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The Long-Burning Fire

On December 22, 2011, a huge fire hit some apartment buildings near the Creative Arts Charter School, one of the schools that Partimus supports with Linux computers. As a result, on April 13, 2012, Partimus had to remove from that school a lot of the computers that were near end of their lives from the computer lab that our Partimus volunteers had built. It was a huge amount of work to remove those computers, so we would really like to thank everyone who showed up at the Creative Arts Charter School (CACS) for the today, including CACS parent Robbie Socks, Alan Tong, Partimus board member James Howard, Partimus board member Grant Bowman, and the Gateway High School teachers and students, discussed below, who showed up to help. We had a very long day of some really heavy lifting and carrying up and down many flights of stairs. I am sure that we moved 2 tons of stuff that day. Here is a picture of some of the stuff that got moved:

Tons of computer stuff got moved

Tons of computer stuff got moved on April 13, 2012

This was some really important work that we did that day. The 12.22.2011 fire really had a terrible impact on the teachers and students of CACS. One of the things that it cost them was their computer lab. Space is at a premium now at CACS, because CACS has lost one entire building, and has had to cram all of the kids from two buildings into one. We are working on bringing back the lab in the form of notebook computers, but that day has not yet arrived. We are expecting them to arrive in June, 2012. In the meantime, that day’s work cleared out some very much needed space for the kids and teachers of CACS.

Special thanks, too, of course, to the really awesome work of Gateway High School teacher Laura D’Amato, CACS teacher Maria Jenerik, Maria’s daughter, Cicada, and Gateway High School teacher Kelly Schiller for doing an awesome job of inspiring the kids of Gateway to come over to lend their strong young bodies to a very very difficult task of doing much of the work of carrying very heavy and bulky computer equipment down and up stairs. Without their youthful vitality, I am quite sure that we would not have come close to reaching our goal off moving all of that stuff out of there. I am so very grateful to those Gateway kids, and I wish I could personally thank each one of them. Here is a picture of just some of the kids who helped that day:

Some of the Gateway High School students who helped

Some of the Gateway High School students who helped move computers

More special thanks are due to Devin Millert and Dave Alevaro of the Alameda County Computer Resource Center / Marin County Resource Center for bringing a huge truck large enough to move all of the equipment out of there. Devin and Dave, along with Robbie and Alan and Grant, did a huge amount of work lifting two massive piles of equipment that took at least 12 people to move from the school to the staging area.

Robbie Socks and Alan Tong were there from the start, and they had the patience to put up with a pizza delivery service that was an hour late in getting the pizza there, and that after doing some heavy lifting of equipment to triage and get ready for the students to move out to the staging area.

After all of that work was done, Grant Bowman and James Howard stayed after to get all of the machines up and running in the mini computer lab shared by CACS teachers Maria Jenerik and Dina Moskowitz.  James Howard subsequently came back to the school and spent several days by himself cleaning up the remaining hardware, and setting up the Ubuntu Linux server to provide services to the some of the computers and the printer in the library.

Once again, this was an amazing bit of heavy work by lots of very kind and compassionate people. Thanks so very much to each of you for making it happen.

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