One of the prompts over at Mama’s Losin’ It is to describe a back to school memory. Usually, my first days at school were quite eventful, and not usually in a positive way.
I remember the day I started in seventh grade at a new school for the blind in 1998. It was my first time taking my laptop to school on a weird-looking troller, because I couldn’t carry the backpack myself. In elementary school, we’d all used braille typewriters. We started the school day with a talk from the principal, and then everyone went to their classrooms.
For my first class, we had computer education, for which we didn’t use our own laptops, since not everybody had one. In fact, I was the only one who had a laptop not provided by the school.
Our next class was either biology or English. We’ll say it was biology, and there, I had to use my computer. And it wouldn’t start up. I had my teacher take a look, but she couldn’t figure out the problem either. Neither could my English teacher for the next hour. I had an utter meltdown, fearing i’d ruined my entire school experience because I couldn’t even figure out my own computer. As I usually do, I refused every opportunity at finding a solution, such as my taking my schoolwork home to do it once my parents had figured out the problem. I was in total panic.
As it turned out when I got home, my parents had set a password on my computer which they hadn’t told me, and had forgotten to have my computer bypass the password upon startup. They’d set the password to prevent teachers from doing stuff with my computer they weren’t supposed to, and they hadn’t told me for fear I’d let it slip off my tongue.
Recently, I related this story to my husband, who is quite computer savvy. He got a post-secondary certificate in computing at age twelve, so he knew a bit about the computers of the late 1990s. He told me that the way my parents had set up the password was not a safeguard anyway.
I have had countless more back to school experieneces ever since and many more bad experiences with computers at school. Once I went to a mainstream secondary school in 1999, I was lucky to have my father work in computers there. At least, I was lucky when my computer acted up. I wasn’t so lucky when I acted up, because inevitably my father would find out.