Sunday, January 16, 2011

Rage Against the Machine

Guest post by Jacob Gutnicki

We busted out of class had to get away from those fools

We learned more from a three-minute record than we ever learned in school…

Bruce Springsteen, No Surrender

Midnight, Administrative Wing of The Burrhus Frederic Skinner School…

The “four” was in hand readying itself for the break in. They already slipped by the security desk. It was almost too easy. One “four” member said, “wait for the security officer to go on a coffee break and walk in.” Getting into the administrative wing proved to be a cinch also. Who knew a library card can be versatile. Disabling the security cameras was a bit more challenging. It involved sending a video feed from camera 2 to camera 1 and shutting down camera 1. This would allow them to roam freely in the administrative wing while giving the appearance that all the security cameras were functioning fine.

They were now preparing to enter Michael Lotta’s office. This required disabling the alarm attached to his door. As a precaution, the posse broke into the circuit box, turned off the power, and cut the wires connected to the alarm while the power was off. The “four” then restored the power to the room and booted Mr. Lotta’s computer. The “four” typed various prime numbers figuring it would be the password. Needless to say, they cracked the password.

Suddenly, they heard footsteps. The “four” quickly downloaded the school’s Comprehensive Educational Plan, student records, as well as other files, and placed it on a flash drive. They then hid under a desk and scanned the perimeter. In walked Michael Lotta with a big grin on his face. Michael said, “ My young students, you are at the end of your rope. Who do you think allowed for such easy access? It was all part of my grand design. I set the bait and you took it.”

Michael Lotta paces back and forth and starts looking around the office. Michael said, “You cannot hide forever. Sooner or later I will find you.” The “four” was getting desperate. In a moment of desperation, one of the students sprays mace and yells, “Run for it!!” Michael Lotta yelled back, “Fool! This won’t help. Legions of my security officers are blocking every exit. You are toast! One of the students said, “ to the roof.”

The “four” ran to the roof. Luckily there was an adjoining staircase that linked the high school building to a community college. The “four then ran to the emergency staircase and proceeded to exit the building. They thanked the stars they escaped certain capture and parted their ways.

Twenty Minutes Later… “Where are they?” asked Michael Lotta. “I thought we had all exit points secured.”

“ Look over here, they must have exited to the roof through the window. It appears that they pried it open and…”

“They jumped 6 feet to make it to the roof?” said Michael Lotta. “Search for clues. Maybe they left some evidence behind.”

Twenty Years Later… The “three” meets as they have done for the past twenty years to commemorate the occasion. They start their conversation discussing their current line of work and family life. Two of them worked in cyber security, one of them worked in law enforcement, and the other friend was now the principal of their former high school. The old friends also discussed how their friend Johnny never got it together and was always in trouble with the law. They talked a bit more and then parted their ways.

Editor’s Note- As educators we encounter all kinds of students. Some of these students at times seem disinterested, troublesome, or unmotivated. When this happens, it is incumbent upon us to strengthen our resolve, reach out to them, and help them make their breakthrough. If not us, then who?

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