Friday, May 16, 2008

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Murphy's Law is Alive and Kicking

This is going to be a fairly long-winded blog post, so take a deep breath as I get it going.

I shall be doing this in order of events as brought attention to me.

Way back in March, my file on the school server for my use in my Photography class went missing. My teacher instructed me to look for it in all the other files in the class' partition of the drive. Instead of manually clicking on every folder and subfolder on the drive, I made a shortcut to the command prompt, allowing me to use it when I needed to create the tree diagram of the drive to more easily find my stuff. I never found it. One thing I hate about my school's tech administrator is his paranoia. You can't even right click on the clock in the bottom corner to see what day it even is. And for some stupid reason, the C:\ drive is blocked from the main My Computer window on all the computers. Well, that would be fine, if the default download or save location was not the C:\ drive. So I made a shortcut to that, too, for when my crap gets saved to the wrong spot and I just want to move it over to my flash drive, and clean up my junk off the computer. Now we're going to fast forward a bit.

Last Thursday, my high school's marching band went on a field trip to Myrtle Beach. It was pretty awesome, and we all had a lot of fun. When I got back, the iMac, that I use for just about everything computer related, will not start up. Ok, fine. We take it to the apple store, they replace the main logic board, an it works fine while we're at the store. But when we get it home, the graphics are all out of whack, and the system isn't booting up properly. Well, we send it in to apple, and they will have a new system sent out to us eventually. Well, no word on that yet, but I'm getting fairly impatient. That was just the prologue to the whole deal.

Three days after my return from the marching band trip, I am called from my 4th period AP Euro class to go to the office. I figured it was about a big fight I witnessed at lunch earlier that day. My administrator goes on to explain that I have been referred to the office by the tech guy for 'malicious modification of the school's server'. What? Apparently access to the command prompt means malicious activity to out paranoid tech guy, and I was being given a preemptive strike: 6 days' suspension. I was dumbfounded. I've seen people get their face bashed in, while the other guy gets 3 days for it! I get 6 for making life easier for myself on the school's sucky computer system? The BS flag waved in my head, but what can I do? I'm just a student in the 10th grade. Fortunately for me, my parents sided with me on this one. They talked to my administrator, which didn't help. Then they talked to the principal, which got me a 'more than generous' reduction of the suspension to 4 days. Yeah, sure, whatever. My mom has also sent a letter to the school board superintendent, because the only thing we've been able to get out of the high school administration is the rule book shoved in our faces. And really, based on the rule book, I still did nothing wrong. Do they care? No. I'm good with computers, and so they fear me. But whatever. My problem with them is that they apparently had written down 'strikes one and two' with my other shortcuts. Remember the ones in March? The first shortcut to the C;\ drive was their reasoning for removing my whole folder from the server. That's fine, if not a bit overkill, but they never told me. All they really did was recreate the problem which caused me to make the shortcut in the first place: a missing folder.

In the end, the whole thing has been pointless. I've been getting my schoolwork from my teachers, doing it at home (in much less time that it would take to do at school), and playing video games. My parents have been getting the administrators to stop playing word games with the word 'malicious', and my permanent record now says 'computer misuse'. Fair enough, aside from the ludicrous suspension length.

I must say, though, if your parents are on your side, being suspended is definitely not bad. I've got more done this week than I have in the previous month, and I've made real progress in my trumpet playing, as well as in most of my videogames. Even most of the teachers and students at the high school (and even the middle school I used to go to, somehow) have been astounded at the level of punishment used in my case. In my mind, I came out of this one the victor: Josh-1, Administration-0.