-laugh- I know, it was really stupid of me. I checked my recycle bin, but I knew it probably wouldn't be there-- I have the hard copies and everything, but I tend to save things on my memory card. I had built a student portfolio and was just about to publish it and send it off to Bridgewater State as part of my college application.
.. and of course I'm like "hey whatever. why bother backing this up. I'll just send it off in 5 minutes anyway."
bad move because on comes the INFAMOUS blue screen saying I need to refresh and my poor memory card just DIES. life is funny ): but I'm in the process of making a new portfolio and thanks to all of your advice, I won't be stupid again and I'll buy disks and spare external harddrives.