Laptop stickers: students’ self-expression vs. tech directors’ irritation
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While some teachers start their summers cleaning out their classrooms or redesigning their curriculum, director of technology Tom Wroten usually starts his by removing the stickers from students’ laptops.
According to Wroten, if students leave Country Day without purchasing their laptops, the stickers must be removed in order for the computers to be used again on campus.
“Inevitably,” Wroten said, “the person who gets to remove the sticker is me, and I would just rather not do it.”
According to Wroten, removing the sticker is a process that requires much care.
“You rip the sticker off and you use Goo Gone (a brand of cleaning products specifically designed to remove “goo,” like stickers, off various surfaces), but you (also) have to rub at (the sticker) and be careful you don’t get any liquid on the device,” Wroten said.
“It’s just irritating, and (the problem) is something so easily dealt with; just don’t put a sticker on your laptop, or if you want to, get a clear cover and put stickers on that.”
Wroten chose not to give an estimate of how many stickers he removes every year.
However, Michael Cvetich, former technology support specialist, said that out of all the seniors that returned their laptops in the three years he worked at Country Day, there were usually four or five laptops with stickers.
“In my three years of helping (Wroten) I’d say there was a high number (of laptops with stickers)”. Cvetich said. Although he couldn’t give an estimate of the total number of returned laptops with stickers in the whole school, one grade had as many as seven or eight.
Surprisingly, in a poll on May 17, only two students said they have put stickers on their laptops (three others said they put stickers on their own laptops that they bring to school).
Junior Brandy Riziki said she added a sticker because her school laptop looked “boring without personalizing it.”
The sticker features a crucifix with a heart in the middle and the text “Jesus loves you.”
“I think I got the sticker from CVS,” Riziki said.
“I used to hide that I was a Christian, but the sticker encouraged me to express myself.
“It’s a step to being free to say that I’m a Christian. The sticker is a reminder that Jesus loves me.”
This was the first year Riziki put a sticker on her laptop.
She said no one has talked to her about the stickers.
“Unless (someone) tells me to remove the stickers, I won’t,” Riziki said.
Junior Chardonnay Needler put stickers on her laptop to give it “a bit of color.”
“Also,” Needler said, “I want to travel, and I want my laptop to show my interests.”
The sticker features the silhouettes of famous buildings, such as the Eiffel Tower, the Taj Mahal, and Big Ben, in bright colors.
Needler said that she at first didn’t realize that she had put the sticker directly on her computer.
“My old case, which broke, was see-through,” Needler said.
“I thought I put the stickers on the case, but it turns out I put them on my computer.”
Needler said she has never put stickers on her laptop before. She also said she plans to remove the sticker herself.
“Once I get my new case, I’m going to try to put it on the case,” Needler said.
She said that although no faculty member has talked to her about removing the sticker, “some have complimented it.”
For example, Needler said that when she was a freshman, English teacher Jane Bauman said the sticker was colorful, and history teacher Sue Nellis said it was very cute and expressed Needler’s personality.
Still, Cvetich said he “really doesn’t see a ban (on laptop stickers) as a solution” to the problem.
“The wear and tear that the laptops are returned with is far worse than a few stickers,” Cvetich said.