Thursday, May 26, 2016

The Debt Collector

As it turns out, Olga didn't eat the dying pigeon in our garden. In case you were wondering. I think I know what happened to it, though -- for the last several mornings and evenings we've seen a young fox make a quick, silent circle through our yard. My guess is he found that tasty morsel hunkered down beneath the shrubbery.

I finished "A Life Discarded" by Alexander Masters, the book I was reading about the diaries found in the trash bin. The author does resolve the ethical issues involved in writing about someone else's personal diaries. I can't tell you how without giving away the ending -- the book unfolds as a series of revelations that lead to a surprising conclusion. I really enjoyed it. In fact I was right at the end yesterday when I kept getting interrupted at work (yes, I was reading at work, but as a library assistant I'm allowed!) and it was sweet torture to have to put the book down and deal with whatever student needed a computer charger at that moment.

I'm on my annual campaign to get library materials back before the end of the school year, which is zooming toward us pretty quickly. I have one girl who's had two books out -- "The Beautiful and Damned" by F. Scott Fitzgerald and "Will You Please Be Quiet, Please?" by Raymond Carver -- since before Christmas. They were due Jan. 6. She's been getting automated overdue notices by e-mail for about four months now, in addition to personal e-mails from me. I went to her classroom to talk to her twice. I wrote her parents. It's always the same old story: "Oh, I forgot, I'm so sorry, I'll bring them tomorrow." At this point I don't know what more I can do. Bill her family, I suppose.

And remember the girl with the wayward biology textbook? Well, she checked out a geography textbook last fall and lost it. So I'm trying to collect money for that as well. Again: Spoke to student, wrote to parents. Nothing yet. Stay tuned!

(Photo: St. John's Wood, last week.)


  1. The school should refuse to release her grades until all bills or requests for return of materials are satisfied. That is what is done at colleges.

  2. You should seriously consider getting yourself a cat burglar's outfit and breaking into the homes of kids with long overdue library books. And what is wrong with the parents - ignoring school pleas? These communications take time to create and should not be necessary. Maybe the offenders should be taken out to the school yard and flogged.

  3. Had a feeling your deceased pigeon thief was a fox. End of the school year- here we are. Owen's last day of kindergarten is tomorrow.

  4. I like e's suggestion, although it only works - as stated - if the school will back you up. Have you tried asking WHY she is having trouble remembering? There might be a reason behind the reason, and if asked with that in mind, you may be able to find out. Or not :)

    I do feel better thinking that Olga is not still digesting that pigeon!

  5. I like book recommendations. this sounds like a good one. I'll look for it. My favorite excuse for a library book is , "I can't find my book but it's not overdue!"

  6. I can't imagine getting all those reminders and visits and notes to parents and they still don't bring back the books. I guess I'm too much of a "rules" follower. I simply would never keep a book past it's due date.
    I love seeing that sunshine in your photo today.