It’s spring break, and although school is not in session, it appears I cannot escape student interaction. I was at my parents’ house a couple of days ago, visiting my sister and nephew, and I met one of my dad’s former students.
My father is a retired principal, but he keeps in touch with several of his former students. This particular student- let’s call him Carter- is a computer genius. He graduated a couple of years ago, and is my dad’s go-to guy for all computer/tech needs. My sister and I visited with him, while he worked his magic on a couple of computers. When we realized just how smart he was, we picked his brain for information. (Eventually I ran home to get my iPad, because the following conversation was too good not to document.) Keep in mind I only understood about 20% of what he was saying…
Me: “So Carter. Maybe you can help me out. I need a new phone. Mine is a dinosaur, and I need something a little fancier. What would you suggest?”
Carter: “What do you want on it?”
Me: “I need a full keyboard for texting, and I want to be able to check my Facebook.”
Me: “Well, I want to be able to check my Twitter.”
Me: “I have a couple of blogs, and I’d like to be able to put up posts, and check comments.”
Me: “I want to be able to take pictures and upload them to Facebook and Twitter.”
Carter: “And… keep going…”
Me: “What else is there? That’s about it.”
Carter: “Really? Well that’s not even a challenge. Get a droid. You want a droid, but it has to be the 2.1. Hers (points to my sister who is sitting right next to him) is the crappy version. Mine (pulls out his phone and uses the “cell phone kickstand thingy” to prop it up on the counter) Mine, I can go 400ft below ground and it still picks up its signal. 100% satellite reception.”
Me: “Was that one of the selling point they used when you bought it?”
Carter: (Not amused.) “No. I went on a class trip to an old military training center and we went underground in a steel elevator, and I never lost reception. I even called my mom and everything.”
Carter: “Nobody bothers me at home. I have a steel door in my house. I just go in my room and block everyone out. Then I jam their cell phone signals so only mine works.”
Me: “Nice. Now the question is, how can I do that in my classroom?”
Carter: “Oh, that’s easy. You just need to go to Radio Shack and buy a…”
Me: “-I’m kidding.”
Carter: “Hey Dr. Lewis, you know James (another computer genius who attended school with Carter)? He got in trouble. He violated Microsoft laws. He tried to turn the computer into a Mac, is what he did. Using the Windows program. And do you want to know how I figured that out? It’s because I put a Trojan virus on his computer. (I’m sure the details were a bit more involved, but I was completely lost in his computer terms and whatnot.) Now, if he gets caught doing any work for any corporation that uses Microsoft, they will get a huge fine. I’m a Microsoft partner, and I had him blacklisted.”
“Oh, and that teacher at the other place where I used to take classes, he also hates me. He just really pissed me off. I got him back though. I took all his files off his computer and sent them to a server overseas. All of his files are now in a country where it’s illegal to export any digital files. A place where they don’t care about the U.S.” *Note to self: Don’t piss off Carter.
At some point in the conversation he notices that my sister can’t get any reception bars on her cell phone. He grabs it out of her hand, pushes a couple of buttons, then scolds her, “Oh My God! You have not updated your PRL Have You?!?”
Later when he diagnoses my sister’s computer problems, he shares with her the following conclusion: “The computer is new. That’s why I keep calling it brand spanking new. That one (points to my mom’s laptop) is old, hers (points to me) is ancient Egypt, but yours is brand spanking new. The reason why it doesn’t work, is a combination of what Best Buy did to it, and the fact that you are computer illiterate.”
Side note: I did buy a new droid cell phone yesterday. I spent 10 minutes trying to figure out how to check my text messages.