Pure Pressure

Here is a story about community.

Friday was a big bash to celebrate a birthday in our class. Fewer than half the people partying were Haida Gwaii Semester students—the rest were friends and friends of friends from here. We filled a big house in Skidegate.

The next morning, in the after-party calm, Charlotta realized that her MacBook Air had been stolen out of her bag. While spending the day watching feel-better movies, she also started getting the word out to all our local connections about the theft. Haida Gwaii is not a big place, and we’ve been told that as a group, we have integrated more than most of the HG Students.

Within 24 hours, everyone in Skidegate must have known about the missing laptop. The only evidence we had was that the person wasn’t a smoker, as they didn’t steal the pack of cigarettes in with the computer. Still no laptop found. More text messaging pressure, more Facebook reminders, more tentacles reaching out to the community. Still nothing.

Charlotta, realizing that the lack of laptop was becoming a major tool of procrastination, decided to try to move on and borrow another student’s iPad. After picking up the iPad, she showed up to class today, where this, filled with a laptop, was on the table in her spot:


This was the accompanying note:


There is no doubt in my mind that the laptop thief was heavily peer-pressured into returning the computer. Well-respected people in the community made it possible for it to be returned completely anonymously. Very cool.

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