfect.
One thousand pages later, my toner ran out. I discovered that the replacement toner cartridge is about $120. Seriously?! Then someone turned me on to buying toner and ink on eBay. I was able to get two replacement cartridges for about $50.
Oh yeah! Happy dance! Come on, District! Hit me again!