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Hoping To File This Problem Away

| Learning | November 23, 2016

(In the UK, students aged 16-18 have a choice between a number of forms of higher education, but they have to stay in full-time education until the end of the academic year in which they turn 18. I chose to move schools and attend sixth form, which is equivalent of years 12 and 13 or grades 11 and 12 in the USA. In this, I’m in the ICT suite doing some homework with a new friend a few days into the first term.)

Friend: “What the—? There’s someone else’s work on my login!”

Me: “Really? How do you know?”

Friend: “It’s got my name on it, [Initial][Surname], but it says year seven and it’s clearly a year seven kid’s work. How did it get on there?”

Me: “We still have 45 minutes until next class. Why don’t we go to the technician and ask?”

(When we get to the technician’s office my friend explains the problem, and he logs into her account to see for himself. After a minute or two of clicking between her account and what look like class lists, he comes out with this gem.)

Technician: “Oh, it looks like one of the new year-sevens has the same first initial and surname as you, so the system thought you were the same person and they got access to your account…” *he stops talking and doesn’t look like he’s going to say any more*

Friend: “So what are you going to do about it? I haven’t got anything important on there now but I don’t feel comfortable with a strange kid having access to my A-level work in the future.”

Technician: “Can’t you just make separate folders for your stuff and share the account? It’s kind of hard to make two accounts when people have the same name.”

Friend: “What the h***? No! I don’t want a random 11-year old able to access my A-level work. What if he decides to mess about with it? It could ruin my grade! Make a new account for him!”

Technician: “Jeez, all right, girly. Calm down. I’ll do it before lunch.”

(Two days passed, and my friend could still see evidence of the year seven using her account to save his work, so we hunted him down and explained the situation. Being confronted by two sixteen-year-olds must have been a bit weird for him but he agreed to keep his school work in a folder on the account files and not mess with her work. After nearly three weeks of multiple visits to the technician’s office and not finding him there, we finally managed to track him down one morning and forced him to create a new account for the kid right in front of us. Our form tutor (a teacher who takes attendance at the start of each day, like homeroom in the USA) was annoyed we were late that morning until we explained the situation. He promised to talk to the head of ICT about it for us, and from then on whenever the technician saw us he scurried away like a frightened mouse!)

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