Jason Lindquist (jlindquist) wrote,
Jason Lindquist

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Oxymoron: "Public school computer teacher"

There was a slashdot article a couple of days back about a Texas 8th grader suspended from school for a single use of the "net send" command under Windows. (All he sent was "Hey!") During the discussion, somebody found the suspending teacher's class web page. Wow, no wonder this nimrod went so far off the deep end, to label a single Windows Messenger use as "hacking". Amongst her "computer world" credentials are certification in "Web Design" (FrontPage,) "Digital Graphics" (PaintShop Pro? Maybe</> some Photoshop usage?) "Desktop Publishing" (intermediate Word? PowerPoint?) "Video Production" (Premeire,) and Multimedia (More of the same.) Yippee, she's trained on a few apps. Wonderfully qualified to know what's "hacking", she is.

This reminds me of my own misadventures in scholastic computer labs. There was the time in 4th grade that me, Kumar, and a couple of other people were permanently banned from using the school's handful of ][+'es. I rebooted the single ][+ in the library to tinker around with it in AppleSoft. It was sitting in Bank Street Writer, with no data in the buffer. Nobody had left the BSW disk in the office, so I couldn't put it back the way we found it, but figured since we had not lost anyone's data, no harm was done. We turned everything off and left, assuming nothing at all was wrong 'till we all got called down to the principal's office later that day. (Had there been anything in the edit buffer, we would've left it alone and found something else to do during our library period. Reading wasn't an option--we'd all read anything worth our time long ago.)

Middle school and junior high, the computer teachers were science teachers, who may not have had any serious training, but at least had the background to understand experimentation and bright minds. They knew when and how far to trust us, and could glean whether things we were up to were actually harmful.

High school... gym teachers and librarians. Nice people, but completely un-fucking-qualified. Cleaning up the folders in the root directory would get you hollered at. I wound up banned from the lower-level library for a semester, not for Mac mischief, but for kicking the copier (which I was properly paying for!) into double-sided print mode to save paper, which required peeling up a little tape that had been applied to keep students from messing with the "advanced features" settings. Yes, I got busted for hacking a xerox machine!

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