Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Michael Jackson'll get you banned

THE KID was a surly ninth grader who was supposed to be working on a science presentation about the topic of his choice. Unfortunatly his choice was Michael Jackson, or at least I am assuming that was his his topic since thatwas the web site he was on. I removed him from the computer and he went and sat at table. After about 15 minutes I went to tell him to come back overand work. I genuinely felt bad, he seemed upset. When I approcahed him he scowled, turned and walked away muttering something about me beinga b%$^&. Well, my goodwill was swept away in tide of irritation. I've been called a b^%&* before, and frankly it was not that bothersome. Sure I would like to have actually done something to earn being called that, but what pissed me off was I was trying to be nice. Here I was trying to give THE KID a second chance and he acts like I had just punished him again.Maybe I had, maybe blinded so much by his teen age agnst he had seen my attempt at niceness as aggression.Sigh, you can't win over them all.Being in charge of young teenagers is like doing an archeological dig in a sanstorm, pointless and tiresome. Back to the young man, after he stomped off I approched the teacher who was apologetic and sent the kid to the office. A few moments later I got an email from a Vice Principalstating that THE KID was banned from the lab for the remainder of the term.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Musings of THE MAN

"Why are you so anti music?" he demanded. Anti music? Me? I felt trapped in an old episode of the Twillight Zone, I had just gone through the door. Let me give you a basis for this accustion, I had removed a kid from the computer afterhe had tried to access a rap artists web site thats banner boldly proclaimed "Explicit Lyrics!"

Lab Rule #1 All web sites must be approved
Lab Rule #3 No music sites

I had to be THE MAN by enforcing the rules, and now I am authority incarnate. This is not a title I activley sought. Like all great callings it was thrust upon me, by a fifteen year old no less.
Before I took this job I would have happily shown these kids free music. They could have all the music their grubby little hearts desired for nothing more than the cost of their internet connection. But not anymore, now I am THE MAN. I don't have to take authority with meek submission. If I have to be THE MAN then these moody, irresponsible, smart #$%^! rude teens willbe THE KID.

Friday, November 30, 2007

Another week gone

Friday has finally dawned, gray and quiet. The lab is quiet today too, no teachers are signed up. I have purposefully left most of the lights off, the few computers I have left on give out a pleasing blue electric glow. A few kids wander in and ask if they can use the computers, they seeem confused by the lack of lab activity. Later I will clean a weeks worth of crud and fingerprints off keyboards and monitors. Right now though I am enjoying the quiet, I belive it I have earned it. Yesterday was 7th graders, 7th graders can be described with these words; cute, small, funny, confused, lost, afraid, and squirelly. They were supposed to be doing online math tutorials and tests. What they were actually doing was twirling around in the chairs, getting lost on the internet after trying to type in the address, and asking me to reset their password they had forgotten (when they created their password it was with the explicit instruction to choose something they would not forget). It wasn't until about the last 15 minutes of each class that they settled down to working. One kid asked me if I liked my job, when I said yes this was his reply; "I would go crazy in here, I would spin around on this chair until I got sick and then I would play all the games I wanted on the internet!" He really said that. I wish my job was fun as he thought it was. Nothing in adult life is as fun as you thought it would be when you were 13.
At least I can enjoy the quiet.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007


Look it's so quiet and clean........

In about 45 minutes there will be chairs everywhere, abandoned pencils, paper scraps, that snot that erasers leave behind, and raisins on the floor. RAISINS! (apparently these do not count as food or drink, since neither are allowed)

Lab Rule #2 No Food or Drinks

Monday, November 26, 2007

The first week

When my last job ended badly with threats of lawsuits and a pending department of immigration investigation. I found myself once again searching the classifieds, unfortunately this is not new territory. I find myself updating my resume every 6 months or so not because I am a bad employee, but because I am a bored employee. I learn my job, do it really well then get bored and get into trouble. A kind of employment ADD.
If my current boss is reading this rest assured I have no plans of getting bored at this job, I am here to stay! Go Team!(I heard a rumor that public servants will have their student loans forgiven after a so many years of service so I have to stay, at least until I can get some government love towards my 10,000 debt).
So I was hired as the computer lab manager for a nearby Junior High School (grades 7-9) AKA the 6th ring of hell (insert scary laugh and threatening music here).
It was my job to baby-sit the lab computers and maintain the schools website.
Easy enough! I have 10+ years computer experience, and know enough HTML/Java Script/XML knowledge to be dangerous.
Let's go back to Junior High!

As a sidebar it should be noted I hated Junior High, heretofore known as JH.
I have successfully repressed most of my memories of that ghastly period of time.

Week 1: A Sign
The first day as I walked in I noticed a sign on the cement wall near the door. It was one I had seen countless times. "No skateboards, rollerblades or scooters on property". It was a blatant condemnation of fun, it was irresistible to the little vandals. By the next day it had been altered, it now read "skateboards, blades, cooters on property". Not to be outdone the next day some other little vandal altered the message to "I ate cooters on property". The k in "skateboards" had been carefully scraped away to form an I. I was amused by both the workmanship and creativity of the message. The vandal had a real dedication to his craft. By Friday, the sign was gone. Thus went my week, the first few days were new and shiny but by Friday I was considering reconsidering.
I don’t have any teenage children yet so I am not great at interacting with them, and the job is boring. I use monitoring software to watch what the little delinquents are doing. Mostly what they are doing is trying to go to myspace (blocked) and play games (mostly blocked). They also send email that look like this;

Subject: re;re;re;re;re;re;re;re;re;re;re;re
So who you like?

From: thatkid@
Subject: re;re;re;re;re;re;re;re;re;re;re;re
I likes joeY but he axts like a JerK!

Subject: re;re;re;re;re;re;re;re;re;re;re;re

Thas to bad, he be CUTe! Imma go eat lunch YUCk!

Seriously, that’s how they write. Not exactly a ringing endorsement for the use of technology in schools.
I don’T usderSTAnd the Use of RANDoM capitals.
I’m not sure how to talk to these kids, or even if I supposed to.
I am not sure of my authority or position.
All I can do is stare at my computer screen and hope for the best.
And so begins my foray the public school system.